First of all apologies for the delay in getting this done and as usual thanks to X Box for the code.Now I have got to admit that as with Naruto Shippuden which I reviewed a while back, I entered this without knowing a darned thing about DBZ.

I had never seen a cartoon, read a comic book or played any other game in the series. All I knew was that there were some guys and gals that knocked seven shades of snot out of each other and there were some things called Dragon Ballz. So when I loaded the game I thought I am going to feel like a fish out of water here. Not so. Whilst they don't do any lengthy recaps of the past storyline, they don't just totally drop you in it head first either.

So let's see if I can sum up the storyline here a little bit (and clearer than when I tried to explain it during my Twitch/Mixer streams)...

Goku, who art thou?

Goku (as any DBZ fan knows) is one of the main characters in this long running franchise and has seen many trials and tribulations, but this could be his greatest and perhaps strangest one yet.

You see he has woken up one morning with the distinct impression that something is just not quite right.He feels like Goku somewhat but there's something off...so imagine his surprise when he sees a different face looking back at him in his mirror! Not only that he feels that someone else's spirit is inside of him and if that wasn't enough, he cannot recall recent events at all clearly.  Not the best way to start your day, no sir!

His friends realise that there's something amiss pretty quickly but then trouble starts when they detect waves of energy that don't feel right at all, and on top of all that, they soon discover that other members of their entourage are missing.What's going on?

Well the long and short of it is this, some dastardly bad guys have created clones of our heroes and are using them for nefarious purposes, basically challenging our heroes and trying to do them in with them. Not nice at all methinks!But the icing on the cake is that an old adversary has been reactivated, the ominously titled Android 16 and that apparently is not good news at all. With Goku not quite feeling himself, they are soon pitched into a branching RPG style storyline of good vs evil and general planet saving, you know the usual shenanigans you get in this sort of thing!!

Knocking on the 4th wall....

Ok so they soon realise that the spirit in Goku is an outsider and it can control the fighting styles of not only him but jump from one character to another, almost as if he is someone's plaything...YOURS!

Yup they talk too you the player, facing you on screen from time to time and addressing you!

Now I can imagine a VR version where they can interact with even more freedom but even so it's a nice touch, not quite breaking that 4th wall but knocking it so to speak.

Branching out....

As you play you'll get a chance to alter the outcome of player relations to some extent with the choice to select what you decide is a reasonable response to your friends discussions. 

Likewise on the game map screen there are islands on screen. Each one has a different icon to represent a fight, a training objective, a Boss or perhaps a little more importantly, the chance to rescue a fellow DBZ teammate.

This is a good idea as as time goes on, you'll find yourself in 3 on 3 battles with your enemies, tagging in and double teaming to your hearts content. Be aware you only have a limit to how many moves you can do island hopping. If you run out (highly unlikely though) it's game over and you'll have to start the current map again. I don't think its cruel enough to send you right back to the game start, but don't hold me too that.

Like Naruto then?

Yes exactly and like Street Fighter and many of it's fighting game clones. It's easy enough to pick up and play although mastering the most powerful combos that unleash a screen full of graphics to make your eyeballs spin, and hit your opponents with 50+ move combos takes some doing.

But single player does seem quite easy and fast to get through because...

It's all about community knuckle bruising....

It's quite clear that they really really want you to become part of the online community and the game has a lobby where you can go to global arenas (ranked matches), Arcade mode, (practice and again a single player mini campaign), a spectators area and an online shop.

Hang on I know what you are thinking, oh God no, Loot Boxes! No not exactly. For one thing the currency known as Zeni, are given out pretty freely during various game modes and it's not compulsory for you to spend real money on special characters or what not.

Actually the Zeni are used to purchase clothing etc that customise how your avatar in the lobby looks like and can alter it's in game appearance. Any duplicate items are immediately swapped out and exchanged for elite coins and these can be used to buy items that you want instead of relying on the random picks that come from buying Bom's with normal Zeni.Yes you can buy extra on X Box market place but you are not pressurised in doing so.

So how is it under the hood?

Pretty damned smooth to be honest. Cell Shaded graphics give you the impression that you are immersed in an interactive cartoon and controls are responsive and fairly intuitive. As said the learning curve of solo gameplay is quite gentle and it may seem to be too easy for some players.

As said they really want you to be part of the community, and there in lies the rub.

Connection or rather lack of it...

Anybody who has watched my streamed adventures can see that there are times when, without warning, boom, you are booted out of the server and have to reconnect. This can be frustrating and even though it hasn't happened during an actual online fight, it has happened whilst I have been searching for opponents on line so be aware of that. But when it does connect, gameplay is fast and fluid and there's no lag that I have noticed.

Ranking matches..

However ranking matches can be a little uneven. I went in cold and expressly asked it to find an opponent that was the same level as me, basically a neophyte, with 0 wins 0 losses etc.

I waited a while (can take some time to find an opponent be warned) and when it did I thought, at first great and then err hang on a minute, what's this I see?

Levels 3  11 wins 6 losses??

That's equal? Err no. I lasted OK I guess for the first round but then got my ass handed too me when my opponent opened up with those mega combos that he or she obviously knew off by heart.

I failed better with my next two but there are times when the game does give you an opponent that is fairly well skilled. Owned? Heck yes!!

Summing up.

So Dragon Ball Fighterz has a slightly baffling storyline, but the game play is fast, frantic and yes fun. Online is a little hit and miss and I hope they address connection issues and ranked battle balance as we go along.

If you have played Naruto or indeed Street Fighter then you know what you are going to get right out of the box but even a rank novice can soon get to grips with it.

Will it appeal to all?  

Die hard DBZ fans are of course all over it, and for them I'd say it's a Must Buy for the rest of us who know next to nothing about the setting but want a fun combat game then this comes recommended. It's no Injustice 2 or Mortal Kombat or even Marvel VS Capcom, but it's fun 

none the less.

Knuckle up!