Bandai Namco's pumped out some great anime-based fighting games over the years. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is still one of our favourites, and more recently, the likes of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 and Dragon Ball XenoVerse 2 have really stood out. However, none of these titles ever managed to capture the full attention of the hardcore fighting game community. A general lack of truly competitive gameplay balance keeps them away from big tournaments.
The publisher wants that to change with Dragon Ball FighterZ, though. Developed by Arc System Works - a studio that certainly knows its stuff when it comes to hardcore fighters - this latest Dragon Ball tie-in is taking direct aim at fighting game fans.
"Recently we have been releasing Dragon Ball titles more for fans of the franchise," says producer Tomoko Hiroki. "There are still plenty of aspects of this particular game that fans will still enjoy, but that was not our only goal with [Dragon Ball FighterZ]," she explains. Hiroki elaborates: "We're really aiming to create a game that satisfies fans of fighting games as well."
"We hope that this game eventually turns Dragon Ball fans into fighting game fans as well. We created this game with the hopes of achieving that," Hiroki continues. It sounds like FighterZ is going to attempt to bridge the gap between anime fighting games and more hardcore titles, then - but it's still looking to boast enough depth to satisfy more serious players. "In this game, rather than merely using a level up system or a customisation feature, users will have to use their mind, their skills, and their techniques to master the game."
All we know right now is that the release looks incredibly promising. Hopefully it all comes together for the game's launch early next year.