Dragon Ball FighterZ’s story mode strays away from the mold of most Dragon Ball games by having its very own unique-to-the-game plot. A new villain, Android 21, has revived iconic defeated villains from the Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball Super universes and has mass-produced clones of the universe’s heroes and villains alike. On top of that, mysterious waves are being emitted that are suppressing the powers of all of the original fighters. The only way they can fight is by allowing foreign souls to control them and grow their powers to fight against this new threat.
In three separate arcs, you play as those very souls as you control the bodies of Dragon Ball fighters through separate views of the same story. As you fight clones, you level up the bodies of your hosts and even have conversations with the characters, giving you that feeling of getting to know the fighter on a more personal level. Each arc’s story has you going from stage to stage, where you move along a game board, strategically choosing who to fight next before facing each stage’s boss. Every time a boss stage is cleared, and sometimes in the middle of stages, you are treated with story-driving cinematic where you (the soul) actually chime in from time to time.
I actually liked the majority of the story mode and each of the arcs. With you inhabiting various bodies and actually communicating with the Dragon Ball characters, the game is an utter fanboy delight for anyone who actually wanted to get closer to the characters they grew up watching. Banter is at times funny and at all times right in line with the kind of conversations you’d expect from the Dragon Ball universe.
Now, the fight-the-clones-to-get-stronger concept is a fine excuse for fighting over and over again, stage after stage. However, while each arc’s story seems to progress just fine up to the 65% to 70% completion point, after that point the fighting gets a little repetitive. There’s like three or so stages before each arc’s end that acts less as story progression than it does as “busy work”. The premise is something close to “we’re still not strong enough to fight the last baddy! Gotta keep training!” Three or so stages like that just came off as “dead air” until you finally face the threat at the end of each arc. Once you get there, the ending is fine. I just found myself thinking that the story mode could have been just a bit shorter.
Continue on to Other Modes and Final Thoughts…