Dragon Ball FighterZ Review (PS5)


When Dragon Ball FighterZ first released in 2018 for PS4, it was hailed as one of the greatest anime fighting games ever made — and rightfully so. Crafted by the genre experts at Arc System Works, FighterZ was and still is a masterclass in how to adapt an existing franchise. The team-based brawler is both highly accessible on a fundamental level, and deeply technical — to the point where its competitive scene has stood strong for five whole years.

In that sense, FighterZ has enjoyed a level of success that no other anime fighting game ever has, and so this PS5 port isn’t much of a surprise — although calling it a straight port would be a bit misleading. That’s because this updated edition features a couple of key improvements: it’s got a boosted 4K resolution, and it’s got that all-important rollback netcode. Finally.

As if the game wasn’t already ridiculously good looking on PS4, the resolution bump it’s received on PS5 really makes the visuals pop. It’s still one of the best looking anime-based titles on the market, with super crisp character models and glorious animation work.

Meanwhile, the rollback netcode will be a dream come true for most players — but it’s not perfect. Generally speaking, online matches are smoother than they’ve ever been thanks to the rollback overhaul, but there are more than a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out. Most notably, connection problems currently plague custom lobbies, and we’ve even had the game crash on us when searching for an opponent. The hope is that these issues will be addressed in upcoming patches, but at launch, it’s rough.

It’s also worth noting that because the PS5 version uses rollback, there’s no way to crossplay with PS4 players (and there’s no crossplay with other platforms, either). Aside from the aforementioned crashing, we didn’t have any problems finding matches, but there is a concern that, over time, the title’s online population will dwindle — especially since support for FighterZ was wrapped up months ago.

The bottom line, though, is that Dragon Ball FighterZ is still an amazing fighting game. It was top tier on PS4 and it’s yet to be equalled in the anime space, despite being five years old. Assuming the online systems will be improved, there’s no reason not to jump back into this brilliant adaptation.

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