I find it difficult to comprehend. Dragon Ball Z as a source for fighting games is essentially perfection. With its dynamic animations, great characters, enticing lore, and kick-ass combat, why shouldn't it succeed as a fighting game franchise? Dragon Ball Xenoverse was the last game to receive a release date from the Dragon Ball universe and it wasn't exactly praised.
Therefore, with the likes of Street Fighter 5 on the horizon, which should essentially represent the epitome of fighting games, why hasn't this series been able to hold its own ground against it? What needs to happen to Dragon Ball Z games in order for them to become recognised as worthwhile investments for fighting genre fans? Let's take a look at how the Dragon Ball games can surpass their famous rivals!
Dragon Ball Z Games vs Street Fighter 5
This Dragon Ball Z quote seems strangely apt in its description of the situation within the offices of Bandai Namco. The games have never really been highly regarded and may pander to the Dragon Ball community more than the general gaming public (not necessarily a bad thing), but it will endure. However, with a series that has the potential to be so much more it's a shame to see it stop there. Therefore, what exactly is it about Street Fighter that has made it so successful? Why are people so captivated by the idea of Street Fighter V? And why has it come to define fighting games, with countless E-sports events being held with its name at the very centre? The answer to this question is why the Dragon Ball Z games have never had the same reception.
This is a quote from Playstation Magazine who were one of many to slap a perfect score on Street Fighter IV. Its successor has a great legacy to live up to and we're hoping it can exceed it in 2016. But taking a look at Street Fighter is the perfect way to understand why Dragon Ball games don't sell as well internationally - variation and depth.
It all boils down to the amount of control that players have over their characters and how their abilities and speed as gamers can be rewarded. Far too many Dragon Ball games, Xenoverse included, have left players randomly smashing the same buttons over and over in order to achieve victory. You can be very skilled in a Dragon Ball game, but it'll never compare to the depth that is required for being good at Street Fighter - there's some much more room for expression!
Xenoverse for instance had a lot of fan service, a great character creation system, and a surprisingly engaging storyline. However, its combat became repetitive. Their weren't enough variations between characters, no room for a player to inject their style. The next Dragon Ball Z title needs to greatly focus on its gameplay. Strip away the excess and give us a powerful and engaging fighting game. This universe has the potential to create E-sports material, but under the guidance of Bandai Namco that hasn't happened.
The older Dragon Ball games were exceptional during the PS2 era - what happened? Can we ever see a comeback like no other? Could the Dragon Ball games of the future rival the likes of Street Fighter V? Let us know what you think in the comments below!