Let's face it, in recent years the Dragon Ball games have been fairly disappointing. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse wasn't exactly a great game, but it was phenomenal in comparison with Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Z that preceded it. These games have remarkable source material to draw from, so why are the games attached to its name failing so badly?
Seeing as The Game Awards recently concluded, and all of the winners for 2015 have been announced, we've been thinking about award-winning fighting games. What can they offer the Dragon Ball Z titles in terms of advice? What do they have that Dragon Ball: Xenoverse is lacking?
3 Award-Winning Fighting Games to Teach Dragon Ball Z
Let's take a look at three award-winning fighting games from recent years, and why exactly they claimed the ultimate prize. After all, if you can't learn from the masters, who can you learn from?
Mortal Kombat X
This year's fighting game prize went to Mortal Kombat X. This title has one thing to teach Dragon Ball Z: simplicity is key. This is an absolute solid fighting game, one that delivers tremendous depth when it comes to its combat mechanics, coupled with a fun narrative for those that desire additional content. The online is perfect, the amount of fighters and styles is excellent, and the game doesn't stray from what makes classic fighting games so enjoyable. Tone things down a bit Dragon Ball Z, and give us excellent basics.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Basically the antithesis of Mortal Kombat X, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is one of the reasons that you need Nintendo's console in your life. The graphics are stunning, the levels are challenging, 8 player Smash is now available, and some of the most perfect gameplay ever constructed is still at the heart of this celebrated series.
Dragon Ball Z needs to incorporate Smash Bros.' range. There are so many characters for you to choose from in this fighting game, all of which have their own abilities that will work for you depending on your playstyle. With Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, characters never had enough unique abilities for expression. It all fell into matches of button mashing. Learn from Smash Bros., Dragon Ball Z.
Persona 4 Arena
What a fantastic game. This picked up the Best Fighting Game Award in 2012 (we'll ignore 2013 because I really disliked Injustice: Gods Among Us, and no one wants to hear me tear into that game) at the Spike Video Game Awards. What I liked most about this title was how it related with the rest of the Persona series. It wasn't just a tie-in, half-assed attempt at making money off the Persona name - this was an excellent and well developed extension on the series' narrative.
Persona 4 Arena includes some fantastic narrative developments which make it worth playing for any fan of the series - that and it's a fantastic fighting game in its own right. If the Dragon Ball Z games could connect us with a narrative as powerful as Arena's, that'll be the perfect seal for the package.
Have any other fighting games that you think should inspire Dragon Ball Z to do better? Let us know in the comments!