First and foremost, let me say I’ve never been great at fighting games.

I always button mashed and hit the d-pad any which way I could, hoping to make some kind of impact on the other player. Generally that wouldn’t work and I’d be known for years as the Spamming King, because I would wind up just getting someone in a corner and just cheese the punch or kick button till I won.

Yeah, I was that guy…

Needless to say, I haven’t picked up a fighting game since probably Tekken 3, and occasionally at arcades throughout the years. I can’t remember the last time I tried to learn the in’s and out’s of fighting games as much as I have with the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ. As most of you probably know, the Open Beta was just this past weekend, and besides a bunch of server issues, it was an awesome experience.

I probably didn’t sink as much time as everyone else did, but I still hit the 3 hour mark and having a handful of matches with randos around the world. I felt that I fell in love with a genre of gaming that I once held so much contempt for.

It may have been the fact that I love the Dragon Ball franchise, from the original to the current run of Super. It could have been I always imagined what it would be like if I could fire off a Final Flash in Frieza’s smug ass face. Or maybe, just maybe it’s the fact that FighterZ looks and feels so fantastic, even though it’s still in Beta, and it handles so well. No matter how you slice it, Arc System Works seems to have helped me expand my horizons and test the waters on a genre I could never really get into.

And before you ask, yes I grew aggressively more frustrated as I attempted to play. I played through the available tutorials, which eased me into the controls, which I still couldn’t quite get when trying to perform Super moves. I got to enjoy the small amounts of banter/dialogue in the intros and outros, including one that really reminded people of Dragon Ball Z Abridged (you know the one). It felt authentic, it felt smooth, and it was just all around fighting goodness.

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I got the chance to experiment with most of the characters, I touched all of them but Cell and No 18 only to find I was better with Kid Buu, Nappa, and Frieza. Second only to Vegeta and Goku, maybe Gohan but I wasn’t exactly as thrilled playing with him. Getting to see all of the special attacks (when I could pull off the button timing) looked badass on my tv, instead of just watching videos on my phone. I did encounter Spam Kings, some who had gotten the hang of the system enough to juggle me in the corner (which I only slightly forgive) to those who boxed me in with energy blasts. Yeah I was enraged, the learning curve for me was a bit steep but the button combinations were not these long drawn out string of button presses like Tekken or Street Fighter. At least that was there to comfort me, anyway.

My only real issues with FighterZ were the matchmaking wait times, the server issues, and the lip sync on the English voice acting was noticeably off. Then again, I can’t take any of my complaints seriously because… well.. it’s a beta and it was mainly just opened to stress test and fix issues before the main game releases in a week. Though that didn’t stop many of the idiots online from complaining/feeling a sense that they were owed more from the game. I wont name names but seriously guys, you were given it for free to help the devs, stop being dicks and just enjoy what is offered if you can.

Hell I almost missed out on testing it in general, but even 3 hours was worth the hassle because it sold me on my preorder.

With that said, I just need to get my fighting game skills up to snuff. I can’t wait till FighterZ  drops so I can try out more characters to see who I play better with. Variety is the spice of life, afterall. But before my time with the Beta, I at least won enough matches (and lost considerably more) to rank up once. Not a proud achievement for most people, those who reached Namekian level but hey I can live with my low power level until I can train when the final release hits shelves on Jan 26.

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PS. I also had a biiiiiit of fun merging hairstyles with the bald lobby characters. Like a weird “bad fusion” generator. I leave the images below so you can see how bored I can be.

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