I want to have a look at a few of the fighting games I’m currently playing and talk about how they look now in comparison to their original release state. The main two games I will be going over are Dragon Ball FighterZ and Street Fighter V.
Had everything been going according to plan, we would all be playing Guilty Gear Strive in early April. However, the feedback they received from the most recent beta made them reconsider certain things — *fingers crossed* I hope it’s the lobby system — and as a result, the game’s release date has been pushed back to June 10th.
Although it’s not ideal — FF7 Remake Intergrade releases on the same damn day — I have a lot of respect for developers who make the conscious decision to refine and polish even further to make the best product possible for the consumer. This isn’t a CyberPunk 2077 case either; at least we know that 90% of Guilty Gear Strive is a very well-made game. But I digress; let’s look at the games I came here to talk about!
Dragon Ball FighterZ – The Season of Gogeta 4
Ever since the addition of Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta to the ever-growing roster of DragonBall FighterZ, a lot of people have been speculating as to whether this character marks the end of the game. There are a few reasons that people think this way, but there is one major reason that stands out much more prominently than the others. Two words: Instant Kill.
Usually, the ability to perform an instant killing attack requires a large amount of setup and is tremendously resource-intensive — or maybe it’s extremely hard to actually land outside of very niche scenarios. These are what most would imagine when it comes to attacks with tremendous amounts of power. Base-form Goku is a great example — his Spirit Bomb level 3 super attack requires specific combos, or specific team setups in order to make this a viable attack.
It’s not entirely wrong to say that this Instant Kill requires some setup, but when that setup is simply sacrificing pressure on the opponent so you build up Gogeta’s level system, it’s not really that detrimental. Once he hits level 7, Gogeta has access to “100x Big Bang Kamehameha” which he can combo into extremely easily, and he can do it all on his own.
This isn’t even the full extent of the character’s power either, as he has access to mechanics that no other character has ever had access to before, namely the ability to gather the dragon balls through a single attack. PLUS he can perform double dashes in the air, another mechanic only Golden Frieza could perform — Frieza has to spend 3 bars of super meter and take a massive risk in order to perform this ability, and he can only do this for the 20-second duration of his Golden Form.
Now, why do people think this marks the end of the game, competitively speaking? Well, Gogeta 4 is a hugely requested character; even back in the first season, people were crying out for this character to join the roster. With his Instant Kill, Dragon Ball-gathering dragon-punch, and other crazy mechanics it really feels like the developers threw balance out of the window and just went wild with this character — almost like they were finishing off the game with one final Big Bang Kamehameha.
The most important thing to remember, though, is that the Dragon Ball FighterZ scene will not die unless the community leaves. A game’s “lifespan” isn’t determined by developer support and updates — look at Super Smash Bros. Melee! As long as there are people playing and competing, the game will never die.
Street Fighter V – The resurrection of Ryu
Looking back at Street Fighter V’s release genuinely gives me goosebumps and not the good kind; the awful kind. I’m constantly surprised that the game managed to survive through its truly dreadful release. No arcade mode, barebones gameplay, dreadful online net code… it’s genuinely a miracle it managed to make it past that first year.
With the start of the final season, Capcom started doing things differently with regards to gameplay updates and balance changes, new characters and new mechanics — they’ve generally just been more transparent with their communication. Better late than never I suppose.
With the addition of returning fighter Dan Hibiki, Capcom revealed a new defensive mechanic to Street Fighter V — the V-Shift. This is a mechanic where the player can perform an Ultra Instinct Goku-style dodge that is both throw and strike invincible. Since the beginning of Street Fighter V, the most prominent player style has been the aggressive/rush-down styles; characters like Guile who are known for their more defensive style were played in ways that exploited oppressive pressure-focused gameplay.
V-Shift has managed to add a breath of fresh air to the way that the game has been played until now. Mindless pressure-focused gameplay can be thwarted with well-timed usage of this new mechanic. And with this new mechanic came a new balance patch as well: one that finally buffed Street Fighter’s poster boy Ryu after 4 seasons of being an underrepresented character and generally being considered weak.
Why is Ryu being good so important you ask? Ryu is quite possibly one of, if not, the most well-known video game characters of all time — everyone has heard the words “Hadouken!” or “Shoryuken!”. Most importantly, though, is the matter of his importance to new players.
Most people who pick up Street Fighter and want to learn the game will start by picking Ryu as the character teaches players a balanced style of gameplay that has an emphasis on the fundamentals of what Street Fighter is. He teaches how to combo, how to play the projectile game, and how to anti-air jumpy opponents.
It’s not just new players, either; everyone wants to see Ryu as a strong character that is represented at the top level of play. He doesn’t need to be the best character in the game, but he should always be a contender — Ryu is Street Fighter, and always has been.
This was a quick look at the current states of these two games. Street Fighter V is in its final season and we could soon be seeing an announcement of Street Fighter VI for Playstation 5. DragonBall FighterZ feels like it’s going out with a bang in the form of Gogeta 4. Could we see a FighterZ 2? Maybe a FighterZ style game with another Shounen IP?
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