Dragon Ball FighterZ Season 3: The sequel disguised as a new season
Dragon Ball FighterZ Season 3: The sequel disguised as a new season ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
DragonBall FighterZ launched on January 26, 2018, yet Season 3 brings so much change that it almost feels like a new game. Or at least, an upgraded version of the same game.
Unlike other fighting games that release new editions with a similar amount of changes, Bandai Namco opted to refresh the game without adding a price tag. Coupled with the new systems introduced, additional modes, and character balancing across the board, it feels like a new game, and that's for fans that have been playing right up to the release of Season 3.
Kefla's addition to the roster was a pleasant surprise, but it made a lot of sense to include the first female Fusion to appear in the Dragon Ball anime. The result of a Potara Fusion between Super Saiyans Caulifla and Kale of Universe 6, Kefla is a powerful character with a great moveset that's lifted directly from Dragon Ball Super. Yet, that's just the appetizer in this dish of awesomeness.
Z Assist Select
The most significant addition in Season 3 is probably the introduction of 3 Z Assists for each character in the game. It's actually just two new ones in addition to their existing assist, but some characters had their first tweaked into something more reliable.
Why these assists are such a big deal is because they increase the number of matchups and mixups players can create. Unlike before, when some characters were omitted from teams simply because they lacked a viable assist, now we have the option of two more, and they change things up quite a bit.
Each assist is assigned an alphabet A-C with the first being the original, B representing what Bandai Namco calls normal assists and C, gold. C-assists are the strongest but have a longer recharge time, so players must weigh all their options before picking one assist over the other. These assists provide each character with beam attacks and combo oriented options that allow players to extend the damage they can inflict.
Multiple assists were the most requested feature in the game, and though it took two years, it's finally here and seemingly done properly too. However, this has come at the expense of the amount of pressure players can apply to their opponents. As assists are the primary way players deal significant damage in the game, how long it takes for them to cool down after use goes a long way in determining the flow of battle. That's why assist cooldowns no longer begin until players reduce their pressure.
Break your limit
The new Z-assist cooldown is not a huge loss, though, ad it gives opponents a little respite to gather their wits about them to make a comeback. Speaking of comebacks, another great feature is the Limit-Breaking Power comeback mechanic. Similar to games like Tekken 7 with its Rage system, when players are at a disadvantage in a match, they get a considerable burst of power to help them even the odds.
In Dragon Ball FighterZ, this mechanic activates when a player is down to their last character. Limit-Breaking Power provides a damage buff, one free ki gauge, and reduces the opponent's recoverable health remaining after inflicting damage on them. It feels just right, making the end of matches tense games without the buffed player becoming overpowered. After all, they still have to land attacks for Limit-Breaking Power to make a difference.
Another exciting aspect of the comeback mechanic is the ability to combine it with Sparking Blast, a mechanic that's been in the game since launch. What Sparking does is increase the rate at which a character's recoverable health is restored. It also creates a blast that pushes enemies that are pressuring you away while increasing attack damage.
In most cases, players would save Sparking till they're one character down or all three characters are low on health. Yet, now that it's stackable with Limit-Breaking Power, there's also the huge option of using it at the tail end of a match. Limit-Breaking Power activates automatically, so you only need to decide when best to activate Sparking.
Frieza mains are particularly lucky as his transformation into his Golden form can also be stacked with Limit-Breaking Power. It means everyone will try to get rid of your Frieza early in the match, but if you can keep him alive till the end, you'll have a huge advantage.
Snapback in Dragon Ball FighterZ is when a player knocks their opponent out of the screen, forcing another character on the team to take their place. It's a neat mechanic that has led to some dirty setups dominant in high-level play from characters like Piccolo.
Season 3 has made the switch-in much faster, making it harder to pull off these snapback setups. This change helps reduce some of the pressure on the victim and buy time to work out a counterattack.
Half bar EX moves
There's undoubtedly a problem somewhere when mechanics and characters are barely ever used (looking at you, Ginyu). EX moves used to require a full bar to activate, which led to them being underused as these bars were more useful in extending combos instead. Now, however, Season 3 has reduced their cost by half, giving players much more incentive to use them.
Players will be less miserly about their bar when they know it costs less to pull off EX moves, and this has led to new strategies that create unexpected mixups. It leads to more experimentation and risk, but in a game like Dragon Ball FighterZ, success depends on how well you can read your opponent without being read yourself.
Enter the Dojo
This addition isn't a big deal unless you're new to the game or returning after a long break. You'll find a new NPC in the lobby that takes you to the FighterZ Dojo, a proper tutorial mode for the game.
Different characters teach different aspects of the game to those willing to learn, and a nice touch is the addition of Kefla in this mode. As the new Season 3 character, she gets the honor of teaching players all of Season 3's additions.
Dragon Ball FighterZ currently has a roster of 39 characters with Ultra Instinct Goku and three others to join them further down the line. The entire roster received adjustments with the arrival of Season 3, and while they all switch things up, some characters got a lot more attention than others.
Some of the more notable changes are the nerfs popular picks, GT Goku, Gohan, and Teen Gohan received in exchange for an advantage on block for some moves. Another interesting one is Ginyu, who had his Level 3 Super replaced, acquired an immunity to weak projectiles, and more. Hopefully, all this will be enough to vastly improve his pick rate, because, before Season 3, he was the least used character in the game.
Krillin gets a Solar Flare assist with a follow-up attack, separate inputs to toss senzu beans or rocks, and his rocks can no longer be super dashed. Android 21 receives one of the best projectiles in the game, Android 17 can cancel his wall bounce into another, and Android 18 can now manually detonate her EX 17 attack.
Season 3 brings so much more to a game that was gradually becoming stale. The Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour Finals 2020, aka the Tournament of Power, was the most exciting send-off Dragon Ball FighterZ Season 2 could have had. Filled with upsets and high-level play, the tournament closed the book on old mixups and variations, ushering in a new age of Dragon Ball FighterZ action.