Hey readers. Jarenth here.
You know how all reviews are inherently subjective, because all reviewers are their own people with their own views and biases describing their own experiences with a game, each played in unique and irreproducible circumstances? Everyone’s different, everyone likes different things and experiences things differently — that sort of thing. There’s an argument that more skilled and practiced reviewers can step over that subjectivity to try and address game on a more ideally objective level, and it’s an argument I subscribe to, but still: There’s only so much you can do to step away from your intrinsic self.
I learned the hard way this week that I don’t really have a lot to say about fighting games.
‘I enjoy playing terrible characters that nobody likes for comedy value’ isn’t really a cutting observation.
My idea for this week was to say some interesting things about DRAGON BALL FighterZ, Bando Namcai’s long-awaited ‘it’s pretty much the cartoon distilled to only the cool fighting’ game. And, sure, here’s a thing I’ll say about it: They definitely nailed that aesthetic right on the goddamn head.
Down to the smallest details.
More to the actual point, I can see how a reviewer with more subject matter expertise could place DRAGON BALL FighterZ in the ecosystem of its peers. It’s a team-fighting game, which seems to invite comparison to games like Marvel vs. Capcom. It focuses on simple, quarter-circle-based special moves, making it more Street Fighter and less Mortal Kombat. And a significant distinction between novices and masters lies in the ability to string together long manual combos, something I also remember doing myself in Tekken (Tag Tournament, if we want to be specific).
It also allows you to play out wildly improbably scenarios, which I remember from Soul Caliber.
And that’s it. That’s the extent of my fighting game knowledge. What’s a BlazBlue? I don’t even know.
So yeah. Let’s call this week’s theme a lesson: Good idea, poor execution, highlighting the importance of recognizing your own limits. We’ll be back to normal next week with a game I can talk a bunch about, since it involves convoluted puzzles, giant robots, and messing up timelines beyond recognition for fun and profit.
Which, again, is *also* something you do in this game.