Dragon Ball FighterZ has been a joy every since it released in January of 2018. We were blessed with this amazingly beautiful 2.5D fighter which mixed the brilliance of Arc System Works prowess within the genre and the legendary anime series, Dragon Ball. In fact, the game is still going strong with arguably the hypest tournament at Evolution Fighting Game Championships 2019, and have not even seen the finals of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, which will be taking place in France with (so far) an $80,000 prize pool.
Despite the beauty of the game and how beloved it is, I think something that should be brought back to the limelight, Dragon Ball FighterZ need to give more than one assist per character! I have no idea whether-or-not a season 3 announcement will take place at the finals of the World tour, but a new season usually brings a variety of things and more assists definitely needs to be one of them.
Dragon Ball FighterZ takes its inspiration from the Marvel vs Capcom series, specifically Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds/Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 in how the three-versus-three tag system works with a primary character fighting while the other two are utilized for assists. The primary character can be swapped out at any time for any of the reserved characters, where the former primary character now lends his assist to the now primary fighter. However, where the Marvel vs Capcom series gave you three assists per character to choose from at the beginning of the match, Dragon Ball FighterZ has one assists per character.
One assist per character is extremely limiting, it means that you have to make whatever Arc System Works decides to give them fit despite what might be best for your team composition. This means that some characters will be more optimal to play with regardless of who you like because of the way their assists fit with the rest of your team. A good example of this is how many picked Super Saiyan Vegeta prior to the first patch Dragon Ball FighterZ received because of how good his assist was for pressure, combo extension, and neutral. Krillin, who is considered one of the worst characters in the game, is often lauded as such because of his tool kit but also because his assist leaves a lot to be desired.
A good example of how some assists fit one but not all is again, my years playing Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Many people who played Dante wanted to use his Reverb Shock assist because it was similar to Captain Corridor’s assist that Captain Commando had in Marvel vs Capcom 2, I preferred his “Weasel Shot” assist because of my team composition with Dante and Dormammu. I have seen some Dr. Doom players use Hidden Missiles because of its space control, yet need to counterpick after a loss to Plasma Beam due to its ability to stop full-screen shenanigans instantaneously.
More assists means that everyone can pick what they want for their specific team; be it pressure, neutral, okizeme, or combo extensions. One-size-fits-all was not meant to be for assists and it completely limits freedom, which is one of the main characteristics of 3v3 tag games where just subbing in a single character can radically change the chemistry become characters. I would love it if Beerus could use his “God of Destruction’s Rampage” as an assist or maybe even if Trunks could use his “Masenko”. Do you know how lovely it would be if Android 21 had “Hors d’Oeuvre Stab” rather than “Total Detonation Ball” as her assist? I can tell you, would have been amazing for my team.
Dragon Ball FighterZ may or may not get a third season once the 2019/2020 World Tour is finished, but additional assists being added into the game (even just one more per character) would definitely present brand new avenues for players to engage themselves. In fact, I would dare say this would be the most game changing announcements since it opens further exploration to every single character on the roster.
I feel like the extent of individual expression is somewhat limited in Dragon Ball FighterZ already since most characters follow the same combo paths and are not nearly as unique as Beerus, Hit, or Android 17. We can move further into self-expression by giving more freedom in how they want to utilize every single character, this way we can fit more player styles without forcing them to give up on a style they adore for an asset they need to win.