Bandai Namco and #Arc System Works will be teaming up to create a Dragon Ball franchise fighter named "#Dragon Ball Fighters" due out in early 2018. Arc System Works of BlazBlue and Guilty Gear fame will develop the game with release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. The game is slated to be a 3v3 fighter, similar to games like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The game’s producer Tomoko Hiroki also states that while previous games have been made in 3D, the new "Dragon Ball" game will be made in 2.5D. The idea is to have 2D animation that can be manipulated by shifting camera angles to create higher production values.

The King of Anime Fighters

Arc System Works have positioned themselves as the top dogs of anime fighters.

Their current titles Guilty XRD REV 2 and BlazBlue: Centralfiction, both stylized with anime inspirations, have enjoyed critical acclaim from both reviewers and #Fighting Game fans alike. These games are well known for their layers of execution and depth, with characters in games being particularly mobile with air-dashes and double jumping being staples of the high octane action.

With Guilty Gear XRD REV 2 in particular, the system incentivizes attacking, penalizing players who move backward or stay still for too long. The game also features Roman Cancelling, which allows for players to reset their characters and inspires longer combos than other games in the fighting game genre. Needless to say, Arc System Works have made it their mission to promote this style of aggressive gameplay that feeds off of stylish combos, insane movement and the anime aesthetic.

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A New Way To Battle and a New Opportunity for Arc System Works

Both the 3v3 and the 2.5D aspect with breathing a fresh new life into the Dragon Ball Fighting Game series. The Dragon Ball games have unfortunately been shunned by the greater fighting game community, even as fighting games grow in esports. In the 3D space, the Dragon Ball games tended to feel slow, featuring too much keep away and attacks that we’re too reliant on chain combos. While it may have been a system that somewhat mimicked the show, it made for a game that was too inconsistent with the action.

If Arc System Works can infuse some of what they’ve been able to master into Dragon Ball, they could create a game that keeps the flurry of action more consistent and it could allow players to explore individual characters more than in previous games.

Speaking of characters, the Dragon Ball universe is choked full of them and 3v3 may lend an opportunity to highlight them all like no other game has seen. As players mix and match combinations of teams, it adds another layer of depth to the gameplay overall. Fans of the series will also have more opportunities to see some of their favorite characters in action. With Arc System Works kinetic gameplay and the expansive universe of Dragon Ball, it's hard to see why this game wouldn’t be a hit.