It shouldn’t be this hard to start a rumble on Namek.
Image: Bandai Namco
The last time I played Dragon Ball FighterZ I used Alt+F4 to quit the game. The Windows keyboard shortcut to close the current window is a better way to leave the game than navigating its horrible menu system to find the 'quit' option. The menu system is so bad that it’s holding back one of the most exciting games in years.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a fighting game based on the popular Dragon Ball Z anime. Developer Arc System Works has taken the beloved franchise and crafted a game that’s equal parts Guilty Gear and Marvel Vs. Capcom. Super Saiyans fly through the air, fists clench as power rises, and effete villains quip. It’s a blast, but the user interface makes it incredibly hard to get to the fun.
Instead of a traditional menu system, Dragon Ball FighterZ uses a Miiverse style instanced lobby populated by up to 64 players. Instead of choosing what I wanted to do from a menu, I had to pick an avatar and steer it towards the activity I wanted. To play the story, I had to walk to Bulma’s spaceship. The same is true for the practice mode, arcade mode, and the various multiplayer modes—of which there are four. If I left practice mode and wanted to try out my new skills in the arcade, I had to cross a lobby to get there. It’s not a long journey, but there shouldn’t be a journey at all.
Worse, the first time I played I had to pick a world region, then a US time zone, then a region within that time zone, then an instanced lobby within that region. When I left a game mode, the game automatically tried to put me back in the lobby I was in before. If it had filled up while I was playing, I had to make all these choices all over again before I could even quit the game. That’s when I started using alt+F4 to escape.
Users can pull a trigger to warp around the lobby, but warping to the portion of the lobby doesn’t automatically open up the submenu where you access that portion of the lobby’s activities. The whole system is so over-designed and counterintuitive that it feels like someone on the development team hated the game and wanted people to rage quit before they even got a chance to beat up Frieza.
The lack of a functional menu system in Dragon Ball FighterZ is a drag. Actually getting to play as Goku and tossing energy bombs at fools is way more fun than I expected, but everything surrounding it is poison. When I pick up a fighter, I want to fight, not spend five minutes wandering a chibi-avatar lobby wondering which sub menu I need to open to start a ranked multiplayer match.