Dragon Ball FighterZ roared onto the scene as an exciting and flashy games for both players and spectators. Coming up on its third anniversary, its player base doesn’t seem to be less any excited about the game’s future, and neither does Bandai Namco. The publisher announced DBFZ’s Season 3 content this weekend, with a February 26th release date, plus some of the fundamental changes that the game will undergo.
Like with any good fighting game update in [insert current year], the Season 3 announcements were made at the finals of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, in a surprise video clip. The gameplay change announcements came in a translated video presentation from Tomoko Hiroki, a producer from Bandai Namco. Hiroki explains that “the general concept of the third season is to deliver users a fresh experience,” with a mix of new features and general adjustments for players of all experience levels.
The first update to arrive is a new character, Kefla, who joins on February 28th. Having premiered in Super in 2017, she’s a fusion between the Super Saiyan versions of Kale and Caulifla, enabled by Potara earrings. Fans consider her to be a surprise appearance in DBFZ, especially given the last “fighter pass” only had four fighters.
Upon the release of Season 3, we’ll also see Ultra Instinct Goku (yes, another Goku, as pointed out by my colleague Jordan).
Possibly the biggest gameplay change is the Z Assist Select. In DBFZ, players pick three characters to fight as in one match. Throughout the match, characters that are still alive can “assist” the current character with a special “assist attack.” However, the new change adds extra Assist Attacks — and lets you select which one the character will use when you call upon them.
The developers hope this means more combo opportunities with many lesser-used characters, plus more character diversity altogether. Hiroki also explains that the changes were to “prevent one sided games caused by specific powerful attacks and combinations.” (So yes, they’re paying attention to the meta.)
In that same breath, Hiroki also promises a new feature that will “give users a chance to turn the tables, even if they only have one character left.” Chances are, this isn’t going to save you when you get dropped into pools against a pro who lost in what they’ll rant about as a fluke match. But it’s likely going to be an exciting-to-watch comeback mechanic for those who’ve mastered it, like Tekken‘s Rage Arts.
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Fans also noticed one slick change in gameplay: the removal of “fuzzies.” High blocks create a mandatory stun period for the defender, which creates unintended openings for opponents to move in on. The resulting attack is a “fuzzy,” and it’s frustrated DBFZ players for months. In Season 3 footage, though, a situation that would call for a fuzzy shows the fuzzy unable to be performed. Obviously, we can’t confirm this yet, but players hope this means that, yes, they did get rid of this for good.
The presentation hinted at other additions, such as new game modes, a new user interface (especially in the character select screen), and mid-season updates. The latter will especially shock players, as Bandai Namco explicitly opted to avoid mid-season changes in order to not disrupt the competitive community. However, with so many complaints about meta and characters in Season 2, competitive players may welcome this change.