Dragon Ball FighterZ and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite have been drumming up a lot of attention at , with both of these fast-paced, hyperactive 2.5D fighters playable on the show floor. The former premiered during the , while the latter was at , and both games involve multi-character teams duking it out at breakneck speeds with flashy combos and screen-filling super attacks. They seem to be locked in heated battle over fighting game fans' attention. And while the fighting game community has an unfair reputation for being split up into divided tribes - Street Fighter fans, anime fighters, Smash players, and so forth - DBFZ and MvCI seem to be sending people into a frenzy of praising one and dissing the other. This 'Goku as Drake' meme pretty much says it all.
For years, Dragon Ball Z-themed fighting games seem to have existed on the fringes of the gaming consciousness: their over-the-top brawling is beloved by some, but largely ignored by many who'd rather play or spectate big-name games with plenty of tournament support and high-level players, like , Marvel vs. Capcom 3, or Killer Instinct. But in a brilliant move, Bandai Namco enlisted Arc System Works, best known for making the famed anime fighter series Guilty Gear, to develop Dragon Ball FighterZ. This 3v3 fighter uses the same striking art style as Guilty Gear Xrd, which makes ingenious use of lighting techniques to make 3D models look like 2D animation cels, and like Guilty Gear, the animations are ridiculously fluid; in motion, the fights look like they were lifted straight out of the anime.
Compliments for Dragon Ball FighterZ's style have been blowing up on Twitter, with thousands of folks retweeting screens of the game's vibrant visuals. It's safe to say that a huge chunk of the gaming populace grew up watching Dragon Ball Z on Toonami religiously, so to see a fighting game capture its look so perfectly is causing all those nostalgia synapses to fire into overdrive.
There's also a lot of appreciation for the little details in Dragon Ball FighterZ that adhere to the anime, like deflected fireballs tearing up the environment, or Frieza getting hit by his own Death Saucers super just like in the show.
Meanwhile, hype for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite seems to have cooled considerably in the Twittersphere. As the starts to fill out and we get a closer look at its characters, people are starting to get nervous about the game's art style. MvCI is fast approaching its September 19, 2017 release date, while Dragon Ball FighterZ (set for sometime in 2018) already has people excited despite at this point. MvCI's human faces are being compared to the Rabbids (as inferior), Ken's dopey-looking face in Street Fighter 5, and some infamous Rob Liefield art that makes Captain America look like an impossibly barrel-chested monstrosity.
Even though most people have yet to play either game for themselves, there seems to be a distinct consensus in the Twitter dialogue that Dragon Ball FighterZ is killing Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (as eloquently summarized in the GIF below). All the ill-will toward MvCI could be the result of discontent with Capcom over the bare-bones state in which Street Fighter 5 launched, and some players' perception that promises for consistent content updates haven't been met. It may also be linked to the Story Mode demo for MvCI which launched this week with the intent to stir up hype - but seems to have had the opposite effect, courtesy of lengthy load times and an inability to actually suss out the game's deeper mechanics due to the extremely brief, prescribed matches.
Perhaps it should be expected that fighting games fans might get a little combative or pick sides from time to time - don't we all? But at the end of the day, Dragon Ball FighterZ and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite should peacefully coexist, and the success of one would ideally mean more overall support and excitement for the other. There's really no pleasing everyone; Dragon Ball FighterZ is getting flak from Xenoverse fans who see this new fighter as far too hardcore. Only time will tell which fighting game enjoys mainstream success - but in a perfect world, both games would do great and inspire players to wish the best for one another:
Make sure you check out our full E3 2017 schedule to stay tuned for all the details as they arrive, and check out our roundup of all the E3 2017 trailers. For more E3 2017 highlights, check out our Nintendo E3 2017 recap, PlayStation E3 2017 recap, and Xbox E3 2017 recap.