The release of Dragon Ball FighterZ is almost here, which means it's time for fighting-game fans to start sussing out which characters are the best of the best. Normally that involves countless hours of practice, analysis of said practice, and something called iframes – TONS of iframes. It can take weeks or even months for clear favorites to emerge in the fighting-game community – unless you've got a pro leading the charge.

Lucky for you, I'm still waiting for Monster Hunter: World to come out, so I've got some free time on my hands. Granted, the only fighting game I've played in the past few years has been the random match of Smash Bros., and I've usually been dressed like a huge idiot while doing it . I also have absolutely zero experience with Dragon Ball.* What I do have experience in, however, is being the best damn video game analyst in the industry. I've analyzed about a billion different Pokémon over the years, along with characters from The Witcher, Devil May Cry, and BioShock. On the fighting-game front, I've done expert roster breakdowns before for Smash Bros., Sony Smash Bros., and even Soulcalibur, so I think I can handle a few Dragon Balls.** Onto the analysis!

Name: Super Saiyan Goku
Analysis: Normally when I do this kind of analysis, I read up about each character before making my assessment. However, every entry on the Dragon Ball wiki contains a bible's worth of text! I got about half a paragraph into Goku's description before I passed out, but from what I can tell, Goku is an alien who was sent to Earth to destroy it, but ended up becoming its greatest defender through some kind of shenanigans. Also he has a tail! How have I never seen tails on any of these guys before?!

Anyway, based on this picture, Goku looks pretty formidable – I'm guessing he's probably like Ken, only more powerful because of his tail. Suriel tells me that this is the Super Saiyan version of Goku, which means his body has accumulated enough S-Cells to transform him into – whatever. The point is he's more powerful than normal lame-o Goku.
Battle Assessment: Goku is the star of Dragon Ball, so obviously he's going to kick a lot of butt.


Name: Adult Gohan
Analysis: What the heck? This is just Goku with a different hair color. Apparently Gohan is the son of Goku though, so I guess it kind of makes sense. According to the wiki, Gohan doesn't actually like to fight, and only does so to defend his friends and family. Regardless, he looks about as strong as Goku – though that's probably because they just changed his hair and eye color with the fill bucket in MS Paint.
Battle Assessment: As Goku's son, Gohan could be even stronger than his dad. Unless he's the kind of bratty kid that refuses to listen to his dad when he tells him important things, like how to change the oil in his car, and then his car explodes and he's all "Durrr, I don't know what happened, pops!" I'm guessing Gohan is the latter.

Name: Teen Gohan
Analysis: Oh god, this crap is already confusing – teen Gohan has blond hair like Goku, even though adult Gohan has black hair? I'm just going to assume it's a Super Saiyan thing. Anyway, teen Gohan confirms that he is definitely the brat that doesn't listen to his dad – I wouldn't trust him with any responsibility whatsoever, especially not feeding whatever dumb alien Saiyans keep as pets.
Battle Assessment: If Saiyans are anything like humans, then teen Gohan is probably surging with all kinds of hormones. If he can channel is pent-up horniness into fighting, he may be more formidable than his peacenik adult form.


Name: Super Saiyan Blue Goku
Analysis: Well, at least they're not trying to pass this palette-swap off as another character again. I tried to look up what Super Saiyan Blue means, and the wiki says it's a "form that uses the power of Super Saiyan God with the first Super Saiyan form." I'm just going to assume that means it's more powerful.
Battle Assessment: He's blue now, so probably like a hundred times stronger. Why would you ever use not-blue Goku?


Name: Goku Black
Analysis: What the hell is this? Why isn't he Goku Pink? All the other colored Gokus*** have been named by their hair, and now we're going by clothing? So what, does Goku Black become a different Goku on laundry day?

According to the wiki, Goku Black is the antagonist in something called the "Future Trunks Saga," and involves someone else stealing Goku's identity and also time-traveling. I probably should've led with the time-traveling.
Battle Assessment: I have no idea how the hell Goku Black will stack up to the other Gokus, but you'll probably never be able to tell them all apart during battle anyway.

Name: Yamcha
Analysis: NOPE. This is just Gohan again. He just lost his undershirt and didn't spike his hair. This is probably just Gohan's attempt to fool his dad after being such a bratty son all those years; he'll show up with a new look and an alias and prove to his dad that he's a good fighter, then reveal his true identity after he wins his affections. Classic sitcom shenanigans. Can we get to the weirdo alien characters now?
Battle Assessment: You're not fooling anyone, Yammy!

Name: Hit
Analysis: Now we're talking! Hit's full title is "Hit The Infallible," but he is also known as "Legendary Assassin" (awesome!) and "Never-Miss Hit" (clunky, but still pretty cool). Hit kind of looks like a beefy, alien M. Bison; based on his pose, he clearly knows how bad-ass he is – or else he just doesn't care, which is even more bad-ass!
Battle Assessment: Hit is basically the epitome of cool – though the more I stare at him the more phallic his big purple head looks. Hmm, that's ... problematic.

Name: Captain Ginyu
Analysis: Holy cow! At first I thought Hit's brain exploded, but it turns out Captain Ginyu is his own character – and everything about him sounds insane! The wiki lists Captain Ginyu's gender as male, unless he's in Bulma's body, in which case he's female. What does that even mean?!

The wiki also lists the date of his death as year 774 ... but then he was revived and died again in year 779 ... but then he escaped HELL and died again in year 790. I'm assuming he must've resurrected again since he's in FighterZ now, so I'm guessing he's just immortal?
Battle Assessment: Captain Ginyu is both ripped and presumably unkillable, so he's probably a strong pick.

Coming Up Next: More stunning insight into Dragon Ball FighterZ's fighterz ...  

*Unless you count making immature jokes about the title, which I've practically earned a PhD in. (back to top)
**Told ya! (back to top)
***That sounds racist but I assure you it's not. (back to top)