Funny To A Point – Rating Every Character In Dragon Ball FighterZ

by Jeff Marchiafava on Jan 19, 2018 at 03:38 PM

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)

Name: Gotenks
Analysis: When I first saw Gotenks, I assumed he was some sort of hedgehog version of Goku. Boy was I way off! It turns out that he's actually "the immensely powerful result of Trunks and Goten successfully using the Fusion Dance." Who are Trunks and Goten, and what the hell is a Fusion Dance? I don't know, and I don't want to know!
Battle Assessment: As far as I can tell, two fused Dragon Ball characters are exponentially more powerful than either individual ... no matter how much they look like a hedgehog. I'm guessing Gotenks is another solid pick.


Name: Majin Buu
Hmm ... I gotta say, as far as aliens go this one doesn't seem that scary. Then again, he looks like he might have genie powers, which would make him super strong – though typically you have to make a wish first in order for a genie to screw you over. So you'd probably still be okay fighting this guy, as long as you don't end the match with some stupid quip like, "I wish all my fights were this easy." – that's how you get stuck in an infinite fight loop!
Battle Assessment: A guy this blobby and pink has to have some tricks up his sleeve. I'm just not sure what they are.


Name: Kid Buu
Analysis: Holy crap! What kind of nightmare is this?! Majin deflated and now he's terrifying! Look at his creepy mouth – I do not want to get stuck in an arena with that thing.
Battle Assessment: Kid Buu is clearly a top contender – both in FighterZ and my nightmares.


Name: Frieza
Analysis: I'll be honest, I'm not 100-percent convinced that Frieza isn't MewTwo ... or that MewTwo isn't Frieza. Anyway, Suriel informs me that all of Frieza's family members are named after "refrigeration devices." I assumed he was joking, but sure enough, his father is named King Cold, his brother is Cooler, and his son is Kuriza, which according to Google is Swahili for "cooling." That last one has to be a coincidence, right?!
Battle Assessment: MewTwo was like the strongest Pokémon ever, so Frieza must also be pretty powerful. I mean, he's got hands for feet – that's creepy and functional!


Name: Beerus
Analysis: Beerus is clearly just a hairless cat, which probably means he's the strongest character in this crazy-ass universe. According to the fan wiki, Beerus is the God of Destruction, and was born over 75 million years ago. So yeah, probably pretty strong.
Battle Assessment: You can't go wrong with a 75-million-year-old cat.

Name: Cell
Analysis: Cell looks like a cosplayer who dressed up as a forgotten alien extra on the original Star Trek series. According to the wiki though, he's actually the creation of a time-traveling scientist who infused him with "all the abilities of the greatest fighters to have ever inhabited or visited Earth." So that's it – he's the best, right? You can't beat someone who has all the powers of everyone else!
Battle Assessment: Cell is referred to as the "Perfect Warrior," and you can't really beat perfect.


Name: Krillin
Analysis: Oh, come on – I know Bonk when I see him. Here's everything you need to know about Krillin: his name sounds like a dubstep DJ, and he has no nose for some reason. Unless the lack of a nose gives fighters super powers in Dragon Ball, Krillin ain't a contender.
Battle Assessment: Now if he was going up against King Drool, on the other hand ...  

Name: Tien
Analysis: I don't have a lot of faith in Dragon Ball FighterZ's human characters, but Tien is clearly an exception – he's got a third eye! Though come to think of it, that's just one more eye he could get poked in during the heat of battle. Regardless, Tien can apparently grow extra arms out of his back, split into four different people, and shoot laser beams out of his extra peeper! I'd say that at least gives him a shot.
Battle Assessment: Tien has some impressive moves at his disposal, which could – oh wait, has he been to Earth? Dammit. Cell is obviously still better then!

Coming Up Next: More super-powerful fighters that probably still can't overcome Cell. Seriously, how is he not broken?


Name: Piccolo
Analysis: A dweeby-looking alien named Piccolo? There's no way this guy is any good! I'm almost afraid to check the wiki at this point. Let's get it over with ...

"Piccolo, also known as Ma Junior, is a Namekian and also the final child and reincarnation of the Demon King Piccolo, later becoming the reunification of the Nameless Namekian after fusing with Kami."

What does any of that mean?! I've made sense of all kinds of ridiculous storylines over the years, but Dragon Ball is downright impenetrable. I'm just going to chalk him up as fine.
Battle Assessment: Truly the piccolo of Dragon Ball warriors.

Name: Nappa
Analysis: Oh please – it's great you've got muscles, Nappa, but you're going up against third-eye laser dudes, million-year-old gods, and a genetically engineered warrior with everyone else's powers, probably including your own. You don't have a chance.
Battle Assessment: You'll need a "nappa" after getting your butt kicked if you choose this loser.


Name: Super Saiyan Vegeta
Analysis: Are we back to Goku clones again? At least this one is wearing some kind of spacesuit, so that's a little different. According to the wiki, Vegeta is another Saiyan and a prominent character alongside all the Gokus and Gohans. He's also the husband of Bulma, i.e., the woman that turns Captain Ginyu female when he's inside of her. I'm guessing that leads to some MAJOR drama in the anime.
Battle Assessment: Like Goku, Arc System Works isn't going to make one of the main stars of the series totally pathetic, so I'm guessing Vegeta will be pretty good.


Name: Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta
Analysis: I figured this was coming. Vegeta is blue now, which means he's even more powerful. He probably found out about Captain Ginyu and Bulma. Look, his smile gone now. He looks pissed.
Battle Assessment: A blue and love-scorned Vegeta is probably a force to be reckoned with.


Name: Trunks
Analysis: This is obviously just an exact copy of Vegeta again, which means it's probably his son. Ha! I finally understand Dragon Ball! Although I don't get why he's called Trunks when he's clearly wearing normal pants – I also don't get why they're being held up by a seatbelt, either. Anyway, what's the deal with the giant sword? Are Dragon Ballers allowed to use weapons? That seems like a huge advantage for Trunks, though considering he's just a normal stupid Saiyan, he probably needs it.
Battle Assessment: I'm not sure how much of a staple Trunks is in Dragon Ball, but his name is stupid and he's just a copy of a copy, so I'm guessing he'll merely be so-so.


Name: Android 16
Analysis: Woah, there are androids in Dragon Ball too? They've got to be stronger than the normal humans, right? I don't think I've ever seen an android that isn't at least as strong as humans – otherwise what the hell is the point? According to the wiki, Android 16 was created by a scientist named Dr. Gero, who based him on his dead son. So basically he's Astro Boy.
Battle Assessment:
I'm guessing Android 16 probably still won't be able to contend with some of the godlike aliens on the roster. Unless he has a machinegun up his butt like Astro Boy. Then all bets are off.


Name: Android 18
Analysis: Oh geez, did Dr. Gero have a dead daughter too? This certainly just looks like an ordinary woman, but based on her numbering, we already know that she can at least beat Android 16 – it's not like you're going to make a new model that's worse than the last two. But forget about the fighting for a minute; the Dragon Ball wiki says that Android 18 actually marries Krillin, and has a daughter named Marron. How the heck are androids procreating with humans?! That seems like quite the revelation and would make all of our fears of a roboapocalypse moot. Whatever. It's Dragon Ball I guess.
Battle Assessment: Following my previous line of logic, Android 18 has to be better than Android 16, which is probably better than all the regular humans, but maybe not the aliens. So Android 18 is probably still a mid-tier pick. Unless she also has butt machineguns.


Name: Android 21
Analysis: Behold, the final FighterZ contestant – and this one can legally drink! Android 21 is so new that there's virtually no information about her on the internet yet. What we do know, however, is that she is the main antagonist of FighterZ, so she's obviously got to be powerful. According to the wiki, she has a move called Hunger Beam, which "Android 21 uses to turn people into food." How messed up is that? One minute you're pulling off a wicked combo, the next minute you're a hamburger! Android 21 can also turn pink like that demonic freak Kid Buu, and can absorb other fighters' energy, which allows her to use their moves. Clearly the 21st time's the charm!
Battle Assessment: Android 21 is obviously the strongest contender in Dragon Ball FighterZ, and it all comes down to her ability to mirror other characters' moves. The first thing you should plan to do is fight Cell, thereby absorbing the move sets of every damn person in the whole Dragon Ball universe. If that's not the ultimate tip for success, I don't know what is. You're welcome!

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