In an ongoing series that aims to shatter restrictive mindsets, we look at how the Dragon Ball Z canon might affect player's thoughts on which characters they use. We'll also examine the age-old phenomenon of "spamming" and whether it's real or another example of mental limitation.
I’ve seen plenty of troublesome posts and tweets through the first few weeks of Dragon Ball FighterZ’s life, and it unfortunately shows no sign of slowing down. I understand that new players tend to have growing pains, especially when learning a new game, but some of the mindsets these players have are not only toxic to the community, but it’s damaging to themselves as a player and as a person. Getting angry about losing to characters that are “weak” in the Dragon Ball Z manga/anime and complaining about “spamming” and “cheapness” are some of the silliest things I’ve seen in my long history with fighting games - but yet these gripes constantly come up. I’m here to, yet again, teach you how to get over that mindset and move towards enlightenment as it pertains to not only Dragon Ball FighterZ, but fighting games in general.
→ Don’t Get Caught In Front of the Canon
If you’re like me, you’ve loved Dragon Ball Z since you were a kid, which means you’ve played every Dragon Ball Z game that’s come out, including the Xenoverse series. While Xenoverse tends to base characters on their storyline powers levels, the creators of Dragon Ball FighterZ could take no such stance. The characters needed to be balanced as best they could in order to preserve the integrity of the game. While early indicators are saying that certain canonically powerful characters retain their status in DBFZ, (Goku Black, Beerus, Hit) we’ve also seen the series’ punching bag, Yamcha, put in some serious work and be considered a strong character. In fact, we’ve probably seen at least one instance of every character in the game being used in high-level play, something we rarely see in fighting games.
It might be hard for some of you to fathom, but in order for you to be successful in this game, you need to understand this simple fact: Canon power level has zero impact on how good a character is in this game. You’re going to see Yamcha beat up Hit (like you saw above), you’ll see Tien beat Perfect Cell this time, and you’ll see Krillin beat up Beerus. It’s all about the player in this case, not the character they’re using.
Yamcha’s in-game power inspired this thread from reddit user CityOcean, who says, “The amount of pressure he outputs, even without assists is incredible. And if he gets the Wolf Fang combos coming out, it's an express trip to Pound Town. His QCB (quarter-circle back) Heavy is a great anti-air and hard knockdowns from any height for easy Spirit Balls. Not to mention the mix-up potential and speed of light attacks that can be linked into Wolf Fang for quick punishes on block. Favorite character for sure.”
One thing’s for certain, you’ll never hear anyone playing Xenoverse say that about Yamcha.
→ It’s Only Cheap If You’re Doing It and I Can’t Beat It, or "Stop Spamming Scrub"
Let me play spoiler to some of you here. If you use the words “cheap”, “spam”, “noob”, “masher” or “scrub”, you’re probably all of those things and more. Every game has its silly stuff, and games now are significantly more balanced than they were in years past (go play the original Street Fighter II against someone who knows what they’re doing, then tell me DBFZ is broken.)
We’ve already covered this mindset in the past and how dangerous it is in general, but with a new game the toxicity of this mindset is amplified. Nothing in a game is unbeatable (unless it’s Magneto’s infinite in MVC2, then it is) and every character has some sort of weakness. No gameplan is foolproof, and there’s always something you can do in a given situation. The question is, can you execute? If you’re sending people hatemail, breaking televisions, and throwing controllers at the wall, the answer is probably no.
One of the most amazingly honest and truthful opinions on this I recently found on IGN’s message board. The user, Jingo_Joe, said about being angry at spammers back in 2008.
“If you fall for spamming tactics, you are not a good player and should not be treated like one. During your playtime online (or even offline! Gasp!) you may have noticed that some moves are more effective than others. Some moves seem to be hard to dodge, quick to start, do a lot of damage, and leave you safe afterwards. Because of these properties, it is in your best interest to use these moves as much as possible to do the most damage to your opponent.The rule of fighting games is to deplete your opponent's health bar before yours is depleted first. Nothing else matters. The game doesn't care if you used 10 different moves.”
It’s sad that almost 10 years later this is still relevant, but here we are. The last part is something I’ve been trying to systematically beat out of my friends for years: The idea of “honor” in fighting games. I’ve had people tell me that spamming fireballs, using air combos, or even throwing to end matches is “dishonorable” and should not be acceptable terms of combat. If you’re of the same mindset, let me tell you something else: there is no such thing as “honor” in fighting games - there are only winners and losers. If I know you find throws at the end of rounds dishonorable, I will only end rounds with throws because I know you won’t expect it, and I’ll win. If you hate air combos, I’ll use them because it gets me closer to my goal of winning the match.
So, if you’re good at using your beams and assists in Dragon Ball FighterZ and get some hatemail, you’re doing something right. If you’re getting beat by that stuff, maybe it’s time to hit the lab or watch some videos. Remember, don’t blame someone else that you lost, it’s your own damn fault.
If you need more help shattering those mental limitations, then read more of the Low-Tier Hero series. If you’re looking for more help with DBFZ, check out our three-part crash course for helping you prepare for combat!