Street Fighter X Tekken was a weird game. You could tell that some effort was put into the roster and the desire to combine Street Fighter’s accessibility with Tekken’s aerial combo action, but you always felt like you’d rather be playing whatever the latest version of Street Fighter IV was. However, one mode that I thought was a great addition to the modern fighter experience was Pair Play. A mode built to take advantage of SFxT’s team-based format, this replaced the traditional format of one player pitting their two-character team against another, and instead created a four-player scenario where each player controlled one character in a 2v2 setup. In combining the competitive nature of fighting games with the co-operative strategy building of team play, it was one of the most refreshing online fighter experiences in a while, and if you were with a group of chatty and friendly players it was always entertaining to hear everybody bicker at one another, as they (occasionally) complimented the successful combos and (more frequently) shouted at each other for ruining a team gameplan that was being made up on the fly. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
Party Match modes in DB FighterZ – the new Pair Play
Let’s slow down for a moment, though – why am I reminiscing over Street Fighter X Tekken in an article about Dragonball FighterZ? Well, earlier this week a new patch came out for the game, updating it to version 1.04. It’s quite a substantial update, adding extra menus and options to make the navigation a little better, as well as improving overall game performance. However, the most significant bullet-point – at least, as far as I was concerned – was the note “Added Party Match”. Unlike the traditional versus mode where two players each have a team of three characters, the Party Match modes (regular party match and ring party match) allow six players to form two teams of three, with each player selecting a single character to use in that team.
Party Match modes in DB FighterZ – how it works
When a match begins, the active players fight one another whilst other team members can send chat messages, encouraging their teammate or advising them to tag out. The active player then tags out using the shoulder buttons as usual, and then control will be handed over to the player who was tagged in. This means that matches are less about mastering three characters and pitting your skills against a lone opponent, and more about playing to your strengths and finding likeminded team members who you can work together with. So now instead of trying to figure out Captain Ginyu, Nappa and one of the Buus (my current team layout of choice; it’s probably an awful combination but I love the movesets), I can just start one of the Party Match modes, pick Captain Ginyu and focus on what he does best – barging into people and summoning the Ginyu Force at inappropriate times.
Party Match modes in DB FighterZ – get connected
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m pretty happy to be playing a fighter that has online team play again, and FighterZ is probably going to be more fun than Street Fighter X Tekken in the long-term. The only downside to the Party Match modes is that connectivity in Dragonball FighterZ isn’t always great when you’re trying to fight with other players, and it’s hard to shake the feeling that getting six players to fight together without online issues could be a bit much to ask. Sure, I’ve been successful in public games, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to try Ring Party Match with people on my friends list. However, if you don’t mind rolling the dice with your connection, the Party Match modes are an entertaining addition to Dragonball FighterZ.
Dragonball FighterZ is available now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.