The open beta of Dragon Ball FighterZ has begun, and I have been enjoying this game more than I could possibly imagine, as I take the competition head-on in the ring.

Dragon Ball FighterZ has the look and feel of the anime, not only because of the gorgeous and striking visual style; the developers have put a bunch of love into crafting this incredible fighter by making each character personal to their manga or anime counterparts. Each punch, kick, special attack, and expression are pulled directly from the source material in incredible detail. Here are a few examples people have compiled on YouTube. (Credit to IKevinX.)

As you begin the beta, you choose your region, select your fighter name, then choose which region lobby you want to compete in. I jumped into the Japanese lobby and got tossed around like a pancake… The lobby is what I assume to be the main menu, when the full game releases, as you can walk around as chibi characters from the roster and walk to each area, which is all sealed off because y’know… the beta. You have access to the tutorial area to learn all about the gameplay mechanics such as super and ultra attacks, the Dragon Ball system, and general commands.

But the main attraction is the online component; you can either jump into a ranked match or just a casual one, but unfortunately, you can’t play with friends, as the search function is random with no invite command. The search pits you against people who are similar to your level or higher, dependant on your parameters, and you can also decide on your how good your opponents internet connection is, as you don’t want to have the excuse you lost because of heavy lag issues.

Now, the beta roster is a nicely balanced array of characters:Super Saiyan Goku, Super Saiyan Vegeta, Adult Gohan, Krillin, Picollo, Android 18, Beerus, Nappa, Frieza, Cell, and Kid Buu. My main team of three consists of Frieza, Kid Buu, and Beerus as they balance each other nicely, especially Frieza, as he has the range to knock my foes off guard and can rush in to throw the beat down upon their sorry asses, whilst Kid Buu has a destructive streak of punches and kicks. Beerus, on the other hand, has a good super attack that stops rushing opponents in their tracks.

Unfortunately, I was going to stream some Dragon Ball FighterZ today, but it’s hard to log in as it’s the first official day of the open beta, and the stress on the servers is proving too much to handle. This is what these beta tests are for, though, testing the servers and getting feedback on the characters for some last minute balancing. But, other than today’s server hiccup during the early access, matchmaking was pretty quick for me, and I was diving into matches in just under a minute of searching.

Overall, I’m thoroughly impressed with Dragon Ball FighterZ, as I knew I would be after experiencing the closed beta, but now I’m even more hyped for the full release in just over a week. Hopefully, I will have even more positive things to say when I eventually get to review this game, but as an early impression of the beta, I am totally stoked for the final release.

Dragon Ball FighterZ launches next week on January 26, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via Steam.