For generations of gamers, there is a turning point in the long (and amazing) career of Son Goku and his friends on consoles: everything that came before Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, and everything that came after. Because, many have been labeled as being the ultimate dragon ball video game, but few if any are as, as beloved as the Spike trilogy. There must be a reason.
The success of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi it is not due to luck or the use of a secret formula. A fundamental part of it, in fact, is born from what the most successful games inspired by the work of Akira Toriyama and his legacy have in common: knowing equally passionate fans who come directly from manganime and players. In both cases, to those who are looking for what we can consider an authentic Dragon Ball experience through a medium such as video games.
As expected, the announcement of a fourth installment, no less than 15 years after a Dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3 which can only be classified as tremendous, was experienced with an absolutely excessive joy to which a nuance must be added: since 2007, the Dragon Ball Super manga, anime and movies have fallen in love with new generations of fans. And the project we call (affectionately) as Dragon Ball: Budokai Tenkaichi 4 It is also directed at them.
From here, it is time to answer a fundamental question that has crossed our minds at some point, both almost 20 years ago and doing a current retrospective of Goku’s passage through video games: What is the difference between the series? Dragon Ball Z: Budokai (dry) and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi And why was the second one so, so special in its time and now?
From Budokai to Budokai Tenkaichi
After the turn of the millennium, Bandai (later Bandai Namco) will forcefully revitalize the Dragon Ball license through video games. An important part of this was due to the success achieved in America, despite the fact that the work had been completed years ago in Japan, and the quality of a timeless phenomenon.
The other, the most interesting, is how systems like PS2, GameCube or Wii could enrich the experience compared to what has already been seen on 8, 16 or 32-bit systems.
The result of that was Dragon Ball Z: Budokai. A not-so-traditional fighting game based on iconic combo sequences and transformations that was surprising for the level of detail and care put into it. All his successes we owe to Dimps, by the way. However, there was something that was lost in the process: the battles were fluid, but the development of the combats was not exactly like those of “Dragon Ball Z“.
The answer came in 2005 and technically coexisted with the new installments of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai. Spike (currently Spike Chunsoft) released in Japan Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! under the premise that, for the first time in video games, the scale, rhythm, explosiveness and those aerial battles so distinctive of anime were within the reach of fans. And that, logically, meant completely redesigning the control scheme.
In the West the brand Dragon Ball Z: Budokai it worked out of scandal. So much so as to extend its success to this new way of playing and experiencing manganime from its title. Thus, instead of dividing the players into two types of delivery, they opted to give it some continuity by borrowing the name of the maximum competitive Dragon Ball event (the Tenkaichi Budokaior the Great Martial Arts Tournament) as a base.
Now, that beyond the aesthetics, the name and the characters, the experience of the new game of Dragon Ball Z it was quite a hit on the table.
Tons of content to assemble the ultimate Dragon Ball
It does not matter if you knew all the combos of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: start playing the new Budokai Tenkaichi it was almost starting from scratch. Both in the bad and in the good. Of course, the wake of everything that came later makes it clear that it marked the way forward.
It is not that the essentials were lost, since in the end it is about one-on-one combat with transformations and an infinite number of resources to empty the opponent’s health bar. But how to approach the development of an air mobility system that really felt dragonballand a way to unleash the cannon shots of even more frenetic energy.
The first step to achieve this was to redesign the way in which you fight. Bandai did different experiments on it, such as Dragon Ball Z VR, Dragon Ball Z Legends or Dragon Ball Supersonic Warriors and, in a way, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi It has a lot of these three, offering total freedom when it comes to flying, a third-person view from the back of our character or settings on an amazing scale.
On an aesthetic level, the evolution was not that great, but in many aspects Cell Shading and the technology of contemporary systems did not offer much more room for manoeuvre.
Of course, with several deliveries of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai on the shelves, Spike could not disappoint in the most essential: the contents. The first Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi offered nothing less than 60 characters, 90 transformations and 11 stages. Crazy.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi It arrived throughout the month of October in all regions of the world on PS2. The change compared to the other games of Dragon Ball Z, and it didn’t take long for him to gain supporters of his own. And yet, that was only the beginning of an even greater phenomenon.
Perfecting a Success Formula: Is Budokai Tenkaichi the Ultimate Dragon Ball Game?
Let there be at least one new game of dragonball annual is not a new thing. In 2006 the sequel to Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (known as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! NEO in Japan) in which they bet on the classic formula of much more and much better. That was not revolutionary, but a much funnier extension of what has already been seen. And not only that: it marked the entry of the franchise on a newly released Wii.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 for Wii it offered the same content as PS2 (going on to offer up to 135 fighters in the Japanese and PAL versions) and the incentive of being able to use motion controls to play. And that was crazy: by pressing a button on the nunchuk and raising or lowering your hand you could set the height. And yes, you could replicate the Kame-hame-ha or the most iconic movements on the screen to launch them at your opponents.
In fact, the sequel has a special value, since only in it was offered a story mode in which it was possible to fly over the planets in the style Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. However, even without offering this addition, Bandai and Spike saved the best for the trilogy’s golden brooch.
In 2007 it went on sale Dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3 (Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! METEOR) and everything offered was on another level. To begin with, the number of characters is almost a Guinness record, since only two video games –Fire Pro Wrestling Returns and Tobal 2– exceed their 161 fightersincluding characters from Dr. Slump and some created for the occasion, featuring the never-before-seen Great Ape forms of various Saiyans.
But it is that, in addition, everything was polished with not so subtle elements such as alternative versions of the day and night scenarios or an exclusive PS2 system in which you could take advantage of the discs of the two previous installments of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi to access exclusive modes. And what about Wii? For the first time in the saga was included an online battle system. One madness after another.
However, the success of Dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3 It didn’t just come from content additions, that too, but from how Spike had improved the gameplay with new mechanics that gave more rhythm, emotion, dynamism, and depth to the battles like the amazing finishers of the Rush Ki Wavethe counterattacks of Z Counterhe sonic sway or the mythical Z Burst Dash that will remain in everything that came after.
Definitely, Dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3 not only did he set the bar very high, but he continues to delight entire generations of fans of dragonball. Some, in fact, have even modified it to bring it up to date with later manga and anime content. Something that, luckily, it will be official sooner rather than later.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi Reborn
With over a million copies sold worldwide in just one year, it didn’t make much sense to discontinue the path of Dragon ball z budokai tenkaichi 3. However, the reality is that the next generation of consoles was pressing and it was necessary to make the leap. Something that, in many aspects, would benefit both the visual and technical sections.
The common response will have its own name: the successors to the saga will be the two installments of Raging Blast already released for PS3 and Xbox 360. And the leap in quality speaks for itself.
In fairness, Bandai Namco refused to part with the trail of the three installments and even the word Tenkaichi itself in the West. There were millions of compelling reasons not to.
- Thus, and exclusively for PSP, a custom game was launched with special elements such as Dragon Ball Z: Tenkaichi Tag Team (Dragon Ball Tag VS), focused on battles in pairs.
- And not only that, Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi ( Dragon Ball: Ultimate Blast) for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 tried to turn those ideas around, focusing especially on redesigning the experience. Although, to be honest, the game lacked drive and depth.
It is not that Bandai Namco ignored the lessons learned during the saga Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi, but in many ways fully internalized them in many of the games that came after. So that its gameplay, game mechanics remain in a very reliable way in games like Dragon Ball Xenoverse and they have even been adapted to genres not as aligned as fighting as in Dragon Ball Z Kakarot.
Getting it right every time.
Reasons that, added to the tradition of launching at least one new Dragon Ball game every year, make the rebirth of the saga Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi celebrate and celebrate in style.
In March 2023 a new game of Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi. With the contents of Dragon Ball Super and a new aesthetic aesthetic that rivals the anime itself. With more transformations, of course, and the door wide open to legions of new rivals and characters from the start of Dragon Ball’s new youth through all that came with the new manga and anime.
The best Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi? Well, despite the fact that we are convinced that there will be DLCs, it is time to renew and take the genuine emotion that this saga that has swept the world has conveyed so well to a new scale. To the delight of lifelong Goku fans, and for those who enjoyed his battles not so long ago.