The gameplay trailer for Dragon Ball Sparking! Zero, a.k.a Budokai Tenkaichi 4, took the fandom by storm by rewarding their patience. Fans have been waiting since Mar 5 for some updates, and a trailer dropped at the Game Awards out of nowhere.
To add the cherry on top, Game Producer Jun Furutani informed us, on Dec 8, 2023, that Sparking! Zero was in development for 5 years! Fans know that Bandai has been cooking something big for years and it is now proven by the game producer himself that “It is the perfect time for the series to return and deliver an “evolved” Dragon Ball Z gameplay experience on next-gen consoles. ”
For instance, he talked about how the graphics are improved to such an extent that the game world will feel ever more immersive, thanks to the technology of Unreal Engine 5, the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool!
“What was interesting to see with [Sparking! Zero] was the effect on the environment. When Goku is charging his ki, you have a little bit of wind picking up. When someone crashes through a boulder or a building [after an attack] it’s happening in real time. We’ll be using Unreal Engine 5, so the graphics are just that more real and immersive.”
(Goku moving around while the area gets destroyed)
While answering how he came up with this, Furutani says he drew inspiration from his time observing how players in Dragon Ball FighterZ’s esports scene enjoyed recreating iconic battles from the anime.
He further explains how this next installment in the Budokai Tenkaichi series will be different from the others like FighterZ, Xenoverse and Kakarot:
“Sparking! Zero is different than [Dragon Ball FighterZ, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot]. FighterZ was created with esports intentions with 2D fighting. Kakarot was about experiencing the story. Xenoverse [had players] go in as an avatar into the world,” Furutani said. “The focus here is to push the limits of how much a player can completely immerse themselves into the world and how intensely we can make that [happen].”
Fans referred to the previously unnamed title as Budokai Tenkaichi 4 prior to the world première of the new Budokai Tenkaichi trailer earlier this year. In September, Gematsu identified a Bandai Namco trademark application that disclosed the game would be relabelled with the Japanese series’ original name, “Sparking.”
About Dragon Ball:
Dragon Ball is a manga series by Akira Toriyama. It first began its serialization in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1984.
The manga was later adapted into a multitude of animated series, movies, and games.
The franchise consists of five different anime series, about 21 animated movies, and around 10 games spanning various platforms, from Famicon to Playstation and Xbox.
Synopsis of the Dragon Ball anime:
The story of Dragon Ball follows the life of Son Goku, a monkey-tailed boy loosely based on the traditional Chinese folk tale Journey to the West, from his life and adventures as a child all the way up to being a grandfather.
During his life, he fights many battles and eventually becomes (arguably) the strongest martial artist in the universe. He is not without help, however: the comic boasts a large ensemble cast of martial artist heroes and villains which provide the conflict that drives the story.