Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
|Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi|
PlayStation 2 PAL box cover for Budokai Tenkaichi
Namco Bandai Games
|Platform of origin||PlayStation 2
The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series, originally published as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! ) in Japan, is a series of fighting games based on the anime and manga Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama. Each installment was developed by Spike, while they were published by Bandai in Japan and Atari in all other countries, up to Ultimate Tenkaichi. From Raging Blast onwards, Bandai's role will now be filled by the merged Namco Bandai Games and Atari's PAL distribution network has been absorbed into Namco Bandai Partners. Namco Bandai will also handle developing in North America for Raging Blast and all other games beginning in 2010, effectively ending Atari's involvement.
Origin of name
The "Sparking!" in the Japanese title references the last lyric found in the chorus of the first opening theme to the Dragon Ball Z anime series, "Cha-La Head-Cha-La", performed by Hironobu Kageyama. However, the opening theme to the game is the TV series' second opening, "We Gotta Power" (featured in the Japanese version; the English version includes a different, non-vocal song), which is also performed by Kageyama.
The "Budokai Tenkaichi" title of the North American version is a rearranged version of Tenkaichi Budokai (天下一武道会 Tenka'ichi Budōkai , roughly "Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament"). In the series, the Tenka-ichi Budōkai is a gathering of fighters in a competition for glory, fame, and prize money.
Despite its title, the "Budokai Tenkaichi" series is not a continuation of the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series. In addition to a completely different game engine, the game was developed by an entirely different company (Spike as opposed to Dimps). The game is also titled differently from the rest of the Budokai series in Japan. Were it a true Budokai game, it would have been Dragon Ball Z 4 in Japan. Speculation on the English re-title is that Atari chose to market the game as part of the Budokai series in order to capitalize on a pre-existing market of fans already familiar with said game series. The English version also uses a great deal of sound effects and background music made for the Budokai series.
The English release of the game does not feature the same music found in the original Japanese version. While Sparking! features actual music from Dragon Ball Z (and two other pieces from the Dragon Ball franchise and Dragon Ball GT where appropriate) as composed by Shunsuke Kikuchi, the American release of the game features recycled music from the Budokai series (composed in Japan by Kenji Yamamoto).
The games are quite different from the often-compared Budokai series; they use a "behind-the-back" third-person camera perspective. Also different from the Budokai series (and more of a throw-back to games from the Super Famicom era), each form is treated as its own character, with varying stats, movesets and fighting styles, similar to Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors while the free roam element is similar to Dragon Ball Z: Sagas. In battle, players can build up their Ki gauge to execute various techniques such as the Power Guard, which reduces the damage characters take by 1/4. The Ki gauge can also be used to use moves referred to as Blast 2 skills. Every character has a unique set of Blast 2 skills that allow the character to use special moves such as Ki blasts and physical attacks. Characters also have a self-recharging numeric gauge called Blast Stock that allows players to use techniques called Blast 1 skills. Blast 1 skills usually have a supportive effect such as allowing characters to regain health or immobilize the enemy. Players can also power up into a mode called Max Power Mode normally by building up their Ki beyond full at the cost of Blast Stock bars. Max Power Mode makes the character that initiated it faster, stronger, and able to use moves that are exclusive to the mode. One of these moves is the Ultimate Blast which is usually the most powerful move a character has, though use of any Blast 2 skill or the Ultimate Blast immediately ends Max Power Mode.
The story mode of the series (called Z Battle Gate, Dragon Adventure, and Dragon History in each installment, respectively) progresses similarly to the story modes in previous games. Players can select battles from different sagas and proceed through the story of Dragon Ball to Dragon Ball GT, and even several Dragon Ball Z films. The Dragon Balls can be acquired through story mode by destroying the environment in battle; however, the player can only keep the Dragon Ball they find if the battle is won. Each installment features several "what-if" battles and scenarios; for example, the Tenkaichi 1 story mode features modes where the player takes control of a villain and uses the character to defeat the hero, while the Tenkaichi 2 story mode has modes where Raditz and Zarbon essentially team up with the Z Fighters for one reason or another. Several levels of the Tenkaichi 2 story mode also feature cutscenes shown either before or after the fight of the level takes place. The Tenkaichi 3 story mode has cutscenes integrated into the battles themselves that are activated by hitting a certain button. These can be transformations, character changes, automatic attack use, or something as simple as a conversation.
Similar to the same mode in the Budokai series, the player can enter a World Tournament and try to win their way to the top. There are three levels of the basic tournament and a Cell Games mode. Since characters can fly, characters can leave the perimeter of the arena, but will be called for ringout if they touch the ground. There are no restrictions to but the last match of the Cell Games mode is always against Perfect Cell. In Tenkaichi 1 winning the tournaments gave players a Z-Item prize while in Tenkaichi 2, players would receive money which in turn would be used on Z-Items. The World Tournament mode could be played with several entrants, but if there is more than one human player, no prize would be awarded. Other features in the game includes more combo attacks or character specific combos, the Blast Combos, and the Z Burst Dash. The additional combo attacks will be able to help chain in more attacks for more damage and longer combos. The Blast Combo is the normal combos however by inputting the another button into the attack will allow the player to use a blast attack for extra damage. Depending on the moves of the character, the player might not be able to use this feat such as Videl or Hercule. The Z Burst Dash is much faster and more evasive version of the Dragon Dash. It allows the user to get behind the opponent at high speeds for either a strike or to avoid a blast 2 attack. The drawback to this technique is that it will rapidly drain the player of energy.You can fuse characters to make a better character but some characters can not be fused.There is also upgrading characters.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, originally published as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! ) in Japan, is the first installment in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. The game is available only on Sony's PlayStation 2. It was released in Japan on October 6, 2005, North America on October 18, 2005, and Europe on October 21, 2005. It is now a Greatest Hits title.
The game features 81 playable characters in 90 forms and 10 stages for battle. Players can fight across the Earth Wasteland, the Earth Rock Area, Planet Namek, the Islands, the City Ruins, the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, the Cell Games Arena, the Mountain Road, the World Tournament Arena, and Kami's Lookout.
Despite not featuring the original Japanese music, the American release of the game allows for selectable English (Funimation Productions cast) and Japanese voices, while retaining the English-language written dialogue (as adapted from Steven J. Simmons' translation from the original Japanese version's script). However, there are known bugs in the American version of Budokai Tenkaichi that cause pieces of English and Japanese spoken dialogue to cross over into whichever selection the player is using at times, specifically Super Saiyan 4 Goku lacking an English dub audio clip after defeating Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta and Super Saiyan 1 Future Trunks lacking an English audio clip for his super finishing move, Finish Buster, though other examples may also apply.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2, originally published as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! Neo (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! NEO Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! Neo ) in Japan, is the second installment in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. The game is available on both Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's Wii. The PlayStation 2 and Wii versions have different dates of release. It was released on the PlayStation 2 in Japan on October 5, 2006, Europe on November 3, 2006, North America on November 7, 2006, and Australia on November 9, 2006. The Wii version had slightly later releases; it was released in North America on November 19, 2006, Japan on January 1, 2007, Europe on March 30, 2007, and Australia on April 5, 2007. It is now a Greatest Hits title, like its predecessor. Though originally confirmed as being a launch title in North America for the Wii, some stores started selling the Wii version on November 15, 2006. An issue of V-Jump listed January 2007 as the release date for the Japanese version of the Wii release. The game originally featured 129 characters and 16 stages, though the Japanese and PAL Wii versions came with five additional characters (Demon King Piccolo, Cyborg Tao, Appule, Frieza Soldier, and Pilaf Robot/combined form) and an extra stage as compensation of their late releases (all of the added characters reappear in Tenkaichi 3's English version).
Some additional bonus material within the game was the special story modes specifically given to Zarbon and Raditz, whom were attentively treated particularly well with their own game modes, unlike any other characters. One element of Tenkaichi 2 that is absent from Tenkaichi 1 and Tenkaichi 3 is that the story mode allows the player to fly around the Earth and Planet Namek, which was also featured in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. Also during cutscenes more than two characters can be seen on the screen which is more than the other two. In character selection there is a minor glitch in one of the character's name.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, originally published as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! Meteor (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! METEOR Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! Meteo ) in Japan, is the third installment in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. The game is available on both Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's Wii. The game was released in Japan on October 4, 2007, in North America on November 13, 2007 and in Europe on November 9, 2007 for the PlayStation 2 (the Wii version was released in Japan on October 4, 2007, in North America on December 3, 2007, and in Europe on February 15, 2008).
Tenkaichi 3 features 161 characters, the largest character roster in any Dragon Ball Z game, as well as one of the largest rosters in a fighting game. Ryo Mito once stated that the game would feature never-before-seen characters made exclusively for the game, although the only exclusive characters were the Saiyans turning into Great Apes.
Several new notable features include: Battle Replay, night and day stages, the Wii's online capability. Battle Replay allows players to capture their favorite fights and save them to an SD card to view later on. Night and day stages allow for more accurate battles in Dragon Ball History, as well as the ability to transform into a Great Ape by using the moon (although Saiyans such as Scouter Vegeta can still transform in daytime via artificial moons). There are also several other time differences, such as dawn and afternoon. Not all stages provide different times. The player can also change the aura of their character. The Wii version features online multiplayer capability, the first game in the series to have such a feature. Players can fight against anyone from around the globe with a ranking system showing the player's current standing compared to anyone else who has played online. As compensation for the lack of online, Spike has added a new "Disc Fusion System" to the PlayStation 2 version. Inserting a Tenkaichi 1 or Tenkaichi 2 disc during play unlocks Ultimate Battle or Ultimate Battle Z (using different regions of discs will not work), modes featured in the respective games needed to unlock them. The game also supports 480p for both the Wii and the PlayStation 2 versions.
Other features in the game includes more combo attacks or character specific combos, the Blast Combos, and the Z Burst Dash. The additional combo attacks will be able to help chain in more attacks for more damage and longer combos. The Blast Combos are normal combos used in the game, however by inputting another button into the attack will allow the player to use a blast attack for extra damage. Depending on the moves of the character the player might not be able to use this feat such as Videl or Hercule. The Z Burst Dash is a much faster and more evasive version of the Dragon Dash. It allows the user to get behind the opponent at high speeds for either a strike or to avoid a blast 2 attack. The drawback to this technique is that it will rapidly drain the player of energy. Also to charge up all your energy you must have one blast one stock filled up to power up to the very limit.
Critical reaction for the Budokai Tenkaichi series has been mixed to positive. Numerous reviews praised the game's high fighter count and detailed cel-shaded graphics, as well as the high amount of fan service to Dragon Ball Z fans. Some people, however, have taken issue with the games' complex controls. Mark Bozon at IGN said, "The sheer speed and complexity of the controls may turn some people off, but the general combat will eventually come down to two buttons, making the game amazingly easy to learn, but nearly impossible to fully master."
The PS2 version of Tenkaichi 2 received the 'Best Fighting Game of the Year' award from X-Play and the Wii version of the game also received a four out of five from X-Play. The game magazine Famitsu gave the PS2 version of Tenkaichi 3 a 32 out of 40, while the Wii version received a 33 out of 40. IGN awarded both versions of Tenkaichi 3 an 8 out of 10, with their only complaints being the comparatively underwhelming story mode (in comparison to Tenkaichi 2), gimmicky Disc Fusion, and the lagging Wi-Fi.
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- IGN: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
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- The Magic Box: International Videogame News
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- Official Budokai Tenkaichi series website (Japanese)
- Review Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (Spanish)
- Review Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 (Spanish)
- Review Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (Spanish)
- Dragon Ball: Raging Blast website (Japanese)
- DBZ: Budokai Tenkaichi on Namco Bandai (English)