Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero is looking to be one of the best Dragon Ball Z games ever made. Its graphics beautifully capture the anime esthetics as well as epic battles that fans have come to expect from the series. While many fans are happy that the Budokai Tenkaichi series is finally getting a long-awaited sequel, I believe the game is also bringing fans of the Raging Blast games albeit being considered inferior to the Tenkaichi games.

Key Highlights
  • Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero has the potential to deliver the hype of succeeding Budokai Tenkaichi 3 after nearly 15 years.
  • The game can also fill the hole for Raging Blast games as those games couldn’t deliver on their potential.

The Failed Potential Of Raging Blast Games

Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 Gameplay (Image Credit: Bandai Namco)
Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 Gameplay (Image Credit: Bandai Namco)

After the initial conclusion of the Budokai Tenkaichi games, fans were looking for another 3D fighter to satisfy their needs. Luckily, a few years later, we got Dragon Ball Raging Blast, and the game was known as a spiritual successor to the Tenkaichi games at that time. What’s even more interesting is that this was my first experience with a Dragon Ball game and I loved every moment.

This was also the first Dragon Ball game to feature Super Saiyan 3 forms for Vegeta and Broly and let me tell you, while it sucks that there wasn’t a transform option as both characters were separately playable, it was a huge blast to experience them. Apart from the usual story mode, there was a what-if mode and let me tell you, that mode made some of the most fan-wished moments possible like Bardock meeting his grandsons and a battle between Gogeta and Vegito.

However, it had its fair share of setbacks. For instance, there was a lack of a deep combat system that fans could indulge in as there weren’t many options to perform a great combo. While it was great the game featured local multiplayer, it wasn’t that fun as the view for both players was quite limited and it didn’t help that the camera was quite close to the player as well.

Its sequel, Raging Blast 2, enhanced the gameplay and graphics making it more enjoyable than its predecessor. Despite the improvements, the game replaced the story mode with galaxy mode. Although it could’ve been a great additional mode, there was no reason not to add the story mode again as the previous game didn’t go into much depth.

Nevertheless, it did feature a nice 30-minute OVA that I enjoyed with new visuals as this was the time that Dragon Ball Super wasn’t a thing nor were we aware of the franchise’s comeback in 2013 with new movies. So for a kid who recently got into Dragon Ball at that time, this was a personal feast to enjoy. While the game could’ve done more, I’d hoped that the next game would deliver on its potential but boy was I wrong.

Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi Failed To Deliver Any Quality In Its Gameplay (Image Credit: Bandai Namco)
Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi Failed To Deliver Any Quality In Its Gameplay (Image Credit: Bandai Namco)

Now, after Raging Blast 2, you’d expect the developers to simply go for Raging Blast 3 and give the series a proper sendoff. But no, we got Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi, and not only did it butcher the Tenkaichi name it was also one of the worst Dragon Ball games I ever played.

While the game featured an “Open World” mode like the Budokai games, there wasn’t much to do as it was just static flying with no adjustment to speed whatsoever. The only good things I could say about the game were its soundtrack, graphics, and animated cutscenes that you could experience in HD, something Dragon Ball Kai should’ve been.

Nevertheless, it did feature a character creation mode but it felt pretty lackluster and didn’t offer much to enjoy. What’s even worse is the game reuses the combat movements from the Raging Blast games but replaces the combat mechanics with rock-paper scissor-style gameplay. This was one of the most frustrating parts of the game as everything felt repetitive and there wasn’t any ounce of fun I could squeeze out of this game.

The story mode itself was horrible as it was 90% of the time just characters standing there and moving their mouths and nothing else. Yes, the game did feature giant boss battles but even that got repetitive and the QTEs were one of the worst I’ve ever seen. What could’ve been a great conclusion turned into an utter disaster I don’t feel like going through again.

Interestingly, a fan has been working on what Raging Blast 3 could’ve been and the video showcases massive potential had the game not taken the Ultimate Tenkaichi route. The beautiful anime visuals along with great gameplay resembling the Tenkaichi series were what the game should’ve been. Fortunately, Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero is here to fill that hole the previous games left behind.

Sparking Zero’s Chance To Deliver On A Big Potential

After nearly 15 years, we finally got the reveal of Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero which is the true successor to the Budokai Tenkaichi series. Not only does it look like the game came straight out of the anime, but its eye-popping visuals are a sight to behold. Apart from its great gameplay, the game will feature the biggest roster to be ever included in a Dragon Ball game with a whopping 164 characters in total (excluding potential future DLC).

Even if someone hasn’t played the Budokai Tenkai games, Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero can be the title that brings every Dragon Ball fan together for an epic adventure. Heck, if you’re a fan of Dragon Ball Fighterz, then consider this game to be the 3D version of Fighterz. The big roster has a great chance to bring characters from the start of the series to Super including GT as well.

So if you’re nostalgic for an old game or just wish to experience a great 3D fighter, then Dragon Ball: Sparking Zero has the potential to deliver all the hype if everything goes well. The important thing is that the developers take their time to deliver a masterpiece that’ll also be a wonderful tribute to its creator, Akira Toriyama.

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As a Senior Computer Science student, I have honed my skills in content writing, graphic design, video editing, and web development. During my free time, I find solace in the realm of gaming and immerse myself in the vibrant world of anime.

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