The Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi series is composed of 3D arena fighting games that simulate the feeling of a big Dragon Ball Z battle. The third entry in particular is frequently hailed as the series' peak, as gamers are able to recreate iconic moments and battles. While other 3D arena fighters have been released post-Budokai Tenkaichi 3, not many games have captured the same spirit as it in the same way since. Other Dragon Ball games have since taken on different approaches, such as FighterZ being a strictly 2D fighting game or the Xenoverse series focusing on having an avatar explore the Dragon World. Recently, producer Jun Furutani went into detail about why Bandai Namco is reviving the classic franchise, as well as its inspirations for the new entry.
In an interview with IGN, Furutani states that he felt it was a perfect time for the Budokai Tenakaichi series to make a return, wanting to deliver an "evolved" Dragon Ball experience on next-gen systems. This was inspired from his time observing the Dragon Ball FighterZ competitive scene, where players enjoyed recreating iconic Dragon Ball battles. As such, he wanted players of Sparking! Zero to have a similar experience. "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]," says Furutani.
Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero being inspired by FighterZ isn't likely to be a surprise, considering how the game is taking on a much sleeker anime-styled look that resembles Arc System Works' game. Furutani explains that during the game's five-year development period, the developers decided on using Unreal Engine 5 to allow for greater immersion and graphical detail. He cites one example, where characters that collide through mountains or boulders after being attacked are rendered in real-time, which fans can see in action by looking at how the environment reacts in the announcement trailer.
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].
Furutani also explains why the game is titled Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero, which is what the Budokai Tenkaichi series is called in Japan. He notes that while the "Zero" subtitle might make it seem like the game is a reboot of the series, the title is instead meant embody this new entry being an accessible starting point for newcomers. During the IGN interview, Furutani beckoned fans to look forward to more details about the game in the future.
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