Perhaps the most fondly remembered game series ever adapted from the Dragon Ball The manga and anime universe is about to return. During the Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour 2023 event on Sunday, Bandai Namco announced that a new Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi game is in development, more than 15 years since the last mainline entry in the series.
The new game does not yet have a title, release date, platforms, or even an official trailer upload shared by various YouTube channels during the weekend. However, the official Twitter account of the Dragon Ball Games Battle Hour event also shared a version of the trailer, and it is clearly authentic. (The version of the trailer that appears on YouTube refers to the subtitled series given in Western markets, Budokai Tenkaichi, while the event-shared version uses the Japanese name Sparking!)
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi first appeared on PlayStation 2 in 2005, and was quickly followed by two sequels in the next two years (which also made their way to Wii). That’s it, as far as mainline games go, although there were a few spin-offs too: Tenkaichi Tag Teama 2010 PlayStation Portable title; Ultimate Tenkaichi, a 2011 PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game that somewhat messed with the gameplay formula; and the improbable Dragon Ball Z for Kinect as of 2012. Spike (later known as Spike Chunsoft) remained the developer throughout.
The Budokai Tenkaichi fighting games are notable for their huge roster of playable characters (and alternate character forms) and their over-the-shoulder 3D camera, which gives combat a very dynamic feel. The new entry’s trailer doesn’t reveal much, but it does show a beautifully sculpted Goku undergoing a dramatic transformation. And reactions from fans, long starved for a new Budokai Tenkaichi game, have been too quite intense.