Sparking Zero Has The Recipe For Perfect Dragon Ball Game

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The Ultimate Dragon Ball Simulator For Fans!

Story Highlight
  • Dragon Ball Sparking Zero has the potential to be the definitive gaming adaptation.
  • It presents a balanced approach, offering the best of all worlds compared to recent games.
  • Following the passing of Akira Toriyama, Spike Chunsoft should make sure to honor his work with a new benchmark for anime games.

Following a troubling transition to the HD era of games, Dragon Ball finally found its footing in the gaming industry again over the last decade. With successful titles like Xenoverse 2, FighterZ, and Kakarot expanding on different elements of the franchise, Bandai Namco seemingly has everyone covered.

However, the publisher announced a much-anticipated revival last year. Dragon Ball Sparking Zero came out of left field in early 2023, its excitement amplified by a nostalgic trailer that depicted an evolution of the original Tenkaichi series.

With over 160 characters, this revival seems to be taking all the right cues from Tenkaichi 3, seemingly having the formula for the ultimate Dragon Ball game on its hand.

Why it matters: No single Dragon Ball game offers a complete package today. FighterZ lacks a strong story mode, Kakarot’s gameplay is overly simplified, and Xenoverse caters to RPG fans.

A Dragon Ball Simulator Through and Through

Dragon Ball: Sparking! Zero
Super Saiyan God Goku From Dragon Ball Sparking Zero

Since Bandai Namco’s current offerings are positioned as titles with specific strengths, Dragon Ball Sparking Zero could be the jack of all trades fans have longed for.

The gameplay, while not as complex as FighterZ, is an evident step up over that of Kakarot and Xenoverse 2. The story mode, perhaps not as detailed as the RPG-like experience from Kakarot, will be a retelling of canon events, making it a far cry from the mind-numbing narrative of FighterZ.

Excluding the custom events of Xenoverse 2, Sparking Zero proudly boasts the first rendition of Dragon Ball Super’s story mode in a major AAA release, presenting the team an opportunity to portray characters like Goku Black, Jiren, and Hit in all their glory.

Dragon Ball Sparking Zero also appears to have taken a few cues from FighterZ, finding a balance between the more manga-accurate art style of the 2D fighter and Cyber Connect 2’s brilliant work on Kakarot.

The result? Eye candy for all Dragon Ball fans with vibrant colors, mesmerizing cell-shading, and fluid animations.

The Tenkaichi 3 Sequel We Deserve

With the team heavily playing to the nostalgia of Tenkaichi 3, I fully expect Sparking Zero to be the most feature-packed modern Dragon Ball game.

Tag-team battles, destructible environments, what-if stories, fusions in real-time, and playable giants were just a few features that made Tenkaichi 3 such a memorable experience.

The latest Dragon Ball Sparking Zero trailer has already confirmed a playable Great Ape Vegeta. New scans also reveal lesser-known characters like Kakunsa, so I can safely expect every major character to join the roster.

YouTube video

The team also seems to have included destructible environments, pushing the intensity of battles to new heights using Unreal Engine 5. Overall, Dragon Ball Sparking Zero has the potential to usher in a new age of arena fighters, a genre that has stagnated in recent years.

With the passing of Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball games will be a major part of his legacy moving forward.

Dragon Ball Sparking Zero seems to be the culmination of his work on the Dragon Ball IP in video game form, and I hope it sticks the landing after incredible build-up over the past year.

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