GBAtemp Recommends: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4

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The number of Dragon Ball video games out there is a staggering figure. Even though it’s not officially an annual franchise anymore, there’s still a steady supply of Dragon Ball content coming out, whether it’s traditional 3D action games like Xenoverse, competitive fighters like FighterZ, or RPGs, such as Kakarot or Fusions, you can get your dose of DBZ-related goodness in a ridiculous variety of ways.

Despite enjoying Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot thoroughly, and looking forward to its upcoming DLC, part of me still yearns for an experience that’s a little more action-packed, a game that has more robust mechanics than Bandai Namco’s recent attempts, to put it simply, something more akin to Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3. I’m not alone in my sentiment; plenty of fans still revisit both the Budokai and Tenkaichi series, despite the titles being old enough to the point that Dragon Ball: GT was still relevant. And sure, there are newer games that tried to capture what made the Tenkaichi series so beloved, but I can say with certainty that none of them ever fully incorporated deep, fast-paced combat, with such a crazy character roster, on top of being the perfect sandbox game like Tenkaichi 3 did.

In a perfect world, Bandai Namco would have created Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4, giving the fans exactly what they want. And, well, they did, with the very recent reveal of a direct sequel to BT3 made more than 15 years after its release. There’s been a massive amount of Dragon Ball since then, which would fit beautifully into a brand new game. This is the exact thought that a group called Team BT4 had, before Bandai Namco did, when they decided to take matters into their own hands, and create a romhack, making Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4 before Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4 was a thing, officially.

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Tenkaichi 4 (the fan-game) is a huge overhaul of Tenkaichi 3, adding new story content, characters, maps, songs--just about everything you can think of has been modified and expanded upon. Everything from Dragon Ball Super has been incorporated, featuring a fully-voiced story (using lines from the Super anime), with cutscenes, and custom-made character models. The massive roster from Tenkaichi 3 has seen some changes, writing over extraneous non-canon inclusions like Dr. Wheelo and making room for characters from Super, like Goku Black, Beerus, Hit, Jiren, Kefla, Zamasu, and more, each of which has their own attacks, costumes, and animations, right down to every tiny detail, taken right from anime, and flawlessly put into this 15-year-old-game. Transformations like Super Saiyan God, Golden Frieza, Super Saiyan Rage, and Ultra Instinct are here, too, as are updated appearances for Gohan, Trunks, Broly, and others.

The attention to detail that Team BT4 has put into this project is incredible; not only did they make every one of the new characters' movesets feel perfectly adapted from the show, but they also added a complete campaign mode that covers all of the major beats from Dragon Ball Super, and the movies. On top of that, character biographies have been updated to include Super-related lore, in the game's oft-neglected reference section. It's small stuff like that which really makes the romhack feel like a lot of care and effort was put in. Clothing damage, a feature from Tenkaichi 2, has been patched back in, which is yet another nice addition.

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Since this is originally a PlayStation 2 game, the graphics are a tad dated and blurry, but thanks to modders, there's a texture pack available on GBAtemp itself that supports Tenkaichi 4. There is sadly no Wii version of the romhack, being playable only through PS2 emulators, or as a PKG file for modded PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 systems. Custom texture loading and widescreen support are seamless features available in newer builds of PCSX2.

Though Bandai Namco may have made dreams come true with their announcement of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 4 tonight, if you can't wait for the real deal, you can always get a taste of what might be, by playing this version of Tenkaichi 4. Or, if you want something that you know for sure will be authentic to your memories of Tenkaichi 3, then this stays nostalgic, while freshening up the whole experience.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.

 

CoolMe

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Wow, never knew this romhack existed.. BT3 is like one of my most played games ever on the PS2. I might check this out some day..
 
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Marc_LFD

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The first screenshot shows how the franchise "jumped the shark." I.e., they just changed the color of their hair than anything else.

Oh, and the names, too:

Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan (which eventually was retitled Super Saiyan God Blue because SSGSS is just stupidly confusing).

I know SSJ4 isn't popular as it's "not canon," but that shows the origins of the Saiyans (their tail).
 

ShinyLatios

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I cant believe this post is how I find out DBZBT4 is now an officially announced thing.

Cant wait for my brother to kick my ass again, atleast this time I wont be forced to use the motion controls controller lmao
 
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Marc_LFD

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I cant believe this post is how I find out DBZBT4 is now an officially announced thing.

Cant wait for my brother to kick my ass again, atleast this time I wont be forced to use the motion controls controller lmao
You'll probably have to pay for extra characters, and if you're lucky, transformations will be free. lol
 

CoolMe

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Does this work in OG hardware (PS2), or just in PCSX2? (nvm, it is explained above)

Also, this is a bit unrelated, but the "GBAtemp recommends" section above looks like this for me (using the Dark theme).. Just a heads up.

Screenshot_20230306-Chrome.jpg
 
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Marc_LFD

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Does this work in OG hardware (PS2), or just in PCSX2? (nvm, it is explained above)

Also, this is a bit unrelated, but the "GBAtemp recommends" section above looks like this for me (using the Dark theme).. Just a heads up.

View attachment 357407
I've tried other T3 mods on my PS2 and they worked, so guess this one should, too.

My favorite is T3 NTSC-U with the JPN Score.
 
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FAST6191

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Man front page has me feeling like it's early 2000s
Yeah that image popped up in the search for things on the matter and if there was anything that screams "DBZ fan art" more than that I don't think I could take it. There was then no other choice for a base for the banner/front page image.
 

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