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.

 

Chrisssj2

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If you search "dragon ball z tenkaichi 4 ps2 iso" you should find on top results.

I'll give it a try, but am not a fan of different colored Saiyan hairs (I prefer the original blonde Super Saiyans).
I don't use search engines they are fascists filtering your results.
 
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CrazySquid

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There is a Wii version that is being working on by a different team, however it's going to take time for it to be released. (Maybe this year, but it's more likely that it will be released by the end of 2024 tbh)

I hope the official Tenkaichi 4 isn't some crap like a Ultimate Tenkaichi 2 or something like that, since they showed gameplay of the original BT3 I believe it will be an evolution of it... maybe expanding the battle scenarios limits or even making them dynamic (say, in the anime you could see how Goku and Beerus started fighting on Earth and then they are at almost utter space, they can make something like when you punch your opponent pretty hard and send it to fly to the sky, the scenario changes, or like when in Budokai series you could hit your opponent hard and then it goes flying elsewhere, and the battle map changes),
Improving story mode by combining something like the Tenkaichi 2 story mode + the battles of 3,
better destruction engine (like keeping permanent destruction in the map, more complexity in how stuff gets destroyed),
Better clothes destruction (for example, after receiving multiple energy blast attacks and not sucessfully defend yourself, or even when you get hit hard to rocks)
There are a lot of things that can be implemented, but I hope it gets the Tenkaichi 3 base-gameplay and improves from there instead of trying again new things and failing like the did with most of the other DB games.
 

Marc_LFD

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There is a Wii version that is being working on by a different team, however it's going to take time for it to be released. (Maybe this year, but it's more likely that it will be released by the end of 2024 tbh)

I hope the official Tenkaichi 4 isn't some crap like a Ultimate Tenkaichi 2 or something like that, since they showed gameplay of the original BT3 I believe it will be an evolution of it... maybe expanding the battle scenarios limits or even making them dynamic (say, in the anime you could see how Goku and Beerus started fighting on Earth and then they are at almost utter space, they can make something like when you punch your opponent pretty hard and send it to fly to the sky, the scenario changes, or like when in Budokai series you could hit your opponent hard and then it goes flying elsewhere, and the battle map changes),
Improving story mode by combining something like the Tenkaichi 2 story mode + the battles of 3,
better destruction engine (like keeping permanent destruction in the map, more complexity in how stuff gets destroyed),
Better clothes destruction (for example, after receiving multiple energy blast attacks and not sucessfully defend yourself, or even when you get hit hard to rocks)
There are a lot of things that can be implemented, but I hope it gets the Tenkaichi 3 base-gameplay and improves from there instead of trying again new things and failing like the did with most of the other DB games.
Don't get too excited. Spike will probably borrow a lot from Jump Force / J-Stars and go from there.

Well, that means if you want extra characters you'll have to $$$.
 

CrazySquid

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Don't get too excited. Spike will probably borrow a lot from Jump Force / J-Stars and go from there.

Well, that means if you want extra characters you'll have to $$$.
I try to keep the hype down, 'cause it's possible for the game to be a letdown, but we don't even know if Spike Chunsoft is involved on it, we will have to wait.

Tenkaichi 4 though is a good mod, is a shame that is only on PS2 for now, never liked playing with standard controllers.
 

urbanman2004

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I'm not that desperate to relive nostalgia over the upcoming release of the sequel by trying out this mod. More power to everybody else anyway.
 

Marc_LFD

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Tenkaichi 4 though is a good mod, is a shame that is only on PS2 for now, never liked playing with standard controllers.
If you have a PC/Android/Xbox Series capable of running a PS2 emulator then you can just use that instead.

That's how I play Dreamcast.
 

CrazySquid

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If you have a PC/Android/Xbox Series capable of running a PS2 emulator then you can just use that instead.

That's how I play Dreamcast.
Yeah, I'm aware of that, most of my PCs can handle PS2 emulation fine (even my computer from 2008 which has 4GB of RAM with a Core 2 Duo and a Geforce 9500 GT lol).

Problem is that I got used to play the game with the Wii Remote and the motion controls, I tried a bit the PS2 version, but I didn't like it, for example, you need to push a button to make the character fly faster, whereas in Wii you just regulate the speed by slighty tilting the stick or pushing towards the limits. I feel like the Wii controls are more intuitive and like them more.
Also, when every attacks like Kamekamehas clashes, on Wii you just have to shake the controler and nunchuk, in which in my experiencie didn't hurt the controler (and I was a heavy Tenkaichi player), but on PS2 no only it is uncomfortable for me, but you also have to rip-off the stick by moving it at 360° as fast as you can... I also hated that (with my friends we always joke about that).

Even to this day, I'm still waiting for the Tenkaichi 4 mod to release on Wii, I know it's still being developed since I talk to the devs from time to time, but yeah, it's handled by a different team that is way smaller than TeamBT4, and TeamBT4 wants the Wii version to be on par with the PS2 version, so... it will take time...
 
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GBCBestHandheld

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I had a go at this romhack on my Steamdeck and can say it is actually amazing to see goku black and kefla fighting it out in a PS2 era arena fighter.

The makers of BT4 have done an absolutely amazing job.
 

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