“Sparking! OMEGA” (PS3/360) Coming This Year?
Published by 18 May 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

UPDATE: It seems fandom got a bum steer on this one. The sources listed below grabbed the news per the usual cycle and locations (text descriptions of upcoming magazines 3-5 days before release on Japanese chat/image boards), but it was unfortunately all just a ruse on the part of one Japanese fan, most likely taking advantage of the confusion over the supposed Dragon Ball Z HD (Collection). Additionally, it seems said fan has been trying the Sparking! OMEGA name for several years at this point, and just happened to get it to stick this time around. Needless to say, there is absolutely nothing about the supposed game in this month’s issue of V-Jump (or its monthly website refresh), which is now officially on Japanese shelves.

Andriasang and Siliconera are both reporting that the upcoming issue of V-Jump (2012 Issue #7, on sale 21 May 2012) will reveal Sparking! OMEGA for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game is apparently set to have the largest cast ever and will be available this winter.

Coming off a three-game Dragon Ball Z (Budokai) series for the PlayStation 2 (and Gamecube for the first two games) developed by Dimps, Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! was originally announced and released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2005, released internationally as Budokai Tenkaichi, as developed by Spike. The sequel, Sparking! NEO (Budokai Tenkaichi 2), was released the next year and eventually also made its way to the Wii, including a few extra characters in its Japanese and European incarnations. The final Sparking!-proper games in the series, Sparking! METEOR (Budokai Tenkaichi 3) was released simultaneously for the PlayStation 2 and Wii in 2007, featuring just under 170 distinct character forms to play as (running the gamut from Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta to nameless Freeza Solder).

The series received a reboot of sorts when the “next generation of Sparking!” was released as Raging Blast for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009. The following year saw Raging Blast 2 (with its included special feature, Plan to Eradicate the Super Saiyans), while this past October saw the release of Ultimate Blast (Ultimate Tenkaichi), a re-skinned version of the games with simplified controls and a character creation story mode. Along the way, TAG VS (Tenkaichi Tag Team) was released for the PSP in 2010 featuring tag-team battles and a control scheme more similar to the original Sparking! games.

It will be interesting to see how a Sparking!-proper game will be handled. The shift to Raging Blast on the current generation of consoles also shifted the control scheme significantly enough, changing up the implementation of super moves from button combinations including the triggers, a directional button, and an action button to simply knocking the right analog stick in one of four directions. Additionally, all three of the Sparking! games and all three of the Blast games in Japan received a musical score with newly-synthesized versions of the original Shunsuke Kikuchi score from Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z (along with a couple key pieces from Dragon Ball GT, movie, and insert songs) — the international releases of the games all received replacement soundtracks.

This is all in addition to the confirmed Dragon Ball Z for Kinect due out this October, and the nebulous Dragon Ball Z HD (Collection) floating around international retailer sites, the latter of which may or may not be related to the Sparking! series in some way. Maybe we will finally have that Battle of Omega that many fans have been waiting for…?

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