Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

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Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by WittyUsername » Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:10 am

The game was pretty noteworthy back in its day, not just for being the first Dragon Ball console game that allowed you to create your own character (which the Xenoverse games obviously did significantly better), but also for its extremely unusual fighting system. I myself wasn’t crazy about the rock-paper-scissors mechanic of the game, but I will give the developers at Spike some credit for attempting something new. I know the game wasn’t exactly loved back in the day, but it’s been completely forgotten nowadays. My question is, would there have been any potential in sequels with the same system?

I will just say this, out of all the Dragon Ball games to date, UT has the best looking ki attacks. The beams in the game are downright beautiful to look at, and are wonderfully over the top. I know that’s a really shallow thing to bring up, but I wish the newer games could have attacks like that.

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by MKCSTEALTH » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:49 am

I think it was great in concept, not necessarily execution. I like the idea of mechanics such as ki volley struggles, rush attack struggles, stage destruction, and it was the first game to introduce character creation and giant boss fights. However, its execution was very, very poor, but it was a noble attempt at something different. The one plus I'll give it: it continued the moments of detail found in the Raging Blast series, from attack accuracy to the show/manga to hair spiking up when going Super Saiyan

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:12 pm

Ultimate Tenkaichi had a sickening amount of potential, which is one reason why so many people hate it.
Yes, it was the first (console) Dragon Ball game to have a character creator, but said creator was severely gimped. Remember, you could only create male Saiyans and you had about three hair styles (including "bald") and four clothing options (two original outfits and two variants of them) between them. So if you wanted to create a Namekian, you had to just color your Saiyan green, make them bald, and roleplay— which was shattered when they went Super Saiyan, of course. If you wanted a female Saiyan, tough luck unless you identified your character as female for whatever reason. If you wanted to play as Freeza's race or as a human: what are you, insane?
And even if you wanted to play as a male Saiyan, you could only have a Not-Super Saiyan Goku's hairstyle or Raditz's hair or, as mentioned, a chrome dome unless you unlocked more as you played. The fundamental problem with that is that in character creators in every other game, you're supposed to unlock more clothes as you play— not fundamental aspects of your character's body.
Only when you completed the Hero Mode and grinded enough to unlock everything did you finally have what you should have started with in the first place.

I also didn't like size making such a massive difference to your play style. Size affecting stats is one thing. When it affects which moves you can and can't use, however, you've made some critical errors, especially considering this was supposed to be a roleplaying mode.

And then you can bring up the atrocious fighting system. The different modes based on how far you were from your opponent is fine— I actually liked that it shifted from an over-the-shoulder perspective at long range to a 2.5D perspective close up. It was just the actual act of fighting where everything went straight to Hell and then dug even lower and discovered Unterhell, the realm of the void. It was simultaneously too simple and too complex and all around unenjoyable. People call it "Rock-Paper-Scissors", but it always came across to me like "Heads or Tails".


What's tragic is that there was a lot of stuff that worked. This could have been a "Legacy of Goku > Legacy of Goku 2 > Buu's Fury" situation where the first game is dire, the second game is actually awesome, and the third game is an actual game. The ability to choose a master's fighting style was brilliant— it's too bad the fighting mechanics were too shit to take advantage of it, but learning and using Roshi's or Ginyu's fighting styles in battle is a fantastic concept. Far superior to Xenoverse in that regard because it gives your CaC a bit more originality and individuality.

Let's remember, Ultimate Tenkaichi came out during the Dark Ages of Dragon Ball. IIRC, Namco's reportings saw that the IP as a whole was worth around $20 to $25 million that year. To put it into perspective, most games are sold at around $40 to $60. Dragon Ball games circa 2010-2011 were selling so poorly that a single million-seller would have doubled the value of the IP. And that's only considering gross earnings, not net earnings.
So if you're expecting a game to push maybe 500,000 to 700,000 copies at absolute most like DB games were around that time, you're not going to give it a massive budget.
Ultimate Tenkaichi was probably in development since around 2007 to 2008 in some form, and we had gotten Budokai Tenkaichi 3 and Burst Limit, which were the last "big selling" Dragon Ball games before Xenoverse. From our perspective, it was a descent into shittiness for about seven years with a few gems (mostly on handhelds), but at the time, it looked like a return to form. Namco likely planned all of these grand features for Ultimate Tenkaichi such as a character creator and a brand new, entirely original storyline, with RPG elements and an in-depth fighting system. But then Dragon Ball games stopped selling thanks to aggressive mediocrity, oversaturation, and the fact Dragon Ball itself wasn't on air and hadn't been for years. There was nothing new going on outside Dragon Ball Kai, which was considered a disappointment at the time even though we look back upon it somewhat fondly nowadays. Yo! Son Goku and His Friends Return!!, which was pretty much the prequel to Battle of Gods, was a Japan-only release that was also released like DB movies typically were— at a festival alongside other anime films. So no one in the West saw it.
Thus, a lot of that ambition for Ultimate Tenkaichi had to face reality. So with a tiny budget, they likely had to decide whether or not to build a good fighting mechanic or do something cheaper. They may have had big ideas for Hero Mode, but they ran out of money to implement them.

2011 was easily Dragon Ball's nadir. It wouldn't get a substantial boost until Battle of Gods in 2013, and DB games wouldn't become blockbusters again until Xenoverse and Dokkan Battle in 2015. Nowadays, the IP is worth a billion dollars. If Ultimate Tenkaichi 2 was made today, it would probably have a budget 20x larger than the first game and all of the cost-cutting measures wouldn't be there.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by JohnnyCashKami » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:49 pm

Maybe, maybe not. The reanimated Dragon Ball Z scenes looked gorgeous and the newly composed score exclusively for it made it even better, it was quite a treat.

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by The Tori-bot » Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:06 pm

No. It's the worst Dragon Ball game I've ever played (for home consoles anyway... *shivers at Taiketsu*). You might as well flip a coin for several hours. It's practically the same experience and just as much fun. I don't think any amount of improvements or fresh paint would make that gameplay system enjoyable. It's inherently, fundamentally bad.

If they'd just perfected the gameplay of RB2 and expanded its roster to include non-DBZ characters, it could have truly been the ultimate Sparking!/Blast game. Instead we got something with 1/3rd of the roster from the previous year's offering that feels like a smartphone game some intern crapped out in an afternoon with the same old engine.

The character creation mode was a joke, too. They did slightly less than the bare minimum.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Kunzait_83 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:22 pm

The Tori-bot wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:06 pm
No. It's the worst Dragon Ball game I've ever played (for home consoles anyway... *shivers at Taiketsu*).
I dunno man. Worse than Sagas even? :sick: :sick:

*Note: NOT a defense of Ultimate Tenkaichi, which is indeed absolute pig vomit. Just saying, lets keep in mind how bloodcurdlingly VAST of an open field there is of absolutely unplayable dogshit DBZ games there are out there.

Taiketsu though: THAT certainly takes the crown not just for worst DB game on handheld, but I'll go so far as to say worst DB game period. EVER. Out of ALL of them together as a collective whole.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by sunsetshimmer » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:20 am

With its "rock scissors paper" i don't think it would be good series. It's fine for a single game.
Although i still consider this game to be the best looking DB game ever made and it had interesting Hero mode.
How many games let you fight SHENRON himself? Also, boss fight against Baby was very cool with fighting scenes ripped directly from anime. Other than that, there wasn't much gameplay in it.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:51 am

sunsetshimmer wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:20 am
With its "rock scissors paper" i don't think it would be good series. It's fine for a single game.
Although i still consider this game to be the best looking DB game ever made and it had interesting Hero mode.
How many games let you fight SHENRON himself? Also, boss fight against Baby was very cool with fighting scenes ripped directly from anime. Other than that, there wasn't much gameplay in it.
That's why I say giving it a much more substantial budget to actually put in gameplay would work.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by emperior » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:26 am

I don’t understand why they couldn’t just completely re-use Budokai Tenkaichi 3’s fighting system and basically make UT a BT4 with pretty graphics and Hero Mode. If it was a PS3 spiritual successor to the BT serie gameplay-wise (but with created characters) I bet it would have sold much better.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by DBZAOTA482 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 7:30 pm

The game did just about everything right... except the actual gameplay.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by nato25 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 pm

This is the only DBZ Game I have returned since the Budokai 1 days and I barely return any game (also Sonic Forces). I just have to say no. Hero mode was so limited. Only thing this game is remembered for in my opinion is the destruction (which was all pre determined) being the first character customisation game (which was extremely shallow) and having some cool boss fights with giant characters. (and also debuting the Kai dub cast I believe)

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Naruto6583 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm

nato25 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 pm
This is the only DBZ Game I have returned since the Budokai 1 days and I barely return any game (also Sonic Forces). I just have to say no. Hero mode was so limited. Only thing this game is remembered for in my opinion is the destruction (which was all pre determined) being the first character customisation game (which was extremely shallow) and having some cool boss fights with giant characters. (and also debuting the Kai dub cast I believe)
I think RB2 debuted the kai cast
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:45 pm

Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm
nato25 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 pm
This is the only DBZ Game I have returned since the Budokai 1 days and I barely return any game (also Sonic Forces). I just have to say no. Hero mode was so limited. Only thing this game is remembered for in my opinion is the destruction (which was all pre determined) being the first character customisation game (which was extremely shallow) and having some cool boss fights with giant characters. (and also debuting the Kai dub cast I believe)
I think RB2 debuted the kai cast
Raging Blast 2 debuted the Kai cast.
Raging Blast 2 also sent off the OG FUNi cast.

Often times within a sentence of each other.

It was indeed an embarrassing shitshow.
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Naruto6583 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:52 pm

Yuli Ban wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:45 pm
Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm
nato25 wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:12 pm
This is the only DBZ Game I have returned since the Budokai 1 days and I barely return any game (also Sonic Forces). I just have to say no. Hero mode was so limited. Only thing this game is remembered for in my opinion is the destruction (which was all pre determined) being the first character customisation game (which was extremely shallow) and having some cool boss fights with giant characters. (and also debuting the Kai dub cast I believe)
I think RB2 debuted the kai cast
Raging Blast 2 debuted the Kai cast.
Raging Blast 2 also sent off the OG FUNi cast.

Often times within a sentence of each other.

It was indeed an embarrassing shitshow.
I thought it was Ultimate Tenkaichi that issue?
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by WittyUsername » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:29 pm

Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:52 pm
Yuli Ban wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:45 pm
Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm

I think RB2 debuted the kai cast
Raging Blast 2 debuted the Kai cast.
Raging Blast 2 also sent off the OG FUNi cast.

Often times within a sentence of each other.

It was indeed an embarrassing shitshow.
I thought it was Ultimate Tenkaichi that issue?
It was indeed Ultimate Tenkaichi that had that issue, not Raging Blast 2.

Also, I should point out that when it comes to the first DBZ game with the Kai cast, Tenkaichi Tag Team beat RB2 and UT to the punch.

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by Yuli Ban » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:05 am

Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:52 pm
Yuli Ban wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:45 pm
Naruto6583 wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:08 pm

I think RB2 debuted the kai cast
Raging Blast 2 debuted the Kai cast.
Raging Blast 2 also sent off the OG FUNi cast.

Often times within a sentence of each other.

It was indeed an embarrassing shitshow.
I thought it was Ultimate Tenkaichi that issue?
Ah, that's right. I knew there was another reason I despised Ultimate Tenkaichi. And Raging Blast 2 didn't even have a story mode for the voice acting to be noticeable in the first place.
Raging Blast 2 is off the hook this time!
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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by nato25 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:17 am

Haha yeah I believe Raging Blast 2 debuted the kai cast (on console, thanks for the Tenkaichi Tag Team shout out) but then Ultimate Tenkaichi decided it would be fine to take existing recorded dialogue from both games...

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Re: Did Ultimate Tenkaichi have potential as a full series?

Post by goku the krump dancer » Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:37 pm

HELL NO!! If anything Ultimate Tenkaichi was supposed to be the finale to the Sparking/Tenkaichi/Raging Blast series of games. Which is interesting considering how the core gameplay was nothing like them lol. IT just shared the same look, granted the pallete style they went with in that game is actually pretty nice, the strong outlines give it almost a manga like feel, similar to Super DBZ.

There;s a reason why that was Spike's last Dragon Ball game to date and why they decided to add some of the things they did add like GT characters ( even though it was laughably only Gogeta and Shenron), Valley struggles, proper giant battles and more cinematic moves. The game just flopped overall though, the game play itself killed it and honestly I say good! It was the nail in the coffin for the dark ages of Dragon Ball games and Spikes half assed efforts on them.
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