The fighting video game series, known as ''Dragon Ball Z: Sparking!'' in Japan, based upon the popular {{shonen}} [[Franchise/DragonBall manga series.]]

Unlike the [[VideoGame/DragonBallZBudokai Budokai]] series, which was developed by Dimps, this series was developed by Spike. The first game was [=PS2=] exclusive, the second and third titles also found their way to the UsefulNotes/{{Wii}}.

Gameplay in this series is focused on freeform movement, literally being able to go wherever the player wanted; take cover and power up or fly right into the opponent's face, it's all your call. There were also destroyable enviroments for the players to knock each other into (or destroy on their own), which may also contain the Dragon balls. (In versus, it's health, ki, and favorite gauge restoratives from [=BT2=] onward.)



[[folder: Tropes present in multiple games, and/or the series as a whole]]
* AdaptedOut: ''Bio-Broly'' is decidedly not included in the story modes of the games. Including 3 where the story mode has all the sagas and movies ''but'' that film. ''World's Strongest'' wasn't included in 2, but appeared in 3.
* ArtificialStupidity: The AI will actually dash into beams and keep edging on opponents despite their gearing up for an attack...among other things.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Kamehameha and other charge type beams look great and do a lot of damage...but they take so long to charge that a character can easily dodge them with simple liberal use of the control stick. [[HilariousInHindsight Guess Nuova Shenron was right after all....]]
** Sometimes, this can be circumvented by hitting the opponent with a Heavy Smash, thus stunning them for a few seconds, giving you plenty of time to charge it up to near-full power.
* BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: In the Space stage, every character can fight on it regardless of whether or not they canonically have the ability to survive a vacuum.
* TheBattleDidntCount: The first two games' story modes have [[NoCampaignForTheWicked you always play as the good guys]] (minus one specific battle in the Frieza Saga's WhatIf story), even in battles they canonically lose in. The third game would avert this by having you play as whoever is supposed to win.
* BattleIntro: Plenty of specific match-ups have their own dialogue.
* BerserkButton: Broly can go into MAX Power just by saying Goku's (original Saiyan) NAME.
* BoringButPractical: The explosive wave is the most common Blast 1 attack in the game, but it's the only attack that's almost guaranteed to hit at close range.
** Also, Full Power Energy Wave. It's just a laser and half the cast shares the move, but it's quick, strong, and efficient.
* CallingYourAttacks: Since this is Franchise/DragonBall, this is to be expected. Interestingly, though, this is [[InvertedTrope inverted]] a lot of the time; many of the attacks are named after a phrase the character says.
* CharacterCustomization: Ultimate Tenkaichi's Character Creator aside, all the games allow you to tweak the stats of existing characters.
* ChargedAttack: Rush attacks and Ki blasts. some Blast 2 attacks can do this in ''Tenkaichi 2 and 3''.
* ClippedWingAngel: Certain transformations (mostly Oozarus) tend to be worse than their preceding forms.
* ComboBreaker: The series has a lot of variations, but uses up {{Ki}} and the opponent can counter ''your'' counter attack, to having a BeehiveBarrier sort of shield appear with a secondary ManaMeter that's ''not'' the {{Ki}} Gauge, but the delay is longer than the opponents recovery time, so you can't start a combo with it, and an easily executable knockback wave CastFromHitPoints that gives you a fair chance to counter attack and start a combo.
* CurbStompBattle: You get a unique KO screen (with text that says "[[FlawlessVictory PERFECT!]]" overlaid over the screen) if you manage to defeat an enemy without being hit once or taking any damage at all.
* DistantReactionShot
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: As entries of the games have been released, character animations have become more distinct and each blast attack are given a unique name or animation for a specific character that is based heavily on the anime scenes.
** Raditz, for example, has a Gekiretsu Madan variant and his Rush Attack is little more than juggling the opponent in ''2''. ''3'' gives him a lone Energy Ball, and a new version of his Rush Attack where he attacks the opponent from behind.
** Vegeta with scouter and Vegeta is also a good example as in the first game, they have completely identical movesets and blasts to the point that without the scouter, you wouldn't even know who you are playing with. But by the second game, Vegeta (Scouter) received a distinct blast attacks (Such as Final Garlic Cannon and Dirty Fireworks) to the point that it is now easy to differentiate between the two.
* FanService: Even people who dislike the games admire the sheer amount of this put into each one of them.
* FinishingMove: Ultimate Blast attacks.
* GiantEqualsInvincible: Sorta, while giant combatants can still be defeated by smaller ones, they don't flinch against normal attacks and can't be harmed by (Most) combo specials[[note]]There are a few exceptions. some rushes have a "piercing" affect and let them hit giant characters". Some examples include every variation of Dragon Fist, and Tapion and Yajirobe's Ultimate Blast swords slices. In a case of ShownTheirWork, these attacks were used on giant characters InUniverse, usually in iconic scenes. [[/note]] [[BeamSpam Attacking with Ki-based attacks on the other hand]]...
* JokeCharacter: Most of the characters from the original Dragon Ball cannot fly, have lower health, and have weaker supers. Some of them lack Ki Blasts at all, having them replaced with a charged strong punch. Hercule shares all those weaknesses (although he throws rocks instead of a charged punch) with the additional weakness of being unable to flinch ''anyone'' with his uncharged punches. Videl is a more downplayed version, but her Ki blasts are almost completely useless, even when charged, and she only has rush specials that do low damage
** LethalJokeCharacter: In spite of Hercule's flaws, he does have the advantage of having a near perfect counter in his "Present Bomb" technique: and character in range will automatically pick it up, even if they are attacking. This even stops rush moves in their tracks. A good player can strategically use this along with his somewhat fast charging speed to NoSell an opponent's strategy.
*** Videl may have really weak attacks, but she charges super fast and her rushes come out near instantly. By the time her foe has come out of hitstun, she can usually use another. Both these characters share the weakness of being completely useless against even the weakest of giant characters however.
* KamehameHadouken: It comes with the territory. A large percentage characters have one, even if its only the generically named the generic "Full Power Energy Wave"
* KiAttacks: Comes with the territory. Most ''Blast 2'' and ''Ultimate Blasts'' are these.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Tenkaichi 1 had a pretty ordinary roster size for a fighting game. 2 had 129 characters, and 3 had 161.
* LimitBreak: ''Ultimate Blast'' attacks.
* MechanicallyUnusualClass:
** Androids, with the exception of Cell, cannot charge Ki traditionally, and have to wait until the gauge fills up on its own to charge their LimitBreak. Gero and Android 19 function slightly differently from other Androids, in that their gauge stops filling after a certain point, forcing them to either steal energy from their opponent by grabbing them, or absorb ki attacks thrown by their opponent (including specials). In addition, they are all immune to the "Drain Life" attack used by Androids 19 and 20 as well as Cell, and they cannot be sensed by Ki or Scouter.
** Many of the human level characters, such as Mr. Satan, Nam, Tao Pai Pai, or Kid Goku, lack the ability to fly, instead trying to stay in the air, and a few introduced in ''3'' even lack Ki attacks, instead having a chargeable stun attack, along with [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking the characters having no aura]]. ''3'''s character customization allows you to circumvent the inability to fly by equipping a "Flight" Potara.
* MovesetClone: Zigzagged. A number of the Oozaru characters are derivative of each other, having very few of their own unique moves, with a lot of specials recycled from each other, namely rock throwing or mouth blasts. Fasha, Scouter Vegeta, King Vegeta, and Baby Vegeta, however, have their own distinct specials and moves. In Baby Vegeta's case, [[LightningBruiser he's also much faster than the other Oozaru characters]], on top of sharing the super armor and sheer power the other characters do.
* MythologyGag: ''Everything in the game.'' The most obvious examples are certain characters' rush attacks, which are often straight adapatations of combos performed by the character within the show, but how a character moves and fights is more often than not altered to match the show. For example, Super Vegito will mostly use his legs to attack because thats what he did when he fought Buu. Or Vegeta will headbutt like he did to Goku as Majin Vegeta. Piccolo's animation for his fully charged ki blast resembles the attack he used on Radditz at the very beginning of the series. [[ShownTheirWork It's jaw dropping how many details the Devs worked into the game.]]
** Furthermore, whenever using either Piccolo (Junior) or Supreme Kai in the World Tournament modes in any game, the VS splash screen will display their names as "Majunior" and "Shin" respectively, said names being the psuedonyms they went under during the tournament episodes they debuted in.
* NoSell: Individual game mechanics aside, skills such as Saiyan Soul and False Courage will increase defense to the point that this is invoked with the buffed character taking the damage dealt by the attacks but otherwise being completely unaffected until either the buff expires or a certain threshold of damage is reached, which makes the technique fail automatically.
* NotQuiteFlight: Certain characters, namely most of the ones from the original ''Dragon Ball'' cannot actually fly in ''2'', and instead struggle to stay in the air, and fall after a certain amount of time. ''3'' keeps this limitation, but has an optional item to give any characters that can't fly the ability to.
* OldSaveBonus: Budokai Tenkaichi 1 had a password machine that allowed the player to use custom characters created in Budokai 3. Budokai Tenkaichi 2 rewarded players with a Budokai Tenkaichi 1 save file on their memory card with 100000 Zenny, the game's currency. The [=PS2=] version of Budokai Tenkachi 3 allowed players to access modes from the first two games using the Disc Fusion feature.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: In these games, Kid Goku and Raditz can take on Majin Buu and Broly on relatively even footing.
* SwordBeam: Some sword-wielding fighters, i.e. Trunks and Yajirobe, have this as a basic charged ki blast or a Blast 2. They're [[UnblockableAttack unblockable]] by regular guarding.
* UnexpectedCharacter: There are plenty of these to go around, given how big the roster is (3's in particular is enormous) but the most notable is probably [[PosthumousCharacter Grandpa Gohan.]]
* WaterIsAir: In-series we've had a couple of scenes with characters seemingly floating and even charging attacks underwater, so it makes more sense than you'd think at first.
* WeaksauceWeakness: For all their size, giant characters are just as vulnerable to beams as everyone else, and their large size leave them unable to dodge as effectively.
** They sorta make up for it by being immune to grab and rush attacks.
* WhatIf: All the games have this to some extent. In some, there are WhatIf battles, in others, whole WhatIf stories, but in all of them, you can get different scenes/quotes in story mode if you win fights under circumstances you're not supposed too.

[[folder:Budokai Tenkaichi 1]]
* DeliberateInjuryGambit: In the opening cinematic, Piccolo takes a painful-looking punch from Cell in the gut - then grabs his arm and smirks as Gohan hovers into view, charging a Kamehameha.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Jeice's infamous "Don't play stupid with me, wanker!" intro line. The radar caught on in the sequels and cut out the "wanker" part, though you can still hear a slight "w" sound.
* MightyGlacier: The two Oozaru characters. Without the advanced fighting combos of later games, they were all but invincible.
* WhatIf In this game: [[spoiler: Galactic Tyrant: Frieza defeats Goku and goes on to knock Cooler down a few pegs; The Ultimate Android: Cell beats Gohan and later fights Super 17; The Destructive Majin: Buu destroys the world and later fights Janemba; The Plan to Conquer Earth: The villains actually defeat the Z-fighters; and The Revenge of the Saiyans: The Saiyans rally together to kill Frieza.]]

[[folder:Budokai Tenkaichi 2]]
* BadassBoast: Nearly half of the entrance and exit quotes, and the taunts.
* BerserkButton: In Raditz's WhatIf story, he flies into a rage and suddenly becomes a competent warrior when Piccolo calls him a weakling.
* EarthShatteringKaboom: Most characters, such as Broly, Cell, Majin Buu, and ''even'' base form Goku's supermove that would annihilate a stage that isn't the Tenkaichi tournament, Hyperbolic Time Chamber, and simply "Alien Planet", as their supermoves will turn both Earth and Namek into a charred wreck.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: One of Great Ape Baby's intro lines is [[ADateWithRosiePalms "I believe it's time for this monkey to spank YOU!"]]. Furthermore, 18 refers to Zangya as a "skank," in their special intro.
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: A particular problem in [=BT2=]'s story mode where practically 75% of fights in Story mode more or less demanded you win yet showed a cutscene of whoever you used weary and whining about their opponent being too strong whilst said opponent stood there all cocksure and untouched.
* HopelessBossFight: In the story mode, Piccolo vs Raditz, Gohan and Krillin vs Dodoria, and Goten vs Gohan are battles that the player is supposed to lose, and if it's your first time playing those battles, likely ''will'' lose.
* LightningBruiser: Oozaru Baby and Broly.
* LuminescentBlush: 18 sports one of these if you win in Tournament Mode.
* RegionalBonus: The PAL and Japanese Wii ports got 5 extra characters (Appule, a Frieza Soldier, King Piccolo, Pilaf and Cyborg Tao.)
* SlapOnTheWristNuke: This game went the most overboard with the planet-frying attacks. ''3'' toned it back down slightly.
* WhatIf: Three stories. [[spoiler: WhatIf Raditz lost his memory when coming to Earth, like Goku did?]] [[spoiler: WhatIf Zarbon betrayed Frieza and wanted the Dragon Balls for himself?]] [[spoiler: WhatIf Goku and Vegeta focused on their rivalry instead of fighting Majin Buu?]] They're all unlocked by winning otherwise [[HopelessBossFight unwinnable fights]].
** And, a first for the series, WhatIf characters. Specifically, Oozaru forms of Saiyan characters who never had one on-screen before (Raditz, Nappa and Turles)

[[folder:Budokai Tenkaichi 3]]
* CharacterCustomization: Tenkaichi 3 lets you equip 'Strategy' items, that cause AIs of your custom characters to fight a certain way, such as focusing on defense, or focusing on using blast attacks from a distance.
* CompositeCharacter:
** Android 8 is based primarily on his incarnation from the original ''Dragon Ball'', but some of his moves appear to be taken from ''[[Anime/DragonBallThePathToPower The Path To Power]]'', and one of his alternate outfits uses the film's blue and orange coloration.
** Android 17 can wear the jacket from his Hell Fighter 17 incarnation, but for gameplay purposes, he's treated as just regular 17.
* DecompositeCharacter:
** Goku, after having his entire range of abilities for the first two games, even ones he eventually just stopped using, has been split into "Early", "Middle", and "End", which all have abilities and transformations he'd have had at the time (Saiyan Saga, Namek Saga, and Cell-Buu Saga, respectively).
** Adult Gohan was used to represent Future Gohan in ''2''. ''3'' has Future Gohan proper as an unlockable character with a more distinct moveset.
* FountainOfYouth: Invoked if you pit GT Goku against Chi-Chi: Goku will wonder if his wife "got smaller" too. Chi-Chi acting much more similar to her adult self by calling Goku a troublemaker seems to confirm it.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration:
** In the original series, Devil Man's Devilmite Beam only works if there are negative thoughts in the target's mind. In the game, it deals damage, but it depends on the character: the more evil they are, the higher the damage dealt. If the target happens to be [[IncorruptiblePurePureness pure of heart]], [[NoSell nothing happens]].[[note]]The production staff really went into depth on this one - if a good or good-ish character has multiple forms, each form has a different amount assigned to it. For example: Normal Goku won't take damage, but Super Saiyan Goku will, likely because he goes from pure of heart to fight-happy. Muten Roshi (pervert) will take more damage than Buff Muten Roshi (desires suppressed), who will take token damage.[[/note]]
** While you can't otherwise make a team full of the same character, you can make full teams of Saibamen, Cell Juniors, and Meta-Coolers, which reflect the former two's [[{{Mook}} expendable status]] in canon, and the latter's [[WeHaveReserves abilities derived from the Big Gete Star]].
** A character with an Oozaru transformation that never demonstrated the ability to create an artificial moon needs to be playing on a night variant of a stage (which all have the full moon visible) to transform.
* GuestFighter: [[Manga/DoctorSlump Arale Norimaki.]]
* MarathonLevel: Survival Mode, which contrary to most usages of modes named that, ends after fifty opponents. Of course, that's fifty opponents in a game where the most you can have in any other mode is five.
* MoralityGuidedAttack: The Devilmite Beam, which will barely scratch Kid Goku but can ''one-shot'' BigBad-level villains.
* NoCampaignForTheWicked: Averted. In the story mode, you play as whatever character is supposed to win that fight, this includes Frieza, Broly, and others.
* NoSell:
** Certain characters will have weak energy blasts bounce off by being in MAX power.
** A Red Potara makes it so the most powerful Kamehameha from the most powerful characters in MAX power mode will only do two digits in damage. ''In a game where a health bar is 10,000 points.''
** Perfect Guard does this to anything that is blockable.
** This is the effect of the Devilmite Beam on someone purehearted like [[IncorruptiblePurePureness Goku]].
* PurposelyOverpowered: Red Potara CPU characters that require secret passwords to unlock. Needless to say, they can become quite the SNKBoss if you decide to fight against them. They all have the following Yellow Potara abilities:
** Health +30000
** All stats +3
** Sturdy Body (won't be easily stunned)
** Will also easily stun opponents
** Guard Crushes remove a huge amount of Ki
** Also, can't be Guard Crushed
** Health and Ki are slowly recovered
** Ki charges ultra fast
** All 4 power ups
** Vanish Attack/Dragon Homing +2
** Blast 1 costs -1
** Blast 2/UB/Ki Blasts costs half
** Various movements will cost no Ki at all (Dragon Dashes, for instance)
** Movements whose costs aren't nullified will only cost half Ki
** Auto Afterimage while in Max Power
** Takes no damage while guarding
** Gains huge advantage in Clashes
** Dodging a barrage type Blast makes the character dodge the rest automatically
* SituationalDamageAttack: While most attacks are either fixed or charged, the damage of Babidi's [[LimitBreak Ultimate Blast]] depends on [[LiquidAssets the amount of successful grabs beforehand]], and Devilman's depends on the CharacterAlignment of the opponent -- if they're more evil, they take more damage. Hercule's Dynamic Mess Up Punch will randomly either do a decidedly weak amount of damage, or only do 1 damage (in a system that uses thousands of hit points) and no knockback whatsoever
* WeHaveReserves: In his movie, Meta-Cooler is mass-produced by the Big Gete Star. As such, he's one of the few characters that can be picked repeatably in Team Battle.
* WhatIf: Four battles: [[spoiler: WhatIf Goku and Arale had a friendly match?]] [[spoiler: WhatIf Dr Gero sent Android 16 back in time to kill Kid Goku?]] [[spoiler: WhatIf Bardock actually managed to rally a Saiyan resistance against Frieza?]] [[spoiler: What If Devilman confronted Metal Frieza's crew when they invaded Earth during the Android Saga?]]


[[folder:Ultimate Tenkaichi]]
* InconsistentDub: It is very clear from the voicework in ''Ultimate Tenkaichi'' that most of the voices are directly copy-pasted from Raging Blast especially considering that the voices switches between original and ''Kai'' without re-recording any lines that are voiced before the change. This leads to instances such as Teen Gohan having some lines by his former voice actress Stephanie Nadolny alongside lines from his [[TheOtherDarrin darrin'd]] ''Kai'' voice actress Creator/ColleenClinkenbeard.
* InNameOnly: As a part of the Tenkaichi series. The gameplay has utterly nothing to do with the series, and doesn't even casually resemble it.
* ItAmusedMe: This is ''literally'' the reason why [[spoiler: Omega Shenron]] wished the world to be a hellhole in Hero Mode. The Hero, already tired and frustrated [[spoiler: especially since Omega Shenron made him regather the Dragon Balls again just because he's a dick]], is ''extremely'' pissed off when he hears this.
--> [[spoiler: '''Omega Shenron''': "This is all for my own amusement! Peace is boring!"]]
* LuckBasedMission: The battles are largely decided by clashes, which can only be won if you choose the right button [[TacticalRockPaperScissors relative to the opponent's choice]]. But since you can't ''see'' what the opponent's choosing...
* MovesetClone: A common cause of the game's lackluster reviews; all characters have the exact same gameplay.
* OverlyLongFightingAnimation: All super and ultimate attacks are cutscenes.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: Especially visible in this game due to the characters being identical. [[ButtMonkey Yamcha's]] Super Spirit Ball is every bit as effective as [[BigBad Buu's]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom Planet Burst]].
* PressXToNotDie: The boss battles work like this at some points.
* SceneryPorn: The graphics are the most detailed and flashiest of all the [=DBZ=] games.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Android #18 is the only playable female in the game.
* SpectralWeaponCopy: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment Even if they already have a sword]], custom characters will don a spectral sword in order to use Future Trunks', Janemba's, and Dabura's special attacks.
* SuperMode: Strike Booster.
* VirtualPaperDoll: To a limited extent. Hairstyles and outfits from the show can be picked up.