Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3

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a game by Spike Co
Platforms: Wii, Playstation 2
Editor Rating: 7.3/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 7.0/10 - 54 votes
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See also: Dragon Ball Games, Fighting Games, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi Series
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3
Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Beat-em-ups have been a staple of the gaming landscape since the 1980s, with wonderful titles such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat paving the way for many more great fighting games. So it was inevitable that over the top, martial art based animes would get involved in this scene. The Dragonball series was a no brainer in this respect, finding instant success with fans and casual gamers alike. So when Dragonball Budokai Tenkaichi 3 rolled around, big things we’re expected and for the most part, it delivers.

In terms of how this title plays, it continues the usual open plan area for battles that the series has built its success on. So if you’ve played any previous instalments, expect more of the same. The closest comparisons outside of the series would be the Naruto Ultimate Ninja series or the more recent title, Jump Force which is a culmination of all the best anime fighters from each respective series.

Give me your power

Much like Goku and company do in the series, this title aims to harness the power of previous titles to deliver another reason for players to invest more money. This is a fun and polite way of saying that little has changed from the last title if you didn’t catch that. The changes include such unmissable additions as a few more playable characters, a day and night mode for each fighting arena and a handful of new skills and tactical considerations that as a whole won’t alter the game for the casual player in the slightest.

The game also aims to up production value by integrating scripted audio seamlessly. Though what this actually does is dilute the overall experience. Only two characters will be shown on screen at once due to performance restrictions, leading to script off-camera. It seems unnatural and pulls you out of the action. Not to mention the skimming that is done in the storytelling department. The game seriously cuts down on the less essential fights which simply lowers the content on offer for the player. These games thrive on the player being able to pin any fighter against each other and not making this fit into the story like in Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2 is criminal.

Authentic DBZ experience

One thing that has never been questioned for this game series is its attention to detail aesthetically and this continues in Dragonball-Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3. This game has wonderful cell-shaded environments and flawlessly animated depictions of the anime characters. Each model is expertly captured and the subtle additions this time out such as wear and tear on armour and clothing when using fusions or going super Saiyan is phenomenal.

Then the special moves look brilliant too. They aren’t simply thrown together in a flurry of grunts, screams and blasts of colour. They look refined and polished, staying true to the anime in that respect. The sound quality is great too, the music ramps up with the battle, adding to the intensity as you edge closer and closer to a famous victory.

Fight the night away

One thing that has remained in this title from the last outing is the sheer volume of game modes. You have the main campaign jam packed with all the sagas from the anime. Then you have a tag tournament that sees you fight multiple opponents at once. You have the sim dragon mode that acts as a training arena and then you also have to collect all the Dragonballs too.

While there is a cavalcade of stuff to keep you entertained, it has to be said that not all the content is riveting and can feel like a chore at times. For avid fans of the series, this will probably not be an issue but for casual player, this may be too much work to take on.

Kamehameha

7

Overall, it can’t be argued that this series was the benchmark for anime fighters for the time of release. Plus, it has stood the test of time very well due to its authentic presentation and art style. Though, it does fail to hit the heights of previous outings in some respects. The story content has been cut for a more essential and streamlined approach, which is not ever been the DBZ way. It takes at least five episodes to get one spirit bomb off so it all feels a little off brand.

The tight mechanics, new tactics, more characters do just enough to make this one worth purchasing for DBZ fans. Though for the casual player, it may be just as good to stick with the previous instalment.

Pros

  • Great sound and visuals
  • Tight mechanics
  • A myriad of game modes

Cons

  • Story has been cut down
  • Some modes can feel like chores
  • Not enough new features

Download Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3

Wii

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Playstation 2

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

What we have here with Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is the third and last game in the series. This was released on the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii and with its massive roster, it was known for having the largest roster of any fighting game at the time with the better part of well over 100 characters!

The Rich History Of Dragon Ball Z

I have played through the Dragon Ball Z saga more times than you could possibly imagine in various different video games. Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 I must say has the most disappointing of the original trilogy when it comes to the story. Do not get me wrong, what it does is not horrible by any means. It is just so streamlined and straight forward compared to other Dragon Ball Z games, especially Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2. You just pick from a list of sagas and take part in the fights.

The Perfect Cell…. Shaded That Is

Once again like what came before it this is a beautiful looking game. The characters are brought to life with cell-shaded graphics and this is an art style I always like as I never feel that it ages. The characters really do pop and look just like they do in the anime. A huge part of the reason why the characters in Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 pop so well is the backgrounds. There is a very large selection of backgrounds in this game and these are not done in the exact same way as the characters. The backgrounds tend to be a little duller, but I think this is by design so that the characters really do pop.

What The Heck Is Going On?

I have been watching Dragon Ball Z since Fox Kids started airing it back in the day when I was a teenager so I get what the deal is. I have to imagine that someone who just picks this up on a whim is going to be very confused! That is part of what I like about Dragon Ball Z and this game like its predecessors captures that perfectly. The battles are completely over the top and while I would say the core gameplay has not changed a great deal. There are plenty of new moves, cut scenes, dialogue, and more that help makes it feel fresh.

One thing that I thought was really cool was the way there would be a night cycle. This makes certain battles more accurate, but you can also change into a Super Saiyan Ape if it is dark and there is a moon without making an artificial one. I thought this was a very cool feature. As well as the story mode, you do also have your tournament mode which thanks to the more aggressive AI in this game is a lot more challenging than it was in the previous games. You can get through a lot of the game with button mashing, but you will need to hone those skills if you want to beat some of the tougher fights.

7.5

I would not say that Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is a disappointment, but I feel that they really achieved a great deal with the second game, especially in regards to the story. That it was always going to be hard for them to top it with this game. As a DBZ fan, I liked what they have done here, but as I play these games for the story I do feel that the second game in the series is the better one.

Pros:

  • Tons of characters
  • The characters look fantastic thanks to the cell-shaded graphics
  • Fighting the AI is fun thanks to the improved difficulty
  • The fighting is fast, over the top and fun
  • Anyone can mess around with this game and enjoy it

Cons:

  • The story mode is very disappointing in comparison to what came before it
  • Some might not like how dull the backgrounds are

Snapshots and Media

Wii Screenshots

Playstation 2 Screenshots

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