Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 Review
PS2 | Wii
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 box art
System: Wii, PS2 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Spike 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atari 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Dec. 3, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
A Dragon Ball Z Fans Dream

by Tom Kelly

Being new to the series and having not seen the cartoon in several years, I was hardly prepared for the smorgasbord of content I was about to encounter. This game is a dedicated fan's prize piece, the crème de la crème of all things Dragon Ball. There is a ton of content to unlock, game modes to smash your way through, and above all, characters to choose from. With over 150 combatants in which to wage war, one will hardly grow tired of gawking at the same fighter over and over.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 screenshot

The sheer amount of substance is the best aspect of the game, especially the way it presents it all. Not only does it provide fans with all the great options, but it utilizes the Dragon Ball Z license to the fullest by having all the voices from the show. It showcases a lot of the things that even I remember from way back. Well, we already know that this game is loaded with goodies sure to satisfy, but will the depth of content sway all those unfamiliar with it?

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Just getting started can be a little intimidating; there are so many modes to choose from. For beginners, such as myself, I definitely recommend the training because this is not your ordinary fighting game. It is a fast-paced and insane shootout that mimics the battles from the program perfectly. The first time you play it can be a bit jarring. I am used to the more methodical fighting games where the fighting takes place with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Here, the battles can be waged anywhere, whether it's the skies, the ground or even underwater. On my first play through, the game came off as kind of a button masher, but the more I played, the more I realized that it was much more than that. A lot of the game requires quick timing, and above all the player must utilize his blast moves (powerful projectiles and other special moves) to the fullest. One game online is all it took me to figure out how good someone could get at this game. Believe me; it was not pretty. Although the game was deeper than I originally thought, it still lacks something. Often times battles can take too long, and some, especially in Dragon History, can be extremely frustrating. The controls only maximize this frustration, but I will address that later. The gameplay had its ups and downs, but the mass amount of options laid out can never be questioned.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 screenshot

Dragon History would probably serve as the main option, as it lets players fight through several of the memorable battles in the shows story arc. Beginning with the Saiyan Saga and weaving your way through history, many will remember much of what takes place. Although some of the struggles have been omitted, as you know certain Sagas were painfully long on the show, it is still a neat way to relive the experience. A nice bonus is that each battle begins with a short narration of what is taking place. There are also tournaments to enter, online play, a place to unlock items and customize your favorite characters, training mode, and a few others. The Tournament mode contains many of the classic contests fans will automatically recognize from episodes throughout the show's run. Whichever mode you choose, it is good to see that the developers did not just leave you with the choice of either story mode or two player combat. The fights in Dragon History can be particularly tough, and sometimes you need a break from them. The added bonus of online matches is hindered by the amount of slowdown that will occur, although that did allow me to catch my breath as some guy pounded me mercilessly.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 screenshot

Screenshots / Images
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