The Best Dragon Ball Z Game Budokai 3 Review
The Best Dragon Ball Z Game Review
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is a fast paced brawler that avid fans of the TV series and fighting game enthusiasts alike will enjoy. Epic battles take place against dramatic backdrops and are supported by a solid combat system, making this arguably the best Dragon Ball Z game available.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 offers players a selection of 42 playable characters and features a total of 161 characters from the show. The creators have improved greatly on previous instalments of the Budokai series, and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 really captures the essence of the show. Excellent use of cel shading for the graphics allow this game maintain the feel of its anime origins. The game uses the same American voice actors from the show, but the European Collectors Edition gives players the additional option of playing with Japanese vocals.
Playing through the Dragon Universe story mode will take you through all the main events in the Dragon Ball Z TV series. Fans will be pleased the game stays true to the series and there are no deviations from the plot of the show. There are 11 characters you can play the story mode as, which will allow you to take part in different events. As you progress through each characters story you must try and collect all the Dragon Balls, capsules and money. Winning fights will help level your character and, most importantly, unlock new characters. In some cases, reenacting the same moves a character used in a particular fight in the show will have additional bonuses. For example, just like in the anime, Saibaman can immediately defeat Yamcha by using his self-destruct move.
Earning points in the Dragon Universe and in battles will allow you to customise your characters by increasing their stats and choosing their skills. When you save your character you will create an individual code for it. While you can’t fight other players online directly you can exchange codes to fight other players characters against each other on your own console. This means your customisation choices are especially important, as you can’t rely on your own fighting skill to best opponents on other systems.
Several new mechanics improve the gameplay of the fighting in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 dramatically. While the game is still adheres to the four button fight system combos can now be bound to the controllers shoulder buttons. Timing and precision are more important than in previous games in the Budokai series. Guarding will only be truly effective if done at the right time, while attacks require fast and precise button tapping. The ability to counter attacks brings versatility which previous games in the series lacked. Using your Ki power and a keen sense of timing you can also now teleport behind your opponents to avoid an attack.
Hyper Mode will increase the power of your characters attacks and you can enter it as soon as your Ki bar is full. When you enter Hyper Mode you can use the Dragon Rush ability. This allows you to launch your most powerful attacks against your foe and can be truly devastating to face. The catch to the Dragon Rush is that your opponent will have three chances to cancel it. At three points through the Dragon Rush you will both have to press a button at the same time. If your opponent presses the same button as you the Dragon Rush ends. Dragon Rush is more powerful still, as it will fatigue your opponent meaning that even after it ends or is cancelled you’ll still have the upper hand in the battle. This is a good time to use your Ultimate Attack. Ultimate Attacks are also performed while you’re in hyper mode, although these are a little more difficult to pull off than the Dragon Rush. An Ultimate Attack will often be enough to single shot your opponent.
Released in 2004, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is now nearing its tenth birthday, but this game still has plenty of lasting play value, and remains the best Dragon Ball Z game to date. Although the new Dragon Ball z game Battle of Z will be released on January 2014 and most likely it’s going to be even better than Budokai 3. Check it out our preview or pre-order it here.