Review by DarkSoldierX99

"A true Dragon Ball Z masterpiece"

I know what this may look like at first being it is Budokai 3 and considering it has 2 games before it that were literally the same game. I know there are those who are afraid to buy this because they fear it is the same thing again, believe me I debated on buying this game for days. However this game has a lot of features that gives it a Dragon Ball feeling that it's predecessors did not. If there was ever a fighting Dragon Ball Z game to be made as close to the anime this is it. Everything about this game has been turned up from the previous 2, let us see how.

Graphics: 10/10
Ok you know how the first Budokai had CG graphics and the second had cel shaded. I prefer the cel shaded myself, well this game has that only better. The lines on the characters bodies are not so horribly recognizable. Everything looks so much more smoother this time around, and it helps the flow of the the fighting. The characters really look like they were taken out of the show and thrown in this game. Especially the ki blasts and techniques. In particular ultimate moves, the explosions are out of this world with the ultimates. Most ultimates are shown from space to capture the DBZ feel of this game. What else can I say other than flawless graphics.

Sound: 9/10
Once again this game has excellent sound in particular the opening theme song. The upbeat rock music really gets you pumped when you are fighting, and each stage as appropriate sound to it. The voice acting couldn't be better, and this is Funimation we are talking about. The voice actors really put some feeling in this, it's a shame they didn't have this enthusiasm in the anime oh well. However the reason sound gets a 9 is because a lot of the sound is recycled from 1 and 2, but those of you who have never played 1 and 2 should be really pleased with the sound.

Story: 9/10
Ahhh yes they have dropped that oh so lame Dragon World and replaced it with Dragon Universe. No more cheesy board game movement it's all done by flying now. It works like this you pick a character and go on his story through Dragon Ball Z fighting all of the fights that that character fought. For instance if I pick Goku I start out fighting Raditz and end up in the final fight against Kid Buu. However the beauty about Dragon Universe is that you don't have to follow the story, you can do things differently by doing certain events. In fact you have to do things differently if you want to unlock all the characters. For instance instead of fighting Kid Buu in the end with Goku I can go fight Broly and unlock him if I have done certain events prior to fighting him. It's a lot easier than it sounds and you'll just have to see it to understand it. Nice job here though no real complaints other than I wish every character had a Dragon Universe instead of just 11.

Gameplay: 9/10
Ok for those of you who have played 1 and 2 it is the same as them, only faster. Ok there is something called dragonrush in which you rush your opponent through a series of combos but your opponent has 3 chances to block against your attacks by trying to match up with the same button that you select. For example if I pick O and he picks O than he blocks me and the dragon rush ends. But if I pick O and he picks X than I win and continue attacking. Doing ultimate attacks are much easier as well you just enter hyper mode by pressing all 4 buttons then press all 4 buttons again to do your ultimate attack. Also you can use speed dashes, you can dodge attacks, and you can fly backwards any time you want. This game also offers you to build up levels with your characters in story mode and in dragon arena which is brand new to the budokai series. The really fun part about this game is the diversity in the characters. There are 38 characters in all not counting all the fusions. They range from Kid Goku in Dragon Ball to Omega Shenron in GT. And yes SSJ4 transformations are in this for those of you who were wondering about that. And unlocking these characters is not easy it will take you many many hours to unlock everything in this game. Which brings me to my next point.

Replay Value: 10/10
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 is a game that you will be playing for weeks because you want to unlock it all. Every move, every character, every stage, everything you will want to unlock and let me tell you there is a lot in this game. I think it's around 500 capsules but I'm not sure.

Lets make this short and sweet, if your a DBZ fan buy it, if your not rent it first.

Overall: 9/10
Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 is a great game any DBZ fan would be proud to own. The amount of stuff this game has in it is unbelievable. There are only 2 real drawbacks to it. It is a sequel meaning if you played the 2 before it you kind of already know how to play even if they did change a lot of it. Also you would think after 3 games they would make buying capsules easy no more random crap, well guess again. It is the same stupid way of buying capsules only worse. Worse because Launch will randomly sneeze thus taking longer to load thus taking longer to buy capsules. Other than these two flaws everything is perfect. Well I hope this review helped you in understanding about Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 and I hope you end up buying it, farewell.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/24/04

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