Review by XxRiceEaterxX

Reviewed: 11/27/04

Look at the others, then look at this!!! WTF happened?

Dragonball Z: Budokai 3 is the latest installment to Dimps' Dragonball Z Fighting franchise on the PS2. Looking on the past history of Dragonball Z games, you'll have come to the conclusion that Dragonball Z was not meant to be played on a console. After 2 not very successful Budokai releases, being a fan of Dragonball Z fan since i was 12, i was beginning to lose hope. But after playing Budokai 3, i wondered what hit Dimps in the head? This game was simply fantastic. Now, onto the review.

Graphics: 10/10

Not much different than Budokai 2 (the graphics were awesome then), other than the fact that they added more lighting and more effects. These extras were really what Budokai 2 needed to be able to capture the feel of Dragonball Z. Dust kicks up when u power up or zip across the field, and the battlefield becomes scarred after being abused. Mountains become innocent bystanders and crumble to dust when it becomes involved in a fight. The extras are absolutely awesome when you comebine it with the already-good graphics of Budokai 2.

Sound: 8/10

Um, nothing really changed here. Cell still has his annoying squealy voice in his first form. Just like in Budokai 1, dialogue for Dragon Universe has been taken from the show to give the player the sense that he is watching that certain episode all over. Other than that, nothing has changed.

Gameplay: 10/10

Wow. Who scared Dimps into making a GOOD game for once? There are 5 modes to play in.

Dragon Universe is your story mode. You select a character and take him through the battles that your character was involved in, in the show. On the way, you collect secrets, experience (like a RPG game), and of course, the Dragonballs.

Dueling is your simple 1 v 1 mode, where you can fight the computer or a friend.

Dragon Arena is a mode where you can build your characters (either from Dragon Universe, or you can start characters fresh here) and fight other people's characters by inputting their passwords.

World Tournament is the mode that emulates the Worlds Martial Arts tournaments in Dragonball and Dragonball Z. You go through the whole tourney thingy and fight until you are the champion in which you earn money.

Practice is where you practice your technique and get better at the game. You can set the computer to fight back, or you can pound the stuffing out of him until you are done :D

However, those different modes only add to the replayability of the game. The real fun is in the fighting itself. In addition to the original Budokai fighting engine, you can teleport behind enemies, dodge enemies, or enter the Dragon Rush. Dragon Rush is a rock-paper-scissors in which you have to avoid the button that your opponent presses. There are incredible cinematics based on your success in the Dragon Rush, and even though they may seem repetitive, they are still really fun to do.

Replayability: 10/10

I've had this game for almost a week, and i am only 60% done in collecting all of the capsules. There are 5 modes to play and mess around in. When you get bored of the 5 modes, you can also go to dueling mode and reenact all the fights in Dragonball history. With the new additions and system, it is entirely possible to create your own story mode and fight all the battles that you watched on TV.

After the other Budokai games, i was beginning to lose hope. But this Budokai 3 severely tops it's 2 predecessors and all Dragonball Z games made in history. Even if you are not fans of the series, you may enjoy this refreshing fighting system and prefer it instead of Mortal Kombat: Deception and maybe even Soul Calibur 2. I suggest you rent it first, as with the first Budokais, you won't enjoy it as much as you would if you enjoyed Dragonball z in general.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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