"Need a good fighting game to do you over?"

Having had two previous games before it, Budokai 3 comes out, with appealing cel-shaded visuals, a great set of characters, and great gameplay. Everything from the previous DBZ games were smoothed out and made a strong return giving Budokai 3 the title of the “best DBZ game” out.

Graphics: 9/10
DBZ's transition from anime to video game was smooth. The people at Dimps has managed to prove to gamers, that it just gets better. I prefer cel-shading over normal graphics myself on games relating to anime, which makes it all the much better. The game offers a variety of ki blast cut-scenes which looks AWESOME as you can see it flash into outer space! Some points that were negative were the character models when you could see their face and body. I personally didnt like the bolded lines throughout the characters face. The transformations give a realistic view to itself, and the color is just purely amazing.

Sound: 7/10
The mediocre sound is recycled from Budokai 3's predecessors. You can hear all the old tunes from the previous games with a few new themes mixed in. The voice acting (dub-wise) is pretty solid, although Funimation could have been more original and included more entertaining taunts.

Story: 9/10
Once I popped in my disc for Budokai 2 a year ago, I was disappointed due to the lack of a “story” mode in the game. This was easily the greatest and funnest mode to play in the first game. After playing Budokai 2 for a bit, I saw it as a moderate improvement. In Budokai 3, Dimps trashes Dragon World and replaces it with a fresh new version of the story mode in Legacy of Goku, just better. Dragon Universe provides you the opportunity of defeating villains (Frieza, Cell, Buu etc.) while proceeding through many sagas in the Dragon Ball Z+GT anime. There are many stories for each playable character, which definitely makes it more enjoyable.

Gameplay: 8/10
What can I say? Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 still appeals to the anime fans first. Its not as polished as the other fighters in the current day market (Soul Calibur 2...etc.), but it still has its own unique feeling to it. For a DBZ games, it blows everything out of the water. The new features that Dimps had added, including teleportation, dragon rush, etc, increases the fun factor by a lot. It captures the series in a great way, as you can actually move at lightning fast speeds. Everything good about Budokai 1 and 2 comes back into this sequel and much, much more! Move sets has been increases and some abilities that we all love to hate, have been included here as well! The games modes are fun to play, raising the score a bit.

Replay Value: 9/10
For some reason, I could never play the previous games for more than 1-2 months. It just got dull once you had gotten breakthroughs for every character in the game. To expand its horizons, Dimps added a ton more characters each customizable with its own unique capsules resulting in something.....ultimate. Dragon Universe adds to the score as you have to complete some characters mode more than once to gain a specific capsule. There are more than 500 of them, so it'll most definitely take a long time.
Final Say: If you enjoyed the last two games, then you'll enjoy this one. This whole review is based purely on opinion, so if you disagree, then sue me for it. But anyways, if you're a fighting game fan, then rent it. For a DBZ fan, it's a must have.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/01/04

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