Review by DiabloNeonX

"The DBZ game ever made"

Ok, if you don't know Dragon Ball Z by now, you've had to have been living in a cave or something. DBZ is quite possibly one of the most popular anime franchises of all time, and the people at Atari know it. So, they have served up Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 for the PlayStation 2. (Don't worry GameCube owners, you'll get it eventually) So what's new here that hasn't been in other Dragon Ball Z games? How about characters from the Dragon Ball Z movies and from Dragon Ball GT? The story mode (Dragon Universe) is a bit more expansive than practically every other Dragon Ball Z game. This is a Dragon Ball Z game with a lot of unlockables that's worth your time playing.

Fun Factor: 9.5/10

Actually, this is probably the best DBZ game ever, but that doesn't say much, considering how crappy most DBZ games have been. But this one rocks. Not only does it focus on the entire DBZ storyline. (Budokai 1 only went up to the Cell saga, Budokai 2 did cover to the end of the Kid Buu saga), but this one covers the DBZ movies (Yes!!!!!! Brolly!!!!), and Dragon Ball GT (OMG OMG OMG!!! SSJ4 Goku!!!) Needless to say, you and your friends will spend hours customizing everyone and beating the crap out of each other.

Control: 8/10

Ok, the controls are better here. While you still have the button mashing that plagued the previous DBZ games, high power moves are easier to execute. The Dragon Universe mode has a free roaming feature which is nice. You actually fly around on whatever planet you're on (Earth, Namek, etc...) The dual analog stick flight controls take a wee bit of getting used to, but you'll adapt quickly.

Graphics: 9/10

Beautiful cell shading. This game looks more true to the anime and the manga than Budokai 2 did. And with more than 40 characters and worlds to explore, this game is pretty impressive visually. When flying aroud in the worlds, you can even power fly like the characters do in the anime. It looks that good.

Sound: 7/10

Unless you really really love DBZ, you'll get annoyed by the voices and the remixed rock music they use in the American dubs of the DBZ anime. And it's the same repetitve stuff all over again. My advice: Sound down, Stereo up.

Overall: 8/10

Probably the best DBZ game since the SNES days. With so many characters to choose from, you'll be playing for awhile to unlock everything. The controls are fluid, and the graphics are beautiful, but the sound will get on your nerves after awhile.

Rent or buy?

The answer is: that depends. If you're a DBZ fan, then buy immediately. If you're a fighting game fan, I would say buy. The level of customization will give you all kinds of different possible matchups. If you're neither a DBZ or a fighting game fan, I say rent first, see if you like it, then buy.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 12/20/04

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