Review by WingedRegent

Reviewed: 03/18/08

The game closest to perfection!

The time has once again come. Another year and another DBZ Game is released to the market. However, this one is a notch or so above the rest. Budokai Tenkaichi 3, released in 2007, took everything that was great about BT2 and amped it up even further.

Graphics: 9/10

Graphically, this game looks the same as BT2 at face value. However, once you play the game and see the vibrant Ki attacks, you realize how much the game has improved. The Ki blasts are more vibrant than ever, appearing larger as the tiniest little details were added to make each blast almost a picture-perfect resemblance to the show. One thing of note is that they finally got the Special Beam Cannon correct, making it look exactly as the anime had it. Also, the characters are no longer expressionless robots. Now, the characters' faces contort and tweak with each shout of anger or each attack done to them.

Sound: 9/10

Once again, this game replaces the soundtrack of the previous game with an in-house selection of songs. It's always pleasing to hear a new score of songs for each game in a series. However, you will start to miss some of the songs from the previous game after awhile. Also, the Voice Acting and the sounds of the Ki Blasts are all spot-on. Now, there is no sound dying out during Rush Moves that end in a Ki Blast and the VA work for the moves suits the move and the character well.

Controls: 9/10

The controls in this game are alot like the previous installments. This time, a few new manuevers were added. Now, each character has a different lay-out of commands to pull off in the middle of a combo. That's the only real difference control-wise.

Gameplay: 9/10

The game itself. This game has more modes of play than the other Tenkaichi's ever had.

First off,the game's story mode is known as Dragon History Mode. In this new Story Mode, you will be able to select a saga for you to play in and fight the characters in the saga. A new feature added is that during the fights, an R3 Indicator will appear on screen. If you press it, an event from the anime/manga will occur, advancing the fight. Sometimes, these can result in instant wins due to a move being used during the story event that killed the opponent in the series. The one downside in the Dragon History Mode is, however, that it's shorter than the other story modes in Tenkaichi, in that you cannot reenact every fight like in the past. To make up for it, multiple fights were infused into one LONG fight in the game. For instance, the fight with Frieza that spanned Frieza's multiple transformations is all one, long fight in the game. One thing they also brought back are What-If Scenarios. However, these are rather short and, often times, meant for humor purposes, unlike the What-If's from the very first Budokai Game.

Next, the Tournament's have been replaced with a brand new Dragon World Tour. Every thing you do in the game passes an hour of the game's time. When a certain time hits, a new tournament opens in the World Tour. The Tournaments availible are the World Tournament, the Big World Tournament, The Cell Games, The Otherworld Tournament, and the Yamcha Game, each one adding a unique twist in either difficulty, rules, or character selection. However, the one downside is that the difficulty is randomly selected all the time, and on the Free Mode setting, you CAN select the difficulty, but you don't gain a prize from fighting under that setting.

Finally, the latest new addition is the new Ultimate Battle Mode, which now has a Simulation Mode, where you can pick a fighter and train with him for 10 Days. After those 10 days, you are challenged to a fight. If you win, you continue the mode. If you lose, you lose all of the points you earned and the mode ends. It's an interesting mode to play a few times, but, as a sim, it relies solely on luck when it comes to the training.

Another new mode in Ultimate Battle is the Mission 100, where you are given a list of fights to complete. Once you complete each fight, you are given an amount of money based on how well you fought in the fight.

Lastly, exclusive to the PS2 version, you can use a Disc Fusion System to take the Ultimate Battle Modes from BT1 and BT2 and allow them to be selectable to play. Only difference is that the fights are slightly retooled to fit BT3 updated roster, making the fights up to date.

Overall: 9/10

Overall, this game is perhaps the best DBZ game released to date. Only things hindering it are the Story Mode and Tournament Mode tweaks.

Buy, Rent, or Avoid: Buy if you are a DBZ fan or someone who is interested in DBZ; Rent if you are a ZOE Fan; Avoid otherwise.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (US, 11/13/07)

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