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Budokai 3 really does the best job of any Dragonball Z game to cater to its fans.
1-2 Player Fighting Game
Rated: PG-13 (Violence)
The Earth's greatest warriors are back once again for the tournament to end all! Play as up to 40 characters, both heroes and villains, from Dragonball, Dragonball Z, and Dragonball GT in tournament mode. Or play through the storyline of DragonballZ as different warriors in "Dragon Universe"! Unleash new attacks, teleportation combos, and the explosive "Dragon Rush" attack combo to reduce your opponents to dust! Are you ready to prove you're the strongest fighter in the universe?
DVD VISION TEST
Budokai 3 has greatly improved most of it’s visuals from
the first two games. For starters, the backgrounds in Budokai 3 are
much more richly detailed than they were in the previous two. Most
of the areas are similar to those in Budokai 2, but feature much
nicer graphics and most are now destructible (remastered and brought
back from the first Budokai) with use of the right attacks. The
game’s energy effects also look much nicer.
Powering up has never looked this cool, and Ki has never
looked as deadly. There have also been fixes in terms of attacks and
auras being the right color as well. Though they now have more
distinct looking fighting styles, the characters still have the cell
shading effect from Budokai 2 and don’t look all that different.
game still has generic music that doesn’t come from the show, but
does come from Budokai 2. Some of the game’s music is recycled while the rest is
nothing too special. The
sound effects, which stay true to the show sound a little more
detailed and still fit the game in the bloodless smash-fest it is.
If you enjoy the English dub, you’ll enjoy the voice acting done
some of the voice actors from the show. Joe’s only complaint was
that some of the dialog for what the characters said before they
fought was a little generic.
CONTROLS: The fighting system has been changed significantly from the previous games. The biggest change is the new “Dragon Rush”. In the Dragon Rush, your character glows red, becomes stronger and won’t get knocked down as easily when attacked. Executing a powerful enough attack in this mode triggers an in game cut scene leading to a series of three possible attacks. The number of completed attacks is determined by pressing a button and having your opponent press a button at the right time. If you both hit the same button, the defender either defends or negates your attack and cancels your rush. By beating your opponent three times however, you are treated to a powerful attack or an attack you fixed to the end of the rush (such as Special Beam Cannon or Final Flash).
don’t complete an attack in the rush, you power down and have to
rotate the control stick to regain control of your tired character.
Another change is the ability to dodge your foe’s attacks and
appear behind them and counterattack by pressing forward and X at
the right time. This can be every sneaky and effective (especially
in tournament mode), but uses significant amounts of Ki. The last
major change (and my personal favorite) is the ability to “Power
Struggle” if you and your opponent fire a beam attack at the same
time. Once they collide, you’ll both have to rotate the analog
sticks as fast as you can to send both attacks flying back right in
your enemy’s face.
are two versions of Budokai 3 available, regular and the Limited
edition. The Limited
Edition comes with a super-deformed chibi Super Saiyan Broly and a
bonus DVD with a “Behind the Screams” documentary. Budokai 3 starts you off with more than previous titles
have, but most characters and attacks still need to be unlocked.
This puts much incentive into playing the 1p mode for
capsules and tournament fighting for money.
no 3D cut scenes like that of the first Budokai. The one player
“Dragon Universe” uses motionless pictures and word bubbles for
most of it cut scenes, with occasional dubbing over the words. The
game still has a nicely animated intro, but nothing in the
department of 3D character cinema.
BEST PLAYER: We’ve
been debating on this one. We both have our favorites based on
ferocity of attack, fighting style, and general all around coolness.
As far as ferociousness is concerned, Kid Buu is hella nasty. Future
Trunks is great not only for rocking attacks but for some high
damage swordplay as well. Joe’s favorite character for messing
around with is Kid Goku. He’s unlockable once you beat Dragon
Universe with an unlocked Broly.
character for kicking ass and taking names is Vegeta, because they
both have unresolved anger management issues.
CHEAT CODE YOU NEED: Apparently
disapproving of cheating, Budokai 3 does not contain a cheat for
moves/characters. Everything in it has to be unlocked legitimately.
CHEAT CODE YOU WANT: Being
able to unlock all of the characters and capsules in the game is a
low road to take, but it should still be an option for those of us
who want to utilize all the game has to offer to battle with our
buddies, and don’t feel like to play through every single one of
the game’s one person modes/tournaments to do so.
you enjoyed Bulma in the skill shop last time, be prepared to enjoy
looking at Launch (both of her personalities) this time around.
Other than that, nothing but guys jacked out of their minds hawking
beams at each other.
3 really does the best job of any Dragonball Z game to cater to its
fans. The game has changed the style of battle to look and feel more
like that of the show. And
the developers have taken steps to include things like flying when
fans asked for them. Now all these are great, but they don’t
change the fact that IF you aren’t a fan of DBZ, you still won’t
be able to understand what’s going on and probably won’t enjoy
this game much more than you would one of the other Budokais.
problem with this game last time was Dragon World. Dragon World was
an awkward board game mode that was nearly necessary for unlocking
all the game had to offer and forced you to fight the same enemies
numerous times. Thankfully, the oneplayer mode in Budokai 3 is of a
MUCH better design and is something every DBZ fan should experience.
Since the new one player mode Dragon Universe lets you fly around
the various DBZ worlds, I must confess that I did spend about a half
an hour just flying around. “Oh look it’s West City!!!….Look
it’s Kame’s Lookout!!!” This mode lets you fly at blinding
speeds, use scouters, sense Ki, and is really the closest thing we
have to actually living in the DBZ universe! This new mode also
offer stat placement and leveling, which is sometimes crucial for
very tough fights. This mode also does a much better job of
following the storyline of DBZ and includes many events that have
happened in the show, and some that easily could have.
I found Dragon Universe
more challenging than I thought it would be, especially on higher
difficulties. If you’re poorly equipped and ill trained, prepare
to fight the same enemy dozens of times before you succeed. Some
battles seem to depend entirely on whether you can use a full Dragon
Rush on the opponent before they do the same to you.
the Screams” documentary is well worth the extra $5 you’ll pay
for the limited edition version of Budokai 3. It’s a well-edited
and superbly paced documentary that would fit well on the Sundance
Channel and I think it should be mandatory viewing at cons. Dubbing
isn’t as easy as you may think it is; but, it is quite possibly
the coolest job on earth.
the game is a big improvement from 2, that’s not to say it’s
perfect. Our biggest peeve this time around is the way Dragon Rush
works. By making the outcome of the attack dependant on pushing
different buttons than your opponent, the attack is much more
dependant on luck than skill. Also, because of the amount of damage
it can deal, some battles can be won almost entirely on the back of
a completed rush. It certainly adds an element to the fights that
looks a lot more like DBZ, but feels like rolling a pair of dice.
All and all,
Budokai 3 far surpasses it’s predecessors but is still one for the
fans. If you don’t understand how strange characters growing
yellow hair and blowing up considerable portions of the earth is
fun, don’t even bother with this game. If you are however a Dragon
Ball Z fan, this is the game you have been waiting for. Dragon Ball
Z Budokai 3 has ascended the series back into my good graces and you
can bet your Dragonballs me and Honey are gonna be dukeing it out
DBZ style whenever we get the chance!
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