Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3″ is a fighting video game developed by Dimps and published by Atari. Released for the PlayStation 2 in 2004, it is the third installment in the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series and features fast-paced, intense battles based on the popular Dragon Ball Z anime and manga series.
- 3D Fighting Mechanics: Budokai 3 retains the 3D fighting mechanics of its predecessors, allowing players to engage in one-on-one battles in fully three-dimensional arenas. The combat system incorporates a combination of punches, kicks, energy blasts, and powerful special moves.
- Combo System: The game features an extensive combo system, enabling players to string together various attacks and techniques to create devastating combinations. Mastering the combo system is essential for skilled gameplay.
- Energy Management: Characters in Budokai 3 utilize energy (ki) for special moves and transformations. Managing ki effectively is crucial for executing powerful attacks and maintaining a strategic advantage in battle.
- Dragon Rush: A new feature introduced in Budokai 3 is the Dragon Rush system. This mechanic allows players to initiate a sequence of attacks and defenses, with the potential to unleash a powerful cinematic finishing move.
- Customization: The game includes a character customization system where players can assign and upgrade various abilities, super moves, and transformations to their favorite characters.
- World Tournament Mode: In addition to the story mode, Budokai 3 introduces the World Tournament mode, where players can compete in various tournaments against AI opponents or friends. Winning tournaments unlocks additional characters and content.
- Saiyan Saga to Kid Buu Saga: Budokai 3’s story mode covers significant arcs from the Dragon Ball Z series, allowing players to experience iconic battles from the Saiyan Saga to the Kid Buu Saga. The narrative is presented with voiced cutscenes and follows the events of the anime closely.
- Branching Paths: The story mode incorporates branching paths, allowing players to make decisions that affect the progression of the storyline. This adds an element of replayability as players can experience different outcomes.
- Large Roster: Budokai 3 boasts a large roster of playable characters, including fan favorites like Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, Frieza, Cell, and many more. The diverse character roster spans multiple sagas of the Dragon Ball Z series.
- Unlockable Characters: Some characters are initially locked and can be unlocked by progressing through the story mode, winning tournaments, or fulfilling specific in-game requirements.
Graphics and Presentation:
- Visual Style: The game features a cel-shaded visual style that replicates the look of the Dragon Ball Z anime. The character models, animations, and special effects contribute to the authenticity of the source material.
- Cutscenes and Voice Acting: Animated cutscenes with voice acting from the English dub cast further enhance the storytelling experience, bringing the Dragon Ball Z narrative to life.
The game includes a soundtrack with music inspired by the Dragon Ball Z series, contributing to the energetic and intense atmosphere of the battles.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 received positive reviews for its improved gameplay mechanics, extensive character roster, and faithful adaptation of the Dragon Ball Z storyline. Critics and fans alike praised the game’s engaging combat system and the depth added by the Dragon Rush feature.
Budokai 3 is often regarded as one of the best Dragon Ball Z games on the PlayStation 2 and remains a favorite among fans of the series. Its success contributed to the continued popularity of the Budokai series and solidified its place in the hearts of Dragon Ball Z and fighting game enthusiasts.