Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi Review

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi Review
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Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3: One for the Fans

The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi series has been very successful on the Playstation 2, Wii, and even the PSP. It was first called the Sparking! Series in Japan which was taken off the lyrics of the main anime’s theme. It has been changed to Budokai Tenkaichi for the North American release, which translate to Strongest Under the Heavens Martial Arts Tournament, quite the mouthful. The third game offers a lot of new finishing moves and quite a large character roster as well.

Story (3 out of 5)

Screenshot of Budokai Tenkaichi

It is hard to pinpoint the exact story in this game, since it features a hodge podge of stories from the anime, the animated movies, and its own character’s mini stories as you select them. The story basically is about each character with their rivalries against one another and how they think they will do as they reach the end of the tournament, which will announce them as the strongest under the heavens. The story is quite hard to follow unless you are an avid Dragon Ball Z fan. For those that don’t know a thing or two about the series, you can just play to fight and release some frustration.

Game Play (4 out of 5)

Budokai screenshot

The Budokai Tenkaichi series has a much more difficult premise than other fighting video games. You must fly across the screen and blast your opponent with your special projectile moves. The game is in 2D cell shaded, yet fully playable in 3D, so you can dash across the screen and fly up into the air to dodge your enemy’s attacks. A lot of players will tend to button mash instead of doing the very difficult moves themselves, which can take a lot of practice. This game is hard on the hands, but for those that want a new challenge that differs greatly from other fighting genre video games, Budokai Tenkaichi will give you just that.

Controls (2 out of 5)

With over 120 characters to play as, it may seem a bit overwhelming, since most of them all have different move sets to keep up with. Sticking to the characters you know and practicing in training mode will reap rewards. The controls themselves can actually hurt sensitive hands that cannot keep up with all the finger gymnastics and the blocky and clunky ways the characters move themselves across the screen to fly up or dash to avoid hits. The controls are probably the only thing keeping this game from getting a better score, simply because they are definitely hard and coarse if someone were to described them.

Multiplayer (4 out of 5)

DBZ Budokai3

The 2 player mode is actually quite fun if you have a few competitive friends, it is only local however. Like most fighting games, the two player mode consists of keeping track of who wins and losses each fight. It is all simple really, but can be quite effective if you are the type of person who indeed enjoys to face up to a difficult task and see how you can win against other human players.

Graphics (4 out of 5)

Budokai graphics

With an interesting mix of cell shaded 2D characters and 3D backgrounds, Dragon Ball Z the Budokai Tenkaichi 3 looks almost just like the anime series it came from. All the characters such as Goku and Vegeta look just like their animated counterparts, which will definitely appease fans. The frame rate could have been much more higher since the sudden stop motion effect when one lands a punch or kick makes the game seem a bit clunky. The environments change from dawn to afternoon, dusk, and night which make it more original than other games in the same caliber.

Sound (4 out of 5)

Goku in BT3

This game features the same rocking tunes that any Dragon Ball Z fan would get a kick out of. The high pitched electric guitar sounding off with the other beats can keep you pumped and ready for action. The voice acting is all done by the actors that play in the English version of the anime, so there is nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the voice work. The hard heavy hitting sounds of punches and kicks, as well as the projectile attacks works very well here. Since all the music is solely rock with the added guitar riffs, some people may find it to be just a little too much and there is an option to turn it off.

Overall (3 out of 5)

Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is an alright game for the average fighting game enthusiast. It can be a little too hard on the hands and have such a high difficulty level, the average gamer may find it a bit too tiring to keep up with. For those that enjoy the Dragon Ball series of games and the anime, this game is definitely right up your alley!