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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, originally published in Japan as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! METEOR (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! METEOR) in Japan, is the third installment of the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi (series). The game was released for the PlayStation 2 and Wii on October 4, 2007 in Japan (in some regions, the Wii port saw a delay). The PlayStation 2 version was released on November 13, 2007 in North America and on November 9, 2007 in Europe. The Wii version was later released on December 3, 2007 in North America and on February 15, 2008 in Europe.
Like its predecessor, despite being released under the Dragon Ball Z label, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 essentially touches upon all series installments of the Dragon Ball franchise, featuring numerous characters and stages set in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and numerous film adaptations of Z. The game also features one of Akira Toriyama's original characters, related to Dragon Ball through crossovers, Arale Norimaki from Dr. Slump.
Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features 161 characters, the largest character roster in any Dragon Ball Z game, as well as almost the largest in any fighting game; being topped by Tobal 2, for which Akira Toriyama was a designer. Ryo Mito stated that the game would feature never-before-seen characters made exclusively for the game, refering to the Saiyans' Great Ape forms. Gamestop offered an exclusive version with a bonus DVD containing the top 10 television series battles as voted by fans on the release date.
Several new notable features include: Battle Replay, night and day stages, the Wii's online capability, and Disc Fusion. Battle Replay allows players to capture their favorite fights and save them to an SD card to view later on. Night and day stages allow for more accurate battles in Dragon History, as well as the ability to transform into a Great Ape by using the moon. There are also several other time differences, such as dawn and afternoon. Not all stages provide different times. You can also change the aura of your character. The Wii version features online multiplayer capability, the first game in the series to have such a feature. Players can fight against anyone from around the globe with a ranking system showing the player's current standing compared to anyone else who has played online. As compensation for the lack of online, Spike has added a new "Disc Fusion" system to the PlayStation 2 version. Inserting a Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 1 or Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 disc during play unlocks Ultimate Battle or Ultimate Battle Z, modes featured in the respective games needed to unlock them. The game also supports 480p for both the Wii and the PlayStation 2 versions.
Other features in the game include more combo attacks or character specific combos, the Blast Combo's, and the Z Burst Dash. The additional combo attacks will be able to help chain in more attacks for more damage and longer combos. The Blast Combos are normal combos used in the game, however by inputting the another button into the attack will allow you to use a blast attack for extra damage. Depending on the moves of the character you might not be able to use this feat such as Videl or Hercule. The Z Burst Dash is much faster and more evasive version of the Dragon Dash. It allows the user to get behind the opponent at high speeds for either a strike or to avoid a Blast 2 attack. The drawback to this technique is that it will rapidly drain the user of energy unless equipped with certain Z-items.
- Dragon History
- Saiyan Saga
- Frieza Saga
- Android Saga
- Majin Buu Saga
- Special Saga (Movies)
- Dragon Ball GT Saga
- Dragon Ball Saga
- What If Saga
- Ultimate Battle
- Sim Dragon
- Mission 100
- Disc Fusion (exclusively on the PlayStation 2 version)
- Dragon World Tour
- World Tournament
- World Martial Arts Big Tournament
- Cell Games
- Otherworld Tournament
- Yamcha Game
- Single Battle
- Team Battle
- DP Battle
- Battle Options
- Dragon Net Battle (exclusively on the Wii version)
- Custom Battle
- Normal Battle
- Friend Battle
- Ranking Battle
- View Ranking
- Battle Record
- Evolution Z
- Character Customize
- Item Shop
- Item Exchange
- Item List
- Evolution Z Explanation
- Ultimate Training
- Battle Training
- Data Center
- Password Input Screen
- Fighter Catalog
- Character Reference
New gameplay elements
Several new features have been added to Budokai Tenkaichi 3. These include:
- Blast Combo – Players can now kick their opponent into the air and attack them again by quickly teleporting or flying behind them by pressing the A button.
- Sonic Sway – This technique allows the player to evade the opponent's attacks. Since it takes longer for the attacker to get back into their fighting stance than it does the player dodging the attacks, the attacker is left with an open defense. The one evading can then quickly counter-attack their opponent. However, this feature only applies to physical attacks aimed for the upper part of the body; if the opponent aims for the player's legs, for example, they cannot evade the attacks.
- Rush Ki Wave – A brand new combo finisher exclusive to some characters that allows them to send their opponent flying away with a charged one-handed beam.
- Z-Counter – The ability to counter attacks by teleporting behind the enemy. This is a technique seen in the series many times.
- Z-Burst Dash – An enhanced version of the dash attack from the previous games, this technique allows players to zig and zag as they move at high speed.
- The addition of a new day and night system allows certain characters to harness the power of the moon to transform into a Great Ape.
- With the addition of the Battle Replay mode, players can now capture all of their favorite fights and watch them again later on. There are also several camera angles you can use to swap views of the battle.
- The Wii version does not make use of the Wii's sensor bar. The game instead uses the Wii Remote's accelerometer provides animations demonstrating how to perform techniques (much like previous games provide the button combinations that are required to execute a technique).
- The game's story mode, called Dragon History, has been completely changed from the previous installments. Some cutscenes take place during the middle of a battle, interrupting the fight for a short time while the two characters talk, while others take place during the battle themselves. During in-game cutscenes, dialogue appears at the bottom of the screen as the player fights, and what each character says depends on how the match is going. The player can also issue one-hit KOs in story mode by dealing the blow used to kill their opponent in the source material. The story mode is also significantly shorter than previous installments.
- A new Z-Point system replaces the leveling system from Budokai Tenkaichi 2. The more Z-Points a character has, the more Z-Items can be equipped.
- The Wii port of Budokai Tenkaichi 3 can be played using several different control setups, and is not restricted to the console's Wii Remote and Nunchuk alone. Instead, the player can choose to use the Classic Controller or the GameCube controller, as well. The Classic Controller set up has been best received by critics, whom cite the Wii Remote as a fun method of play for casual gamers, but one that does not always maintain the responsiveness for hardcore gameplay.
Each character in the game is based on their anime counterparts, their voice actors also partaking in the development of the game whenever possible. Each character has attacks and fighting styles more-or-less derived from the source material, for example Goku's Kamehameha and Vegeta's Galick Gun. Certain fighters also have abilities, or the lack thereof, exclusive only to a small group of characters. Also, certain characters cannot fly in the series, and thus slowly descend back to the ground after taking flight in Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (however, a Flight Z-Item is available for use by these characters, removing this restriction).
The following represents the characters as they are ordered in the Character Select menu. Additional transformations appear in small text directly below the character to which they belong. Some characters are only playable in unabridged transformations, meaning they cannot revert to any preceding forms and are only able to progress in the transformation cycle. For example, Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta, is a character separate from all other incarnations of Vegeta in the game, thus none of these other Vegeta characters can assume the transformation, nor can Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta return to his base form. The character's only transformation option is to progress to Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. Characters who are only playable in unabridged forms have the title of their transformation listed in parenthesized small text beside their name.
|Goku (Early)||Kid Gohan||Piccolo (Early)||Vegeta (Scouter)||Krillin||Yamcha||Trunks (Sword)|
|Great Ape Vegeta||Super Saiyan|
|Goku (Mid)||Teen Gohan||Piccolo (End)||Vegeta||Tien||Chiaotzu||Trunks|
|Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan|
|Super Saiyan 2||Ascended Super Saiyan||Ultra Super Saiyan|
|Goku (End)||Gohan||Ultimate Gohan||Vegeta (Second form)||Majin Vegeta||Goten||Kid Trunks|
|Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan|
|Super Saiyan 2||Super Saiyan 2||Super Saiyan 2||Gotenks||Gotenks|
|Super Saiyan 3||Great Saiyaman||Vegito||Super Saiyan Gotenks||Super Saiyan Gotenks|
|Vegito||Super Vegito||Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks||Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks|
|Super Vegito||Super Gogeta|
|Goku (GT)||Future Gohan||Videl||Hercule||Vegeta (Super Saiyan 4)||Uub||Pan|
|Super Saiyan||Super Saiyan||Great Saiyaman 2||Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta||Majuub|
|Super Saiyan 3|
|Super Saiyan 4|
|Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta|
|Master Roshi||Yajirobe||Nail||Supreme Kai||Raditz||Nappa||Saibaman|
|Max Power||Kibitokai||Great Ape Raditz||Great Ape Nappa|
|Frieza (1st Form)||Mecha Frieza||Appule||Cui||Frieza Soldier||King Cold||King Vegeta|
|2nd Form||Great Ape King Vegeta|
|Cell (1st Form)||Cell Jr.||Dr. Gero||Android #19||Android #18||Android #17||Android #16|
|Majin Buu||Majin Buu (Pure Evil)||Super Buu||Kid Buu||Babidi||Spopovich||Demon King Dabura|
|Bardock||Fasha||Garlic Jr.||Dr. Wheelo||Turles||Lord Slug||Salza|
|Great Ape Bardock||Great Ape Fasha||Super Garlic Jr.||Great Ape Turles||Giant|
|Final Form||Fusion||Super Saiyan||Full Power||Super Janemba|
|Legendary Super Saiyan|
|Pikkon||Tapion||Hirudegarn||Baby Vegeta||Super 17||Nuova Shenron||Syn Shenron|
|Super Baby 1||Omega Shenron|
|Super Baby 2|
|Golden Great Ape Baby|
|Demon King Piccolo||Tambourine||Pilaf Machine||Devilman||General Blue||General Tao||Cyborg Tao|
|Fusion Pilaf Machine|
|Kid Goku||Chi-Chi||Grandpa Gohan||Nam||Android #8||Arale||Code characters|
- Andy Chandler – Cooler, Spopovich
- Bill Townsley – Guldo, Cui, Babidi
- Bob Carter – Bojack, Syn Shenron
- Brad Jackson – King Cold
- Brandon Potter – Appule, Alien Announcer, Earthling 2
- Brice Armstrong – Captain Ginyu, Lord Slug, Senbi Norimaki
- Brina Palencia – Bulla, Chiaotzu, Puar, Arale Norimaki
- Chris Cason – Shu
- Chris Patton – Turles, Earthling 4
- Chris Rager – Hercule, Frieza Soldier 2
- Christopher R. Sabat – Burter, Gogeta, Grandpa Gohan, Jeice, King Piccolo, Korin, Majin Vegeta, Piccolo, Recoome, Salza, Omega Shenron, Vegito, Vegeta, Yamcha, Zarbon, Porunga, Shenron, Mr. Popo
- Chuck Huber – Android 13, Android 17, Garlic Jr., Super 17, Pilaf
- Colleen Clinkenbeard – Zangya, Mai
- Cynthia Cranz – Chi-Chi
- Dameon Clarke – Cell, Tambourine
- Elise Baughman – Pan
- Eric Vale – Trunks, World Tournament Announcer
- James T. Field – Play-by-Play Announcer
- Jason Liebrecht – Tapion
- Jeremy Inman – Android 16
- Jerry Jewel – Nam
- John Burgmeier – Tien Shinhan, Saibamen, Frieza Soldier, Nuova Shenron
- Josh Martin – Majin Buu, Kid Buu, Earthling 1
- Justin Cook – Devilman, Raditz, Super Buu, Super Buu (Gotenks Absorbed), Super Buu (Ultimate Gohan Absorbed)
- Kara Edwards – Goten, Gotenks, Videl, Great Saiyaman 2, Upa
- Kent Williams – Dr. Gero, Kibito Kai, Supreme Kai, Tao, Janemba, Elder Kai
- Kyle Hebert – Great Saiyaman, Pikkon, Gohan, Narrator
- Laura Bailey – Dende, Kid Trunks, Gotenks, Kid Chi-Chi
- Linda Young – Baba, Frieza, Fasha
- Meredith McCoy – Android 18, Launch
- Mike McFarland – Baby, Master Roshi, Yajirobe, Android 8, Pui Pui
- Phil Parsons – Nappa
- Phillip Wilburn – Android 19
- R. Bruce Elliot – Dr. Wheelo, Earthling 3
- Rick Robertson – Dabura
- Robert McCollum – Hildegarn
- Sean Schemmel – Goku, Nail, Gogeta, King Kai, Vegito
- Sean Michael Teague – Uub, Majuub
- Sonny Strait – Bardock, Krillin, Giru, General Blue
- Stephanie Nadolny – Kid Gohan, Teen Gohan, Kid Goku
- Tiffany Vollmer – Bulma
- Vic Mignogna – Broly
The opening to the game is "Super Survivor" by Hironobu Kageyama in the Japanese and European versions. The American version uses an instrumental version.
Dragon Ball Z: Sparking Meteor features remixed music from the anime, while Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 has music from Atari.
List of Background Music
- The Meteor
- Vital Burner
- Innocent World - Used in the Shop
- After The Fire - Used in the World Tournament selection screen
- Sweet Vibration
- Heat Capacity
- Power Scale
- Edge of Spirit
- Hot Soul
- High and Scream
- Shootout in Meteor
- Dynamite Battle
- Burnin' Up
- Wild Rush
Reception and Sales
The PlayStation 2 port of the game received a 32 out of 40 from the game magazine Famitsu, while The Magic Box ranked the Wii version 33 out of 40. IGN awarded both versions of the game an 8 out of 10, their only complaints being the comparatively underwhelming story mode (in comparison to Budokai Tenkaichi 2), gimmicky Disc Fusion function and the lag experienced while playing online through the Wii's Wi-Fi connection.
The game has sold 3,940,000 units on the PS2 and Wii combined, with the PS2 version selling 3,000,000 units, and the Wii version selling 940,000 units, as of July 7, 2012.
- Each Ginyu Force member has their own special dialogue when facing another Ginyu Force member. For example, Burter states that if he wins, the opponent will owe him a space soda.
- If Goku fights Future Gohan, Goku will ask why Gohan looks sad as he is in shock to see Goku alive.
- When Super Perfect Cell uses the Full Power Death Beam, he yells DIE!!!
- While playing as Future Gohan in Duel mode he notes the real Gohan as an alternate timeline version of him. He also notes that Goten is a brother in an alternate timeline.
- If Zangya beats Krillin, General Blue, Master Roshi, or Nam, she says "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was tough like me? Don't cha?" based on the song by the Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes.
- If one fights with Android 18 against Zangya, Zangya will tell Android 18 "your man is kinda cute", a reference to Krillin.
- If you battle final form Frieza vs. Super Perfect Cell, Frieza will ask Cell if he wants to practice fighting, and Cell will comment "Fine. I was getting bored, anyway!"
- If Kid Trunks fights Yamcha, Trunks will ask if it is true Yamcha used to date his mom. This is a reference to how Bulma used to date Yamcha, before marrying Vegeta.
- If Kid Chi-Chi battles Goku GT, Chi-Chi's dialogue will leave one to believe that she is the GT Chi-Chi also made young by the Black Star Dragon Balls. Thus, the way she is unlocked makes sense since the player wishes her from Ultimate Shenron, who made Goku young.
- If Master Roshi battles Chi-Chi, he will say that he "never liked Ox-King".
- If Mercenary Tao battles General Blue, Tao will make a comment about how he could kill him "With his tongue", which is a nod to the anime, as well as the movie Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, in both of which Tao does just that. Further, one of his counterattacks implies that he is attacking with his tongue.
- If King Cold battles Frieza or Cooler, he will ask them "Frieza/Cooler, what is the meaning of this?". If he wins, he will note that they were "a horrible son anyway".
- If King Piccolo battles Piccolo, he will say "Son, once again, if you combine with me, we can make this world ours!"
- If Kid Goku fights Vegeta, he will tell Vegeta that he looks "kinda mean" and Vegeta will state that he is an annoying brat.
- If Piccolo enters a tournament, his screen name will be MaJunior, as it originally was in the series. In a similar fashion, the screen name will be Shin if one enters the tournament as Supreme Kai.
- When the game is loading and it shows Gohan pulling Z Swords, he will keep pulling until there are none left, then he starts over. Similarly, Vegeta will do push-ups until 999, then he starts over from zero, and Goku will eat food bowls until he gets to 100 bowls and keep eating when he finishes.
- If one waits a while at the menu screen of the story mode, various characters will occasionally show up and engage in a conversation with Goku, such as Piccolo and Krillin.
- When Super Saiyan 4 Goku powers up against Baby Vegeta in story mode, he will sound like Kid Goku (GT).
- If you wait for a while in Duel Mode, Nappa will ask Vegeta: "Hey uh... Think if I went Super Saiyan, my goatee would grow?".
- Saiyan characters that can become Great Apes by creating a Power Ball do so even in stages that have a full moon.
- Bardock is one of the characters that has to use a full moon to turn into a Great Ape, which goes against the Ocean dub of DBZ in which Vegeta says that Bardock invented the Power Ball technique, this was however a major dub mistake that has long since been abandoned.
- Vegeta (Scouter)'s second and third attires have no tail, but he can still transform into a Great Ape.
- Like in Budokai Tenkaichi 1 and 2, Cell in any form uses his "Imperfect form" pain sounds when hit.
- If one fires Android 18's Destructo Disk at Krillin and he uses his as soon as 18's disks are about to make contact, Krillin will summon pink disks instead of his yellow ones.
- Goku's profile says that he fought Pikkon in his Super Saiyan 2 transformation.
- Gohan is the only character to decrease in Destruction Points when he transforms. This happens when he goes from his normal form to Great Saiyaman.
- In the Majin Buu Saga, the Destined Battle: Goku Vs. Vegeta, the description says "puroposely" instead of "purposely", even when the voice says "purposely" correctly.
- Majin Buu's Character Introduction says "In Dragon Ball GT, Buu fights against" and ends there, leaving that info missing.
- Janemba loses health when he transforms. He is the only character to do so (he is also the only one to shrink in size when transforming).
- Gogeta (Super Saiyan 4) Character Introduction reads "He is a warrior without peer, and demonstrates this by performing this by performing his ultimate move the "Big Bang Kamehameha", repeating the "this by performing".
- When Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks is swapped for another character in Team Battle Mode, he says "Peanut Butter Jelly Time!", which is a reference to a popular song.
- When on the character selection, Vegito is spelled with an "I", but on the transformation options for Vegeta (Second Form) and Goku (End), it is spelled "Vegeto".
- Sometimes when Ultimate Shenron is about to grant a wish, he will say "That is a wish I cannot grant." Yet, he still grants it.
- In the Wii version of the game, Giru is referred to as both Gill and Giru.
- When Goku (GT) uses the Solar Flare, he says it as it is said in Japanese: "Taiyoken".
- When Goku (GT) uses the Spirit Bomb, it is mistakenly called Spirit Ball, possibly mistranslated due to its original name in Japanese, Genkidama, whose translation is the latter.
- When Baby Vegeta (Super Baby 2) uses the Final Flash, he yells "Big Bang Attack"; this is because he does this this way in the anime.
- Nuova Shenron is spelled two ways. On the character selection it is spelled Nuova Shenron, but in the GT saga, the subtitles for Goku spell it Nova Shenron.
- When GT Kid Goku turns Super Saiyan 4 against Nuova Shenron in Story Mode, Goku's voice will still be a kid in the in-game cutscene.
- If Super Saiyan 4 Goku fights Omega Shenron, he will refer to him as "Syn Shenron".
- When Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta fights Syn/Omega Shenron and wins, he says: "Your time has come. Goodbye, Shenron."
- In Dragon History, during the fight with Nam, Mr. Satan is shown on the signs and blimps even though he was not the champion yet.
- Some of Android 8's attacks seem to come from Dragon Ball: The Path to Power. His second costume even resembles the coloration from the film.
- In the story mode, Kid Goku fights Mercenary Tao and then General Blue. This is different from the actual manga, wherein General Blue was fought first.
- In the What-If Saga, before you engage in battle with Arale, Kibito Kai will say he was a fan of hers.
- In the What-If Saga, before the fight between Devilman and Mecha Frieza, Kibito Kai refers to Mecha Frieza as "Metal Frieza".
- If one plays as Grandpa Gohan in duel mode and loses, Grandpa Gohan would say "I've fallen and I can't get up", as in reference to the senior emergency system "Life Alert" slogan.
- In informations about characters, Chi-Chi says about Grandpa Gohan that she would like to have met him. It is an unusual statement because she already met him in the last episodes of Dragon Ball. However, the last episode of Dragon Ball was a filler, so it may have been going by the manga and not the anime.
- One of Frieza's moves has a typo; it should be called "You Might Die This Time", but is mistakenly called "I May Die This Time".
- Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta's 2nd "color" turns his hair silver, which looks similar to the fan-made Super Saiyan 5. This color is also an option for SS4 Gogeta in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.
- Whenever a Great Ape throws a rock, it is spelled "Gigant" instead of "Gigantic". However, in Budokai Tenkaichi 1 and Budokai Tenkaichi 2, it is spelled correctly.
- When Goku (Mid) uses the 20x Kaio-ken Kamehameha, the technique's name appears spelled "20x Kaiken Kamehameha" on the screen.
- In the Italian translation of the game, if you use Goku/Vegeta (Super Saiyan 4) and browse the Technique List, the word "Fusion" is badly replaced with "Potara". A similar mistake is notable during the intro of the "Dragon Fist Explosion! If Goku doesn't, who will?", at the line "Goku explodes with a new attack special attack to stop Hirudegarn...", Hirudegarn is instead replaced with Majin Buu.
- In the ending credits, the artwork is of Bulma looking out of a window while it is raining originates from the animation for "Romantikku Ageru Yo". Bulma occasionally blinks during these credits.
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 official website (Japanese)
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GameSpot
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GameSpy
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GamersHell
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at Gamestop
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