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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, originally published in Japan as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! METEOR (ドラゴンボールゼット SparkingスパーキングMETEORメテオ Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! Meteo) in Japan, is the third installment of the Budokai Tenkaichi series. 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 162 characters, almost the largest in any fighting game; being topped by Fire Pro Wrestling Returns and 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, referring to the Saiyans' Great Ape forms.[1] Gamestop offered an exclusive version with a bonus DVD containing the top 10 television series battles as voted by fans on the release date.

Bt 3 51

Future Gohan vs. Android 17

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 Budokai Tenkaichi 1 or 2 disc during play unlocks Ultimate Battle or Ultimate Battle Z, modes featured in the respective games needed to unlock them. The game supports 480p display mode only for the Wii version.

Other features in the game include more combo attacks or character specific combos, the Blast Combos, 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 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. Unlike previous games, "Armor Break" (and by extension, the special quote for getting up after a break) only applies upon being hit by certain Ultimate Blasts (or using a self-destruct move). In addition, many damaged models are much more unique, and accurate to the manga and anime.

New mechanics[]

Several new features have been added to Budokai Tenkaichi 3. These include:

Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 -PS2Screenshots17064Sonic Sway 07

Super Saiyan 2 Goku uses Sonic Sway on Majin Vegeta

  • 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 counterattack their opponent. However, this feature only applies to the weak basic melee strikes, the user will still be hit if they attempt to use Sonic Sway on a Rush or Smash attack.
  • 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 block and counterattack by moving quickly 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 behind the opponent as they move at high speed.

The new night system causes Bardock to transform into a Great Ape

  • 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 up to seven of their favorite fights and watch them again later on. There are also several camera angles that can be used to swap views of the battle: behind the player's shoulder or behind the opponents shoulder. The bars at the top can also be removed for better viewing.
  • The addition of character disintegration from certain Ultimate Attacks, such as Dirty Fireworks or Shining Sword Attack, depending on how much health the opponent has.
  • The Wii version does not make use of the Wii's sensor bar. The game instead uses the Wii Remote's accelerometer which provides animations demonstrating how to perform techniques (much like previous games provide the button combinations that are required to execute a technique).[2]
BT3 Ultimate Battle Replay

A Battle Replay with the HUD shown

  • 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 (missing battles such as Piccolo vs. Cell, and Gohan vs. Super Buu).
  • 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, who 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.

Game modes[]

  • 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
    • Survival
    • Disc Fusion (exclusively on the PlayStation 2 version)
  • Dragon World Tour
    • World Tournament
    • World Martial Arts Big Tournament
    • Cell Games
    • Otherworld Tournament
    • Yamcha Game - In this mode the character, customization, and color will be chosen randomly. The final fight is against Yamcha. Completing this mode on the Level 2 difficulty will unlock the Evening Desert stage for battle in other modes in the game. The playable character Fasha is unlocked after completing this mode on the Level 3 difficulty.
  • Duel
    • 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
    • Evolution Z Explanation
  • Ultimate Training
    • Training
    • Battle Training
  • Data Center
    • Password Input Screen
    • Fighter Catalog
    • Replay
  • Character Reference
  • Options
  • Shenron

Playable characters[]

Returning characters[]

Name Returning Transformations New Transformations Available at Start
Android #13
  • Base
  • Fusion
Android #16 Yes
Android #17 Yes
Android #18 Yes
Android #19 Yes
Appule Yes
Baby Vegeta Yes
Bardock Yes
Bojack Yes
Broly Yes
Burter Yes
Captain Ginyu Yes
  • 1st Form
  • 2nd Form
  • Perfect Form
  • Perfect
Cell Jr. Yes
Chiaotzu Yes
Cooler Yes
Cui Yes
Cyborg Tao Yes
Demon King Dabura Yes
Demon King Piccolo No
Dodoria Yes
Dr. Gero Yes
Frieza Yes
Frieza Soldier Yes
Garlic Jr. Yes
General Tao Yes
Gogeta No
Gohan Yes
Goku (End) Yes
Goku (GT) No
Goten Yes
Gotenks No
Grandpa Gohan Yes
Guldo Yes
Hercule Yes
Hirudegarn Yes
  • Base
  • Super Janemba
Jeice Yes
Kid Buu Yes
Kid Gohan Yes
Kid Goku Yes
Kid Trunks Yes
Krillin Yes
Majin Buu Yes
Majin Buu (Pure Evil) Yes
Master Roshi Yes
Mecha-Frieza Yes
Meta-Cooler Yes
Nappa Yes
Pan Yes
Piccolo (End) Yes
Pikkon Yes
Pilaf Machine
  • Base
  • Combined Machine
Raditz Yes
Recoome Yes
Saibaman Yes
Salza Yes
Slug Yes
Super 17 Yes
Super Buu
  • Base
  • Gotenks absorbed
  • Gohan absorbed
Super Gogeta No
Supreme Kai Yes
Syn Shenron Yes
Tapion Yes
Teen Gohan
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 2
Tien Yes
Trunks (Sword) Yes
Trunks Yes
Turles Yes
Ultimate Gohan Yes
  • Base
  • Majuub
Vegeta (Scouter) Yes
Vegeta Yes
Vegeta (second form) Yes
Vegeta (End) Yes
Vegeta (second form) No
Vegito No
  • Base
  • Great Saiyaman 2
Yajirobe Yes
Yamcha Yes
Zangya Yes
Zarbon Yes

*Goku uses the mastered state in his post-Hyperbolic Time Chamber outfits, and the standard version in his pre-Hyperbolic Time Chamber outfits.

New characters[]

Name Transformations Available at Start
Android #8 No
Arale No
Babidi No
Chi-Chi No
Devilman No
Dr. Wheelo No
Fasha No
Future Gohan No
General Blue No
Goku (Early) Yes
Goku (Mid) Yes
King Cold No
King Vegeta No
Nail No
Nam No
Nuova Shenron No
Piccolo (Early) Yes
Spopovich No
Tambourine No

Battle Stages[]

BT3 Main Menu

Main Menu


Publication Score
PS2 Version
IGN 8.0 of 10
GameZone 7.8 of 10
Wii Version
IGN 8.0 of 10
Game Trailers 7.6 of 10
Review compilations (PS2 Version)
Game Rankings 73.8% (based on 25 reviews)
Metacritic 73% (based on 24 reviews)
Review compilations (Wii Version)
Game Rankings 73.5% (based on 29 reviews)
Metacritic 72% (based on 27 reviews)

Budokai Tenkaichi 3 received "average" reviews on both platforms according to Metacritic. The PlayStation 2 port of the game received a 32 out of 40 from the game magazine Famitsu, while giving the Wii version a score 33 out of 40.[3]

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.

In Japan the game sold 282,000 copies on PS2 and 90,000 copies on Wii by the end of 2007.[4] The game had sold 1.04 million copies worldwide as of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.[5]


  • 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.
  • Occasionally when entering Dragon History, various characters will show up and engage in a conversation with Goku, such as Piccolo, Trunks, Vegeta and Krillin.
    • During the conversation between Vegeta and Goku in the Dragon History menu, when Goku mentions Frieza, his name is spelled "Freiza".
  • 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?"
    • This line may have been the inspiration for Nappa's facial hair growing when he goes Super Saiyan 3 (as he retains his baldness) in Dragon Ball Heroes, or an ironic coincidence.
    • In Xenoverse 2, Nappa's actual Super Saiyan form was added via the Partner Customization and his goatee does not grow though it does turn golden blonde along with his eyebrows (as bald or completely shaved Saiyans remain bald when using Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan God, Super Saiyan Blue, and Super Saiyan God SS Evolved with only their facial hair changing color, while Saiyans with shaved heads will regrow their head hair if the Super Saiyan 3 form is used in Xenoverse 2).
  • 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.
  • Great Ape Vegeta uses his base form's voice when losing an Energy Clash, going into MAX Power, firing a fully charged ki blast, or using rapid movement.
  • Cell in any form uses his "Imperfect form" grunts. This is due to recycled audio from the Budokai series, as transformations of the same character share the same grunts in those games.
    • It would have been completely possible to avoid this inconsistency in the Budokai Tenkaichi series, since characters and its transformations are different characters in the game files and have their own dedicated files
  • If one fires Android 18's Destructo Disc 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, which did not appear to be the case in the anime. Though they may have fought with Goku in this form during the 7 years between the Cell Saga and Buu Saga, off-camera.
  • 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. In the Japanese version, it says that in Dragon Ball GT, Mr. Buu stands against Baby in order to prtotect Satan and Uub, among others.
  • Gotenks occasionally says "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" when switching out in team battle, as in the famous internet meme.
  • 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 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 Shenron or 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 uses the Final Flash, he yells "Big Bang Attack", just like he does 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 will use his kid voice in the in-game cutscene.
  • 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.
  • In Chi-Chi's commentary about characters, she says on Grandpa Gohan that she would like to have met him. However, she indeed met him in the last episodes of Dragon Ball. The game might be disregarding this, though, as it was anime-only filler.
  • Frieza's move "Imprisonment Ball" is mistakenly called "I Might Die This Time". This error is fixed in later games.
SS4 Gogeta color 2

Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta's alternate color

  • Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta's 2nd "color" turns his hair silver, which looks similar to the fan made Super Saiyan 5. This color originates from Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 and is also an option for Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta in Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World and Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.
  • Whenever a Great Ape throws a rock, it is spelled "Gigant" instead of "Gigantic".
  • When Goku (Mid) uses the 20x Kaio-ken Kamehameha, the technique's name appears spelled "20x Kaiken Kamehameha" on the screen.
  • In the Story Mode scenario "Ultimate Super Gogeta", Omega Shenron's event dialogue is initially spoken without the effects normally placed on Christopher Sabat's voice. The correct voice is used, however, when he says "Who's there? Who are you?" to Gogeta during the fusion event scene and remain applied theron.
  • In the scenario "Ultimate Super Gogeta", "Saiyan" is spelled as "Siayan" on the subtitles whenever Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta uses a Blast 2 or an Ultimate Blast and says, "Can you handle this, a Super Siayan 4?"
  • In the scenario "Ultimate Super Gogeta", Pan will say that Goku and Vegeta did Fusion, even before the prompt to fuse appears.
  • In the Italian translation of the game, during the intro of the "Dragon Fist Explosion! If Goku doesn't, who will?", the game states that "Goku explodes with a new special attack to stop Majin Buu" when it should say Hirudegarn.
  • Super Saiyan Goku's lines are reused in his Super Saiyan 3 form for an unknown reason.
  • If Zangya beats Krillin, Master Roshi, Nam, or General Blue, she says "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was tough like me? Don't cha?" based on the song by Tori Alamaze and recorded by the Pussycat Dolls.
  • This game marks Brina Palencia's debut as Chiaotzu, though Monika Antonelli's voice clips are retained in gameplay and is consequently credited instead of Palencia in some places.
  • There are multiple credit mistakes for the English voice cast in the game's ending credits:
    • Chris Patton and Jason Liebrecht's roles of Turles and Tapion are swapped.
    • Hirudegarn is also erroneously credited to Liebrecht.
    • Christopher Sabat is credited for Syn Shenron.
    • Kyle Hebert is credited for Appule. This error is also present in the Character Reference section, though not the instruction booklet.
    • Chuck Huber is mistakenly credited twice due to a typo. The first being for his performances as Android 17, Garlic Jr., and Android 13. However, a second credit is mistakenly credited to "Chuck Hubter" for his performance as Emperor Pilaf. Additionally, the Combined Pilaf Machine, is also credited as the "Fision Pilaf Machine".
  • As with Budokai Tenkaichi 2's Dragon Library, the Character Reference section erroneously states that Josh Martin voiced Super Buu and Justin Cook voiced Majin Buu (Pure Evil).
  • When playing as Goku (Mid) or using Goku (End)'s alternative "time chamber armor" costume, Goku's Super Saiyan form will use the same minimally detailed hairstyle as from its first appearance in the anime.
  • King Vegeta's Great Ape form bio states that he never transformed in that state and it's a video game exclusive, despite him appearing in that form in the Dragon Ball GT episode, "The Attack on Vegeta" albeit without armor.
  • In the French version, there are still character naming errors (such as "Sangoku" or "Freezer"), and Gogeta Super Saiyan 4 fusion is called "Potala".
  • Some characters will be severally battle damaged appearing like in the anime if they are hit by an Ultimate Blast or in a beam struggle.
    • Out of all the damaged looks, Bardock is the only one to feature blood on his face.
  • This is one of the only Dragon Ball Z video games to feature both of Goku's torn Gi featuring a part of his blue shirt left when battling Frieza and the no shirt variant.
  • Broly's 2nd "color" features his appearance from Broly Second Coming. It shows his scorch marks on his chest and lacks the ring.
  • Goku (GT)'s Super Saiyan 3 lacks a golden tail based off the anime. This is one of a few details missing based off the anime.
  • The Halo Z item equip on either Goku (End) or Vegeta (Second Form) will feature them with a Halo on top of their head.





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