Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, originally published as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! METEOR (ドラゴンボールZ Sparking! METEOR, Doragon Bōru Zetto Supākingu! Meteo) in Japan, is the third installment of the Budokai Tenkaichi series. The game was released for the PlayStation 2 and Wii on October 4, 2007 in Japan, although in other regions the game was released, its 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 only related to Dragon Ball through crossovers, Dr. Slump's Arale Norimaki.
Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features 161 characters, the largest character roster in any Dragon Ball Z game, as well as one of the largest in any fighting game. Ryo Mito once stated that the game would feature never-before-seen characters made exclusively for the game, although the only exclusive characters were the Saiyans' alternate 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 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 also supports 480p for both the Wii and the PlayStation 2 versions.
Other features in the game includes 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 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 (exclusive to the PlayStation 2 port)
- Dragon World Tour
- World Tournament
- World Martial Arts Big Tournament
- Cell Games
- Otherworld Tournament
- Yamcha Game
- Single Battle
- Team Battle
- DP Battle
- Dragon Net Battle (exclusive to the Wii port)
- 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.
- Sonic Sway - This technique simply allows the player to evade the opponents 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.
- 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 Remotes 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 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 off of their anime counterparts, their seiyū and 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.
The PlayStation 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 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.
- 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, Chaotzu, Puar, Arale Norimaki
- Chris Cason – Shu
- Chris Patton – Turles, Earthling 4
- Chris Rager – Hercule, Frieza Soldier 2
- Christopher Sabat – Burter, Gogeta, Grandpa Gohan, Jeice, 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, 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, Kibitio 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, 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.
- Kid Gohan cannot transform into a Great Ape in this game, despite the fact that he has a tail.
- Like with Tenkaichi 2, Cell in any form uses his "Imperfect form" pain sounds when hit.
- If you play as Goku (GT) and use Solar Flare he'll say it as it's said in japanese: "Taiyoken".
- When Goku (GT) uses the Spirit Bomb, it is mistakenly called Spirit Ball, possibly as a nod to its original name in Japanese, Genkidama, whose translation is the latter.
- Super Saiyan 3 Goku (GT), quite simply, does not have any voice clips, except one when he goes Super Saiyan 4.
- When Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks is swapped for another character in Team Battle Mode, he'll say "Peanut Butter Jelly Time!".
- If Zangya beats Krillin, 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 you go to Goku's profile, it says that he fought Pikkon in his Super Saiyan 2 transformation, when in actuality he had just transformed into a Super Saiyan.
- Golden Great Ape Baby will say "It's time for this monkey to spank you" if you start the match with him, which is a joke about the term "Spanking the monkey" which means male masturbation.
- Janemba loses health when he transforms. He is the only character to do so.
- 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 Mystical Adventure,. In both of which, Tao does just that. Further, one of his attacks implies he is attacking you with his tongue.
- 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 Dragon Balls. Thus the way she's unlocked makes sense, since the player wishes her from Black Star Shenron, who made Goku young.
- If Master Roshi battles Chi-Chi, he will reveal that he "Never liked Ox King".
- This is the first DBZ game to have more than 4 playable female characters.
- If you wait for a while in Duel Mode, Nappa will ask to Vegeta: "Hey uh... Think if I went Super Saiyan, my goatee would grow?".
- When Baby Vegeta (Super Baby 2) uses the Final Flash Technique, he mistakenly yells "Big Bang Attack".
- Kid Buu makes Super Buu's pain noises when hit.
- 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.
- Saiyan characters that can become Great Apes by creating a Power Ball do so even in stages that have a full moon.
- When you use Full Power Death Beam with Super Perfect Cell he yells the Japanese "Dodonpa".
- When Nail faces Appule, they have a conversation about the destruction of the Namekian village.
- If you wait a while in Ultimate Battle, Android 17 and Android 18 will make conversation with each other. For instance, #18 suggests on shopping for clothes, but 17 refuses, she reveals he's no fun.
- If one fights with Android 18 vs Zangya, Zangya will tell Android 18 "your man is kinda cute", a reference to Krillin.
- 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.
- When viewing Chi-Chi's Commentary About Gotenks (Base), she says "What were they called Trunkten or Gotrunks I don't know." The subtitles incorrectly says "Gotenks" instead of "Gotrunks".
- If Piccolo enters a tournament, its screen name will be Majunior, possibly a nod to the series. In a similar fashion, the screen name will be Shin if one enters the tournament as Supreme Kai.
- If Kid Trunks fights Yamcha, Trunks will ask if it's true Yamcha used to date his mom. This is a reference to how Bulma used to date Yamcha, before marrying Vegeta.
- Vegeta (Scouter)'s third attire has no tail but you can still transform into a great ape.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Super Saiyan 4 Goku fights Omega Shenron he will refer to him as "Syn Shenron".
- For some strange reason, sometimes when Black Star Shenron is about to grant a wish, he'll say, "That is a wish I cannot grant." Yet he grants it.
- In the Wii version of the game Giru is refered to as both Gill and Giru.
- In the fight between Perfect Cell and Ascended Super Saiyan Vegeta in Story Mode Cell says "Shhh what's that smell oh it's the other world!" when it clearly should be "Shh what's that sound oh it's the other world!".
- When using Goku (End) in battle, his two special movies (Kamehameha, Meteor Smash, Super Explosive Wave, etc) are only needing two full yellow bars, not three or four as the skill list says.
- When fighting Janemba (Big) in Story Mode, he says "Buuuuuu!" at one point.
- In Dragon History during the fight with Nam, Mr. Satan is shown on the signs and blimps even though he wasn't the champion yet.
- List of items in Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- List of playable characters in Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- List of stages in Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- ↑ IGN: Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
- ↑ Detwiler, Ray (2007-08-27). Exclusive Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 Interview. Wii-volution. Retrieved on 2007-10-07.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 LaBrie, Michael & Grybowski, Julian (2007-06-23). Sparking! Meteor gameplay elements. Daizenshuu EX. Retrieved on 2007-09-25.
- ↑ GameSpot's Tenkaichi 3 E3 interview.. Retrieved on 2007-07-15.
- ↑ http://www.the-magicbox.com/game20070927.shtml
- Official Japanese website (Japanese)
- Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GameSpot
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GameSpy
- Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 at GamersHell