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Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai (ドラゴンボールZ しんどうかい Doragon Bōru Zetto Shin Budōkai, lit. Dragon Ball Z: New Martial Arts Gathering) is a fighting video game that was developed by Dimps, and was released worldwide throughout Spring 2006. It is part of the Budokai series of games and was released following Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. It is the first Dragon Ball Z game on the PlayStation Portable. Its sequel is Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road.


Scenario story mode is a new story which takes place two years after the defeat of Kid Buu, and which is based on the events of the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn. The players follow the events of the story in which you choose between Goku and friends, including enemy characters, along the way. The choices that the player makes determine how the story evolves.

Another mode is the Arcade mode, a single player mode that lets the player to choose the character let's him/her combat against the CPU in order to fight and gain the Dragon Balls. After gaining enough Dragon Balls, Shenron appears and grants the wish of the character, designed according to their personalities.

Next is the Z Trial mode, which consists of two different types of play: Survival, where the player fights against CPU-controlled opponents for as long as he/she can, and Time Attack, where the player sees how fast he/she can make it through a predetermined set of opponents.

Finally, there is the Profile Card mode, in which the players will have their in-game character profile cards that lists their name and power level. The players can design their own card and customize them with items from the game's store.

Key Features

  • High-speed wireless multiplayer battles featuring the universe's strongest fighters
  • 18 playable characters, including prize fighter Pikkon
  • Revamped version of the acclaimed Saiyan Overdrive fighting system
  • In-game transformations to more powerful forms
  • All-new stage based on Fusion Reborn
  • Seven game modes, including a compelling story mode: Dragon Road


While the game is especially the same as the prior installments, it has notable differences; first off, most of the interactive button prompts (such as Dragon Rushes) where removed, and scrapped in favor of more simplistic mechanics. Ultimates can be performed freely, and have their cinematic touches notably reduced and/or removed outright. A majority of special attacks done with E + left or right can now also be charged up for more damage and/or a longer duration at the cost of more ki expended.

The game also includes a brand new technique known as the "Aura Burst" which allows your character to move across the screen at high speed toward the opponent. When Bursting and pressing an attack button, you could dish out fast combos or blows that stun your opponent. Making long chain combos similar to the ones from Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 which were more difficult at that time, but blocking was made slightly easier by using the Aura Burst as a canceler. Despite most of the criticism, Shin Budokai's fighting system was deeper than initially expected due to several new indirect mechanics.

Dragon Road

Story Mode

A scene from the story mode

Dragon Road is the story mode of Shin Budokai. It is based on the movie Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn. As the player moves along in the story, different fights will show up, such as a friendly competition (a fight between Goku and Krillin) or a showdown against evil. The Dragon Road mode takes the player on a trip to see the events from Fusion Reborn in a totally revamped way; things that were in the movie are different in the game. It starts off with Goku and his friends going out on a camping trip, but they are interrupted when a portal to Earth from Hell is opened, and the dead are being brought back to life. Goku and his friends have to fight their way through, from the plains of Earth to the ruins of Hell. The Dragon Road consists of 5 chapters, with some branching out. The player has to choose which path to take, and the story will advance in different ways, based on these decisions.

Training Mode

In this mode, you can practice battles with the CPU. You have to pick two characters to fight with, choose the battlefield, and set your health, starting ki, and check energy.

  • Health: The amount of health you wish to begin the fight with, which you can also set for the CPU (they do not have to be the same). There are 7 bars of health, each a different color.
  • Starting Ki: How much energy you want to begin the battle with. You can give yourself an advantage by setting the CPU's Ki energy to low. There are 7 bars of Ki.
  • Check Energy: The amount of Ki needed to teleport behind the enemy to dodge his/her attack. For example, the original ki consumption for teleporting is 3 ki bars. The higher you make it, the more ki it consumes. The lower, the less ki it takes.

Network Battle Mode

This is the mode were you can have wireless multiplayer battles with your friends. Here, you can also add friends to your Profile Card, and view theirs as well. Every battle you win will raise your power level (shown on the main menu, on the Dragon Radar). It will also increase your Victory Ratio, which is displayed on your Profile Card.


In this mode, you select your character, and head out to battle. The objective of this mode is to collect all the Dragon Balls. Although, you do not get any wishes of your own, the characters ask the eternal dragon for something they want. You'll fight 10 opponents in a row, and at certain points in the Arcade Mode, you'll come across an opponent you'll have a dialog scene with.

Time Attack

In this mode, located in Z trial, you'll be asked to fight certain enemies as fast as possible. There are seven courses in total.

  • Course 1: Challenge Goku's eternal friends and rivals! Fight Goku's friends.
  • Course 2: Stops the rivals and enemies that stand in Goku's way! Fight enemies of Goku.
  • Course 3: Burning soul behind a cool demeanor! Fight powerful characters.
  • Course 4: Even if you get beaten, keep training and get stronger! Fight Goku in all his transformations and fusions.
  • Course 5: The warriors who've exceeded their limits! Fight transformed characters.
  • Course 6: Fight for future peace! Fight even stronger characters.
  • Course 7: The legendary Super Saiyans Fighting Spirits! Batlle against the Saiyans.


This is a mode where you pick your character, and fight non-stop enemies, until you lose. After a certain amount of wins, your health will not regenerate fully.

Profile Card

Here, you can create a special ID card that is used during Network Battles. It records your data, battles won, battles lost, Survival Records, Time Attacks, Rankings in Dragon Road, Power Level, Friends, Money, and your Victory Ratio. You can also buy stamps from the shop to customize it to your liking.


Chapter 1

In Age 776, two years after the defeat of Kid Buu, everyone forgot the terror and everything returned to normal. Goku goes camping with his friends, hoping Piccolo and Vegeta can make it too. Goten went ahead to Trunks' place, Capsule Corporation, and while Goku is still near his house, his eldest son Gohan joins him. Goku wonders why Gohan is coming since he was working for a test. Gohan replies that his mother said "You can't stay in your room all the time!", so he decided to go out today and get some exercise. The two then have a sparring match, which is won by Goku since it has been a while since Gohan fought and he got out of shape quick. The two then fly to the meeting place. They are joined on the way by Yamcha, who saw them flying along while Puar and the others are coming by car. When Yamcha asks how the bike Goku got is working out, Goku says that the bike is kinda in pieces right now and Gohan mentions that no matter how many times his father tries to fix it, it falls apart again. Yamcha then suggests they should talk to Bulma about it. Yamcha then joins the others in the car, while Goku and Gohan go on ahead. They decide to get fish for dinner. While Goku goes catch some, Gohan goes to get Piccolo. While looking for a river, Goku meets Krillin. He laughs and remarks Krillin looks just like old times, since he had his head shaved again. Krillin asks Goku to not hit his head, or pet it, and no polishing. He then says that Android 18 and Marron used him as a toy while he was sleeping, and this happened. Goku then proposes a little fight, but Krillin says there is no way he can take Goku on. Goku promises he will not go Super Saiyan and will hold back, and Krillin then agrees if Goku doesn't use Kaio-ken either. Goku wins the match, and then asks where Mr. Satan and Mr. Buu are. Krillin says that Buu is finally able to go outside, quoting Mr. Satan: "Listen Buu! A champ need a heart of love and justice!" He adds that the two have been studying society and traveling around. He thinks Mr. Satan has seen too many historical movies, and that he heard he borrowed a spaceship and went off somewhere.

When Gohan arrives at The Lookout, he finds no one there. He checks everywhere, until only the Hyperbolic Time Chamber is left. He finds Piccolo there, who tells him the lookout is empty since everyone went camping. Seeing Gohan is wearing his gi, he proposes a sparring match. Gohan wins, with Piccolo saying that his is the kind of strength he would have expected from a Saiyan and that Gohan really has gotten stronger. The two then decide to leave the lookout, with Piccolo saying he can not wait to spar with Goku as well. On the way, they see Gotenks, and hear him saying he found "I found it! That big energy! You can't hide from me!" They tell him to wait but he leaves, and Gohan follows him. Gotenks finds Pikkon, with Pikkon shocked to see Gotenks was the energy that was following him. Gotenks remarks Pikkon is not from Earth and asks why he is here. Pikkon says he is looking for something, nothing to do with Gotenks. He then asks if Gotenks knows Goku. Gotenks says he is his father and his father's biggest rival. Pikkon says that is an odd answer and concludes he must be using the Fusion technique. Pikkon says he is Goku's rival from the Other World and needs to see him, stating that, maybe because he has been there so long, he can not sense him. Gotenks says he does not believe Pikkon yet, and that if he wants to meet his father, Pikkon will have to get through him first. Pikkon wins and says Gotenks is strong but just flailing around. Gotenks then indicates a location, saying Goku is camping there. Pikkon arrive in a rocky wasteland and senses what is definitely a Saiyan. When approaching, he looses it, and Vegeta then appears above him. Pikkon says he is looking for Goku and introduces himself to Vegeta. Vegeta gets angry when Pikkon says that he was Goku's rival in the Other World, saying that Kakarot (Goku) can have all the friends he want, but he IS his rival. The two than have a fight, won by Pikkon. Vegeta then turns Super Saiyan, saying that was enough for a warm-up before the main attraction, still angry that Pikkon said he was Kakarot's rival. Just then, Goku arrives via Instant Transmission, guided by the really amazing energies he felt. Pikkon says he has been looking for Goku and he needs him to come to Hell. The two leave. Gotenks arrives and asks where Pikkon took Goku. Vegeta says he went to the afterlife. Gotenks asks if Goku died again, and Vegeta says not this time. When Krillin arrives and asks Vegeta if he has seen Goku, Vegeta remarks it is excellent that Krillin is here, and asks Krillin to come and kill him now. Vegeta precises Kakarot went to Hell and he wants to go after him, so he has to die. Krillin says he can not do that while Vegeta's son is watching, and then propose to use the Dragon Balls to join Goku instead. Krillin, Vegeta, and Gotenks then go to find the Dragon Balls.

In Hell, Goku remarks that something is different. Pikkon says that right now, Heaven and Hell alike are in trouble. Goku wants to reach Kibito Kai, but he can't feel him. Pikkon says there is some kind of barrier between worlds. Goku tries a Kamehameha to break the barrier, but it does not do anything. Pikkon says he nearly got caught in the barrier himself, but West Kai sent him outside the barrier just in time. When Goku asks about King Yemma, Kibito Kai arrives and answers that King Yemma was sealed. With King Yemma sealed, the dead are being reborn. Kibito Kai says they can ask Gohan and the others to protect Earth, and then asks Goku to help him protect the Other World. Goku accepts and then asks something to eat, but Kibito Kai says he has nothing. Pikkon and Goku then have a little warm-up before they start investigating, which Goku wins, in order to get some food from Pikkon. Pikkon gives him just a little, saying the dead do not need to eat much.

Back on Earth, Gohan says Gotenks went off somewhere with Vegeta, Piccolo is not here yet either, and Krillin headed for the camp. He then sense an energy: Frieza. He has a body and no halo above his head, and is on Earth. Gohan confronts him, and Frieza is honored that someone still knows his name. He says it is time for some fireworks to commemorate his return and that even if he dies again, he might be able to come back. Gohan turns Super Saiyan, and Frieza now remembers and recognizes him as Goku's son. Gohan tries to turn into Great Saiyaman, but he can not; he then remembers his mother did the laundry yesterday and his costume must not be dry yet. He fights and defeats Frieza, but is already worn out yet and remarks he should be stronger than Frieza. Frieza says he is a little tired too and proposes to take a break, saying he will kill Gohan next time and show his body to Goku. Piccolo arrives when Frieza leaves and says he saw the fight, asking Gohan why he could not like he did with Super Buu. Gohan replies that when he fought him, something was odd about Frieza, as was saying he had been resurrected. Gohan then say they have to contact everyone, carefully. The two then split up.

Back in the Other World, Goku says nothing seems out of the ordinary, but Pikkon feels something evil in the breeze. Kibito Kai proposes the find the source of that wind, and they then start looking. They reach it thanks Kibito Kai's Kai Kai, and see the gathering energy clumping together. Kibito Kai remarks it is only evil energy that is rising and all coming together, saying that something might have happened after Kid Buu was defeated. He adds that anyone who takes in that energy will surely become evil. Goku then do a Kamehameha from a distance in an attempt to extinguish it, but he just stirred it around some. The energy then begins to change and takes a form: that of a powerful demon who they decide to call Janemba. Kibito Kai asks Goku to defeat Janemba now, before the demon starts moving. Goku turns into a Super Saiyan and beats Janemba. He says that Janemba is using some weird special move, and it is like he knows how Goku moves. He then remarks that there is still more energy taking on a demon-shape and asks Kibito Kai to contact Pikkon, and Gohan and the others while he tries to hold Janemba off, also saying he well need a Senzu Bean after the battle. Once Kibito Kai leaves, Goku turns Super Saiyan 2.

Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5

Timeline placement

The events of Shin Budokai take place in Age 776, two years after Kid Buu is defeated, and is followed up with Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai - Another Road with no conflicts in-between, as the Earth was said to have been at peace since the events of Shin Budokai in Shin Budokai - Another Road.


Playable characters

Name Playable Forms Available at Start
#18 Yes
  • Super Saiyan
  • Legendary Super Saiyan
  • Perfect Form
  • Super Perfect Form
  • Fourth Form
  • Fifth Form
  • Final Form
  • 100% Full Power
  • Super Saiyan
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 2
  • Elder Kai Unlock
  • Base
  • Kaioken
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 2
  • Super Saiyan 3
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 3
Janemba No
Kid Buu Yes
  • Base
  • Unlock Potential
  • Base
  • Fuse w/Kami
Pikkon No
Teen Gohan
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 2
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan
  • Super Saiyan 2
  • Majin
  • Base
  • Super Saiyan

Battle Stages

Map Select Shin Budokai 2

The Map Select Screen


Publication Score
IGN 7.0 of 10
Deeko 8.0 of 10
GameSpot 7.5 of 10
1UP 7.0/10
Review compilations
Game Rankings 70.6% (based on 19 reviews)
Metacritic 70% (based on 21 reviews)

Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai received more positive reviews than negative. It usually received a 7 out of 10, but other reviewers gave it a larger score.

GameSpot says, "Shin Budokai still stands as a fun and accessible 3D fighter." IGN states, "Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai is a very simplistic fighter with a storyline wrapped in an extremely portable package." 1UP states "consider Shin Budokai among the best of the lot." Finally, states that, "Dragon Ball Z Shin Budokai offers up a fantastic, albeit simplified, combat system, entertaining storyline and incredible art design and execution."

The game sold 140,000 copies in Japan by the end of 2006[1] and sold 415,000 copies worldwide as of March 31, 2007.[2]


  • This is the first time Vegeta is depicted as using the Kamehameha.
  • There are some errors in the European version of the game, such as:
    • When Goku asks Krillin how his head turned bald, Krillin responds with "19 and Marron used me as a toy while I was sleeping." This should say "18" instead of "19."
    • King Yemma is referred to by his original Japanese name, King Enma, while other characters still keep their English names.
    • The in-game Command List lists Future Trunks' Finish Buster as "Finish Bustert".
    • In chapter 3 of Dragon Road, before the fight between Teen Gohan and Super Perfect Cell, there is an error, or possibly a mistranslation in the English version, where Goku tells Teen Gohan to go to the place where Piccolo and the Supreme Kai are, when actually Supreme Kai is with them all along.
    • Upon meeting Future Trunks and Kid Trunks, Frieza says "You... sorry for killing you before" to them, despite that Frieza never succeeded in killing either of them in the past.



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