Both Budkai 3 and Budokai Tenkaichi 3 are thought of as some of the best Dragon ball games out there. But it;s time to decide which one is better.
By Ben Jessey
Published Oct 03, 2019
Dragon Ball?is one of the most well known and beloved franchises in anime. Naturally, the series’ popularity?has lead to the release of a huge catalog of games based on the franchise, from fighters to RPGs to sidescrollers.
The games have been a mixed bag, but two that stand out are Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.?In forums and comment sections all over the internet, fans are still discussing (or arguing) which is the superior game and which is the best game the franchise has produced. This list will identify reasons why both Budokai 3 and Tenkaichi 3 deserve to be known as the ultimate Dragon Ball game.
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Being an old game might stop?Budokai 3?looking as good as the later installments but it’s audio certainly still holds up. Energy blasts sound like they’re ripped straight from the show and punches and kicks sound impactful.
Although where the audio really shines is in the voice acting. For some reason, the voice acting in Dragon Ball games isn’t always stellar despite them hiring the same voice actors from the shows.?In Budokai 3 though the performances are brilliant across the board even including the grunts and power-ups during fights (although Vegeta saying “drop dead” every 5 seconds does get repetitive).
Anyone who has seen a major Dragon Ball fight?knows that they happen at a frantic pace and are filled with an abundance of special attacks, no Dragon Ball game re-creates that experience better than Tenkaichi 3. The game’s fluid battles include?fists (and feet) thrown at a rapid rate?and quick to pull off ultimate attacks that don’t take a lot of setting up.
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Furthermore, the 3d arena-style gameplay that the?Tenkaichi games introduced (which was polished in Tenkaichi 3)?helps to give battles that open feeling seen in the shows. While they might not look as good as they used to, Tenkaichi 3’s fights feel more like Dragon Ball than any other game.
Fighting game fanatics who don’t know about Dragon Ball won’t care if the game has the look or feel of the show, they’ll only want a good solid fighting game and that’s what Budokai 3 delivers. Its 2d gameplay involves more depth and requires greater strategy than most of the other installments in the franchise.
There are no auto-combos here?nor can you just repeatedly press one button and beat good players, mixing up combos is vital to get the best results. Also, managing your Ki is equally important, as unlike the 3d games there’s little space between you and your opponent, giving you less time to charge up for your best attacks. Tenkaichi 3’s more user-friendly combat wouldn’t be as enjoyable for non-fans.
Almost all of the Dragon Ball games focus on Dragon Ball Z?with very few giving any time to the original Dragon Ball series or Dragon Ball GT. Occasionally a character or two from the less popular Dragon Ball animes might make an appearance, but they’re rarely given much spotlight
Yet in Budokai Tenkaichi 3’s story, you’re?able to play the main fights from Goku’s original adventure?as well as the biggest ones from GT.?Additionally, plenty of fighters from both shows are playable in the game. It’s nice to see Dragon Ball getting some respect, and while GT isn’t a good show it did introduce some characters who are a pleasure to play as in Tenkaichi 3.
Story modes in Dragon Ball games usually boil down to replaying the key fights from the Dragon Ball Z anime, starting with Goku and Piccolo vs Raditz. However,?Budokai 3’s Dragon Universe doesn’t only let you play the key fights, you get to play pretty much all of them.
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You pick a character and then play the battles they competed in throughout the anime, meaning there are eleven completely different playthroughs you can have through Dragon Universe (with further playthroughs including hidden extras). As some characters had smaller roles in the story they get much shorter campaigns, for example, you don’t need to take an afternoon off to play through Uub’s story. Still, it’s cool to have the ability to play battles that are usually ignored by the games.
Tenkaichi 3’s Dragon History mode might not be able to stack up to Budokai 3’s Dragon Universe, but it does include a great ‘what if’ saga. What if Android 16 was sent back in time ala Terminator to kill Goku as a child? Or what if the Saiyan race actually fought Frieza and his army instead of being caught unawares? The brilliance of the saga comes from the clever stories surrounding the fights.
It would’ve benefitted from being longer, but the saga is still filled with some entertaining battles. Also, it deserves credit for finally giving Spike The Devil Man some deserved spotlight.
Surprisingly, free-roaming hasn’t been in many?Dragon Ball games even though nearly all of the major characters can fly. Budokai 3 implemented it into the Dragon Universe mode though and there is something so satisfying about speeding through the whole world of Dragon Ball finding all the easter eggs, capsules, and of course dragon balls.
Flying from fight to fight makes Dragon Universe feel like a full adventure, unlike in most of the other Dragon Ball games (including Tenkaichi 3) where the story just feels like a collection of battles.
Mission 100 is the hidden gem of the Dragon Ball games. It is a set of 100 fights against pre-set opponents and for each one you have to build a team that fits into the requirements. For some, you’re tasked with choosing a certain number of fighters and for others you have to create a team with destruction points (DP), with the strongest fighters costing the most DP.
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It’s a fantastic mode that unfortunately none of the other installments in the series included. Trying to get the highly acclaimed Z rating on all 100 missions is an enjoyable and challenging experience.
Budokai 3’s capsule customization is one of the most beloved features in the game. A simple to understand system that allows you to fully customize what attacks and transformations characters have. It gives you the freedom to tailor characters to the way you play like maybe you want an aggressive Goku so you power him up with transformations and attack boots or perhaps you don’t need the Super Saiyan 4 form so you replace it with defensive powers, the choice is up to you.
Taking the time to alter the capsules of everyone will give you a more interesting and diverse roster. Other Dragon Ball games have tried to implement customization systems, but none of them feel as flexible as the capsules from Budokai 3.
Do you want to play as Future Gohan? Or Meta Cooler? Or Spopovich? (for some reason), then Tenkaichi 3 is the perfect game for you as it features the most amount of characters ever seen in a Dragon Ball game. It is unbelievable how many people are in this game, as almost every fighter who appeared in the?Dragon Ball franchise (prior to Super) made the cut.
The 150+ characters add a lot of variety to duels, tournaments and the Mission 100 mode. Also,?Tenkaichi 3’s ability to deliver dream fights is unmatched by any other Dragon Ball game.
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About The Author
(176 Articles Published)
Ben Jessey spends all his time playing video games, watching TV, watching movies, watching football aka soccer (which I guess counts as watching TV) or writing about those things. He has a degree in Film and Television studies and is now a freelance writer.
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