In honor of National Video Game Day, I am doing a game review on Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3. This game was a hit on the PS2 and featured a many new features from its predecessor, Budokai 2.
First and foremost, the fighting system is much more enhanced from its predecessor. You would get caught and comboed to death in Budokai 2 if you didn’t sidestep the opposing attack or guard. Now, you can teleport behind your opponent for an advantageous attack (or they can teleport right behind you and do the same thing). You can also enter Hyper Mode, where you can unleash an Ultimate Attack for certain characters or activate a Dragon Rush, where the defending player must press the same button as the attacker to recover. Speaking of Ultimate Attacks, gone are the days of having to spin the analog stick at ludicrous speed to successfully land the Ultimate Attack. Instead, you and your opponent must press a button to stop the meter and to fill up theirs, Whoever fills up their meter the most will win the mini duel.
As for the game itself, Budokai 3’s Story Mode is a step above its predecessor. It is an open world mode where you scout the planet for either your next fight, objective, item, or even Dragon Ball. The exploration part of Story Mode is a step up from Budokai 2, where you just moved around a game board for a limited set of moves. The game also has a mode where you can level up your fighters and boost their stats. This mode also unlocks the Saibamen and Cell Jr. at a specific point. The games features a tournament mode as well. A staple of Dragon Ball Z games, you win prize money if you win the tournament.
I like Budokai 3 a bit more than I like the second installment because it feels more free. As opposed to Budokai 2’s almost linear fighting system, you get more free reign in how you fight. Yes, you can’t lock your opponent into a combo to achieve an Ultimate Attack. However, you can miss the chance for pulling it off if not done properly in Budokai 2. In Budokai 3, you just have to launch your opponent to activate your Ultimate Attack. The game also has more content from its predecessor, giving you more incentive to play the game.
Budokai 3 is a game that brings back many memories. It was a great fighting game that had the heart and soul of the Dragon Ball Z series etched into its fibers. This was definitely one of the better games on the PS2 and is definitely worth your time.
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