Why Budukai Tenkaichi 3 Worked Among Other DBZ Games

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Ahead of its time...but is it better than DBZ: Sparking! Zero?

Story Highlights
  • The game featured a whopping 161 characters, which is the highest number of characters any DBZ game has ever featured.
  • All the characters underwent numerous transformations, giving a sense of freedom when it comes to changing forms.
  • The game featured 3D animations, smooth movements, simple HUD, and destructible environments and is still considered the best game even from the latest releases.

With every game, there are pros and cons. But DBZ: Budukai Tenkaichi 3 has more pros than you can imagine. What these are will be discussed in this article.


Highest Playable Characters

Unlike any game from the franchise till 2024, Dragon Ball Z: Budukai Tenkaichi 3 consists of the largest roster to ever exist. It features an astonishing 161 characters with their various transformations.

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This included even the side characters in the real Dragon Ball Series such as Frieza’s allies, Android 16 to 19, Babidi, Spopovich, Pure Evil Majin Bu, Garlic Jr, Slug, Android 13, Bojack, Nuova Shenron, just to name a few. Some of these are even unfamiliar.

An array of these characters are non-canon and are either included in the movie or in the DBZ GT cartoon. Apart from that, most of the characters are from real anime, including Master Roshi.

Multiple Transformations For Characters

Additionally, these transformations weren’t limited by any means but DBZ went beyond regarding this area. They gave players full freedom to choose transformations.

For instance, Goku had Super Saiyan till Super Saiyan 3, with Vegito, Super Vegito, and Super Gogeta. The same goes for Vegeta as well. Goku GT was also included in the game with him transforming to Super Saiyan till Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. 

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Kid Trunks and Gohan even have their fusion transformation with Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks being their final form. All five of Frieza’s transformations till full power Frieza are also available for use. 

Characters such as King Vegeta, Bardock, Fasha, Turles, Baby Vegeta, Raditz, and Nappa are transformable to their ape form just like in the anime. 

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Even Master Roshi can transform into his max power form where he has huge well-defined muscles. Gohan can not only transform till Super Saiyan 2 but he also has a Great Saiyanman as his transformation.

Big Leap In Graphics

Unlike other DBZ games, this game has gone through a big change when it comes to the graphics. The graphics were a massive improvement from the other two Tenkaichi games, correcting the slight errors that were present in them. 

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With that, the world, characters, and the attacks were immersive and engaging. The animations were smoothened out and it felt like watching a 3D animated movie.

3D Movements

Unlike other games from the franchise, the Tenkaichi series added 3D movement where you can fly around the terrain and move the camera for the first time. Budukai Tenkaichi 3 improved upon this with more interactive and destructible environments. 

You could perform a charged attack on the opponent, causing them to smash into a building or a mountain. Similarly, charging toward such breakable terrain could also lead to the destruction of that part of the terrain.   

Tough AI Battles

Unlike the previous games, Budukai Tenkaichi 3 has enemies that really give you a tough battle. I remember replaying a mission multiple times because of how difficult it was to beat certain characters especially when the game progressed.

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This gave a feel of enemies’ power and caused players to try harder and use combos and attacks that dealt heavy damage. It also forced us to dodge certain attacks from the enemy which sucked up our health bar.

Even Better Than Upcoming DBZ Game?

Now that we know how impressive Budukai Tenkaichi 3 really is to this day. This is because all the other releases for the PS3, PS4, and PS5 felt like a huge disaster when it comes to the fighting sequences, the HUD, the animations, and the camera movements.

Even the HUD in the newer releases felt like a game from PS1, with cluttered screen and unappealing icons.

They had to switch up the genre by releasing DBZ: Xenoverse and DBZ: Kakarot which focused on a casual roam around instead of the actual battles that redeemed fans’ falling expectations for this franchise.

Now, finally, Bandai Namco is releasing another game from the Budukai Tenkaichi series named Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! Zero (Budukai Tenkaichi 4). With the launch of the trailer, it seems that it will finally replace Budukai Tenkaichi 3 in every way.

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This upcoming game has kept the 3D appearance but added an anime-like art style with dynamic camera movements, which is appealing and it features a whopping 164 characters.


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