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DragonBall Z Budokai 3 will allow you to customise your Dragon Ball Z characters and includes heroes and villains from DBZ, DBGT, and Dragon Ball movies. As with previous games it is possible to win the battles by ringing out the opponents. There is one very welcome new feature in the game - the ability to fly. You fly around the world map in the Dragon Universe mode looking for Dragon Balls and battles with your enemies.

Game modes in Dragonball Z Budokai 3 include Dueling, World Tournament, Training, Skill editing and Dragon universe. Dueling is for one on one action where you can fight with a human or computer opponent using a standard or saved character that you have built up in the Dragon Universe mode. World Tournament is where you get to fight the game’s 40-odd characters for money in one of three different skill levels, Novice, Adept and Advanced. Winning tournaments earns you money , which you can use to buy skill capsules in Bulma’s Skill Shop, thus increasing the ability of your character. You can then enter Training to practice the game’s combos and skills, working out which ones are right for your character. Dragon Universe is the game’s story mode, with a long involving plot and plenty of characters to battle and unlock.

The graphics have improved greatly since the last two games.

This third game uses the same chain combo system of previous games with the addition of skills that allow massive attacks to be linked into the end of the various chain combos. From simple ‘Kamehameha’ waves to massive Spirit Bomb's that must be built up by performing rotations of the analogue pads and various button presses. Some of these attacks fill the entire screen with amazing pyrotechnic displays of power that are typical of the awesome battles seen in the DBZ cartoons. Players can charge up energy and transform into different levels of Super Saiyan to enable new attacks, and a whole new physical look.

New to this game are skills including the ability to teleport behind your opponent to avoid attacks and then counter attack them, and the ability to continually teleport and smash your opponent after any attack that knocks them backwards some distance. The second skill ends up looking like a ‘pinball effect as you smash your opponent back and forth across the arena – sort of like a game of tennis when you’re the only player and your opponent is the ball! You can even have instances where both players launch a massive fireball beam attack against each other at the same time, and here players must rotate their analog sticks to overpower the other’s beam and inflict damage on them.

Greatest Hits Re-release

Greatest Hits box art

In late 2005 Budokai 3 was re-released as part of Sony's Greatest Hits line. This version added 3 new costumes: Goku with halo, Piccolo-Daimao (King Piccolo from Dragon Ball), and Future Trunks. They all could be unlocked by entering specific passwords. It also had an option to change to Japanese voices, a first for the Dragon Ball Z games at the time in North America. This version was essentially the original Japanese release and the European Collector's Edition. Why they were withheld from the North American release and added so long after the fact remains unknown.

Playable Characters

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