Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 Wii Review

Dragon Ball Z’s outlandish fighting, Super Saiens, dragon ballz and so on are all a bit much to take in for this writers aging mind. But for the purpose of this here review, I placed my brain in a time machine and travelled back to a time when such things would have been cool and all that. See, what I go through for you readers, although if you’re really worth it is another matter..

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is the second Dragon Ball Z game to hit (with fireballs, fists, feet, etc) the Wii and in case you’re wondering (which I’m sure you will be) the controls do their job perfectly well. But then again it doesn’t exactly make the most extensive use of the Wii’s motion controls.

As has always been the case with this series, the fighting system is solid and worlds apart from Dead or Alive, Tekken and company. For the diehard fans of the genre, all the moves will be a cinch to execute. The real depth however lies elsewhere within its combat mechanics, Tenkaichi 3 has substance and a lot to learn and remember, this is obvious by taking a look at the games extensive tutorial to learn all the complexities of the game.

All the flying around, kii and so forth that the series is famous for is retained, and there‘s a grand total of 161 character (yes your eyes are not deceiving you, that’s really 161) which is the largest cast the series has yet seen. New to this third instalment are Z Counters, which are triggered by pressing both the A button and pushing the Nunchuck stick up right at the moment a striking attack hits you. Do this successfully and you’ll perform a counter attack and perhaps a pat on the back of your good self is in order too, as the window of opportunity to execute this manoeuvre is very tight indeed. Other than that, the core gameplay remains as it was, which will be disappointing for those who were looking for something radically new.

The game is rich in options, which will be pleasing for those who enjoy it, giving them plenty to do.

Tenkaichi 3’s primary mode is the (very fan hugging and kissing) Dragon History mode, allowing surely grateful fans to relive some of DBZ’s most memorable skirmishes and exciting them all the more, as they advance through the mode, unlocking characters. Not so good (those hugs have became crushing bear hugs and the kissing has turned to biting) is the fact that the mode is a significantly smaller offering than the substantial primary mode that could be found in the last game.

Elsewhere, there are multiple tournaments to try your hand at and the character reference (an invaluable insight for those who have become interested in the Dragon Ball Z Universe through the game and are keen to learn more) for you to take a look at. There’s also Ultimate Battle (there’s survival and adventure mode like options here), Evolution Z (a character customisation mode), and finally duel, the Vs mode of the game, and unsurprisingly, the one with the longest legs.

Tenkaichi 3 introduces online play to the series, but since it suffers from horrendous lag essentially transforming what is a rapid game into an agonisingly slow slideshow, they shouldn’t have bothered. One can only hope that there is an incoming patch that will rectify these nasty and shoddy performance issues.

To Dragon Ball Z fans, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 will make them feel as if they have died and gone to heaven, whilst fighting fans seeking new challenges are at the very least moderately well catered for. So thus ends a fascinating journey for my brain. I hope you enjoyed the ride!