Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3

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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3, released in Japan as Dragon Ball Z: Sparking! Meteor (ドラゴン ボール ゼット スパーキング! メテオ, Doragon Bōru Zetto: Supākingu! Meteo) is a fighting game for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii. It was released on October 4, 2007 in Japan, although in other regions the Wii port saw a delay. The PlayStation 2 version was released on November 13, 2007 in North America and on November 9, 2007 in Europe. The Wii version was later released on December 3, 2007 in North America and on February 15, 2008 in Europe.[1]

Like its predecessor, despite being released under the Dragon Ball Z label, Budokai Tenkaichi 3 essentially touches upon all series installments of the Dragon Ball series, featuring numerous characters and stages set in Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT, and numerous films. The game also features one of Akira Toriyama's original characters only related to Dragon Ball through crossovers, Dr. Slump's Arale Norimaki.


Budokai Tenkaichi 3 features 161 characters, the largest character roster of any Dragon Ball Z video game, as well as one of the largest in any fighting game. Ryo Mito once stated that the game would feature never-before-seen characters made exclusively for the game, although the only exclusive characters were the Saiyans' alternate Great Ape forms.[2] Gamestop offered an exclusive version with a bonus DVD containing the top 10 television series battles, as voted by fans, on the release date.

Several new notable features include: Battle Replay, night and day stages, the Wii's online capability, and Disc Fusion. Battle Replay allows players to capture their favorite fights and save them to an SD card to view later on. Night and day stages allow for more accurate battles in Dragon History, as well as the ability to transform into a Great Ape by using the moon. There are several other time differences, such as dawn and afternoon. Not all stages provide different times. You can also change the aura of your character. The Wii version features online multiplayer capability, the first game in the series to have such a feature. Players can fight against anyone from around the globe with a ranking system showing the player's current standing compared to anyone else who has played online. As compensation for the lack of online, Spike has added a new Disc Fusion system to the PlayStation 2 version. Inserting a Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi or Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 disc during play unlocks Ultimate Battle or Ultimate Battle Z, modes featured in the respective games needed to unlock them. The game also supports 480p for both the Wii and PlayStation 2 versions.

Other features in the game include more combo attacks or character specific combos, the Blast Combos, and the Z Burst Dash. The additional combo attacks will be able to help chain in more attacks for more damage and longer combos. The Blast Combos are normal combos used in the game, however by inputting the another button into the attack will allow you to use a blast attack for extra damage. Depending on the moves of the character you might not be able to use this feat such as Videl or Hercule. The Z Burst Dash is much faster and more evasive version of the Dragon Dash. It allows the user to get behind the opponent at high speeds for either a strike or to avoid a Blast 2 attack. The drawback to this technique is that it will rapidly drain the user of energy unless equipped with certain Z-items.

Game modes

New gameplay elements

The new night system causing Bardock to transform into a Great Ape.
Great Ape Bardock

Several new features have been added to Budokai Tenkaichi 3. These include:

  • Blast Combo - Players can now kick their opponent into the air and attack them again by quickly teleporting or flying behind them.
  • Sonic Sway - This technique simply allows the player to evade the opponents attacks. Since it takes longer for the attacker to get back into their fighting stance than it does the player dodging the attacks, the attacker is left with an open defense. The one evading can then quickly counter-attack their opponent. However, this feature only applies to physical attacks aimed for the upper part of the body; if the opponent aims for the player's legs, for example, they cannot evade the attacks.[3]
  • Z-Counter - The ability to counter attacks by teleporting behind the enemy.[3] This is a technique seen in the series many times.
  • Z-Burst Dash - An enhanced version of the dash attack from the previous games, this technique allows players to zig and zag as they move at high speed.
  • The addition of a new day and night system allows certain characters to harness the power of the moon to transform into a Great Ape.
  • With the addition of the Battle Replay mode, players can now capture all of their favorite fights and watch them again later on. There are also several camera angles you can use to swap views of the battle.
  • The Wii version does not make use of the Wii's sensor bar. The game instead uses the Wii Remotes accelerometer provides animations demonstrating how to perform techniques (much like previous games provide the button combinations that are required to execute a technique).[4]
  • The game's Story Mode, called Dragon History, has been completely changed from the previous installments. Some cutscenes take place during the middle of a battle, interrupting the fight for a short time while the two characters talk, while others take place during the battle themselves. During in-game cutscenes, dialogue appears at the bottom of the screen as the player fights, and what each character says depends on how the match is going. The player can also issue one-hit KOs in story mode by dealing the blow used to kill their opponent in the source material. The story mode is also significantly shorter than previous installments.
  • A new Z-Point system replaces the leveling system from Budokai Tenkaichi 2. The more Z-Points a character has, the more Z-Items can be equipped.
  • The Wii port of Budokai Tenkaichi 3 can be played using several different control setups, and is not restricted to the console's Wii Remote and Nunchuk alone. Instead, the player can choose to use the the Classic Controller or the GameCube controller, as well. The Classic Controller set up has been best received by critics, whom cite the Wii Remote as a fun method of play for casual gamers, but one that does not always maintain the responsiveness for hardcore gameplay.

Playable characters

Each character in the game is based off of their anime counterparts with their voice actors also partaking in the development of the game whenever possible. Each character has attacks and fighting styles more-or-less derived from the source material, for example Son Goku's Kamehameha and Vegeta's Galick Gun. Certain fighters also have abilities, or the lack thereof, exclusive only to a small group of characters. Also, certain characters cannot fly in the series, and thus slowly descend back to the ground after taking flight in Budokai Tenkaichi 3 (however a Flight Z Item is available for use by these characters, removing this restriction).

The following represents the characters as they are ordered in the Character Select menu. Additional transformations appear in small text directly below the character to which they belong. Some characters are only playable in unabridged transformations, meaning they cannot revert to any preceding forms and are only able to progress in the transformation cycle. For example, Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta, is a character separate from all other incarnations of Vegeta in the game, thus none of these other Vegeta characters can assume the transformation, nor can Super Saiyan 4 Vegeta return to his base form. The character's only transformation option is to progress to Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta. Characters who are only playable in unabridged forms have the title of their transformation listed in parenthesized small text beside their name.

Goku (Early) Kid Gohan Piccolo (Early) Vegeta (Scouter) Krillin Yamcha Trunks (Sword)
Great Ape Vegeta Super Saiyan
Goku (Mid) Teen Gohan Piccolo (End) Vegeta Tien Chiaotzu Trunks
Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Super Saiyan
Super Saiyan 2 Ascended Super Saiyan Ultra Super Saiyan
Goku (End) Gohan Ultimate Gohan Vegeta (Second form) Majin Vegeta Goten Kid Trunks
Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Super Saiyan
Super Saiyan 2 Super Saiyan 2 Super Saiyan 2 Gotenks Gotenks
Super Saiyan 3 Great Saiyaman Vegito Super Saiyan Gotenks Super Saiyan Gotenks
Vegito Super Vegito Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks
Super Vegito Super Gogeta
Super Gogeta
Goku (GT) Future Gohan Videl Hercule Vegeta (Super Saiyan 4) Uub Pan
Super Saiyan Super Saiyan Great Saiyaman 2 Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta Majuub
Super Saiyan 3
Super Saiyan 4
Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta
Master Roshi Yajirobe Nail Supreme Kai Raditz Nappa Saibaman
Max Power Kibitokai Great Ape Raditz Great Ape Nappa
Captain Ginyu Recoome Burter Jeice Guldo Zarbon Dodoria
Frieza (1st Form) Mecha Frieza Appule Cui Frieza Soldier King Cold King Vegeta
2nd Form Great Ape King Vegeta
3rd Form
Final Form
Full Power
Cell (1st Form) Cell Jr. Dr. Gero Android #19 Android #18 Android #17 Android #16
2nd Form
Perfect Form
Majin Buu Majin Buu (Pure Evil) Super Buu Kid Buu Babidi Spopovich Demon King Dabura
Gotenks Absorbed

Gohan Absorbed

Bardock Fasha Garlic Jr. Dr. Wheelo Turles Slug Salza
Great Ape Bardock Great Ape Fasha Super Garlic Jr. Great Ape Turles Giant
Cooler Meta-Cooler Android 13 Broly Zangya Bojack Janemba
Final Form Fusion Super Saiyan Full Power Super Janemba
Legendary Super Saiyan
Pikkon Tapion Hirudegarn Baby Vegeta Super 17 Nuova Shenron Syn Shenron
Super Baby 1 Omega Shenron
Super Baby 2
Great Ape Baby
Demon King Piccolo Tambourine Pilaf Machine Devilman General Blue General Tao Cyborg Tao
Kid Goku Chi-Chi Grandpa Gohan Nam Android #8 Arale
Great Ape


The PlayStation port of the game received a 32 out of 40 from the game magazine Famitsu, while The Magic Box ranked the Wii version 33 out of 40.[5] IGN awarded both versions of the game an 8 out of 10, their only complaints being the the comparatively underwhelming story mode (in comparison to Budokai Tenkaichi 2), gimmicky Disc Fusion function and the lag experienced while playing online through the Wii's Wi-Fi connection.

Voice actors

English version


The opening theme song is "Super Survivor" by Hironobu Kageyama in the Japanese and European versions. The North American version uses an instrumental version.

Dragon Ball Z: Sparking Meteor features remixed music from the anime. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 has music from Atari.



  • Kid Gohan cannot transform into a Great Ape in this game despite the fact that he has a tail.
  • As with Budokai Tenkaichi 2, Cell in any form uses his "Imperfect Form" pain sounds when hit.
  • If you play as Goku (GT) and use the Solar Flare, he will say it in Japanese – Taiyo-ken.
  • When Goku (GT) uses the Spirit Bomb, it is mistakenly called Spirit Ball, possibly mistranslated due to its original name in Japanese, the Genki Dama, whose translation is the latter.
  • When Super Saiyan 3 Gotenks is swapped for another character in Team Battle Mode, he will say, "Peanut Butter Jelly Time!".
  • If Zangya beats Kuririn, Master Roshi, or Namu, she says, "Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Doncha?" based on the song by the Pussycat Dolls and Busta Rhymes.
  • If you go to Goku's profile, it says that he fought Pikkon in his Super Saiyan 2 transformation, when in reality he had just transformed into a Super Saiyan.
  • Golden Great Ape Baby will say, "It's time for this monkey to spank you" if you start the match with him, which is a joke about the term "Spanking the monkey" which means male masturbation.
  • Janemba loses health when he transforms. He is the only character to do so.
  • If Mercenary Tao battles General Blue, Tao will make a comment about how he could kill him "with his tongue" which is a nod to the anime, as well as Dragon Ball: Mystical Adventure, in both of which Tao does just that. Further, one of his attacks implies he is attacking you with his tongue.
  • If Kid Chichi battles Goku GT, Chichi's dialogue will leave one to believe that she is the GT Chichi also made young by the Dragon Balls. Thus the way she is unlocked makes sense since the player wishes her from Black Star Shen Long, who made Goku young.
  • If Master Roshi battles Chichi, he will reveal that he "Never liked Ox King".
  • This is the first DBZvideo game to have more than 4 playable female characters.
  • If you wait for a while in Duel mode, Nappa will ask Vegeta, "Hey uh... Think if I went Super Saiyan, my goatee would grow?".
  • When Vegeta Baby (Super Baby 2) uses the Final Flash, he mistakenly yells, "Big Bang Attack".
  • Kid Boo makes Super Boo's pain noises when hit.
  • Each Ginyu Force member has their own special dialogue when facing another Ginyu Force member. For example, Butta states that if he wins his opponent will owe him a Space soda.
  • Saiyan characters that can become Great Apes by creating a Power Ball do so even in stages that have a full moon.
  • If one fights with Android 18 vs Zangya, Zangya will tell Android 18, "your man is kinda cute", a reference to Krillin.
  • If one fires Android 18's Destructo Disk at Krillin and he uses his as soon as No. 18's disks are about to make contact, Krillin will summon pink disks instead of his yellow ones.
  • When viewing Chi-Chi's Commentary About Gotenks (Base), she says "What were they called Trunkten or Gotrunks I don't know." The subtitles incorrectly says "Gotenks" instead of "Gotrunks".
  • If Piccolo enters a tournament, his screen name will be Majunior, as it originally was in the series. In a similar fashion, the screen name will be Shin if one enters the tournament as Supreme Kai.
  • If Kid Trunks fights Yamucha, Trunks will ask if it's true Yamcha used to date his mom. This is a reference to how Bulma used to date Yamcha, before marrying Vegeta.
  • Vegeta (Scouter)'s second and third attires have no tail, but he can still transform into a great ape.
  • Bardock is one of the characters that has to use a full moon to turn into a great ape, which goes against the Ocean dub of DBZ in which Vegeta says that Bardock invented the Power Ball technique.
  • If one waits a while at the menu screen of the Story mode, various characters will occasionally show up and engage in a conversation with Goku.
  • While playing as Future Gohan in Duel mode he notes the real Gohan as an alternate timeline version of him. He also notes that Goten is a brother in an alternate timeline.
  • If Super Saiyan 4 Goku fights Omega Shenron he will refer to him as "Syn Shenron".
  • For some strange reason, sometimes when Black Star Shen Long is about to grant a wish, he'll say, "That is a wish I cannot grant." Yet he grants it.
  • In the Wii version of the game, Gill is referred to as both Gill and Giru.
  • In the fight between Perfect Cell and Ascended Super Saiyan Vegeta in Story mode, Cell says, "Shhh what's that smell oh it's the other world!" when it clearly should be "Shh what's that sound oh it's the other world!".
  • In Dragon History during the fight with Namu, Satan is shown on the signs and blimps even though he is not the champion yet.
  • When the game is loading and it shows Gohan pulling the Z swords, he will keep pulling until there are none left, then he starts over. Similarly, Vegeta will do push-ups until 999, then he starts over from zero.
  • If one chooses Baby Vegeta and fights Kid Goku (GT) if you win as Baby he remarks that all the saiyans have been killed meaning that either Baby never knew about Tarble or Tarble died over the years GT took place in.


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