User Reviews

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Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.7
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 3.8
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 3.8
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 4.1
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 4.2
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 3.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 4.2
Overall User Score (10 votes) 4.0

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Game Chronicles (Dec 24, 2004)
Dragonball Z has quite the history from manga to anime. Not to mention its LONG history in videogames. In fact, Dragonball has had a game for almost every system since the days of the Famicom, which was the Japanese NES for the uninformed.
Worth Playing (Dec 05, 2004)
It seems like Dragon Ball, in vanilla, Z, or GT flavors, has been on American television pretty much constantly since some time in 1996. Reviled and beloved, it's right up there with Pokemon as one of the shows that the non-anime watcher thinks of when they think of anime. The Internet search engine Lycos has reported that Dragon Ball has been among the top fifty most searched for terms on the 'net every year since 1999, and that's only when they started keeping track.
Gamezine (Oct 31, 2004)
On est donc très loin des gentilles boules de feu qu’il suffisait de lancer à distance dans les deux précédents volets. Budokai 3 nous offre des combats au corps à corps beaucoup plus intenses qu’auparavant. Certains crieront au bourrinage, et ils n’auront pas tort, mais le système d’esquives offrent de nombreux retournements de situations, avec un brin de jugeotte. Avec en outre de superbes graphismes, Atari a réussi à nous offrir un jeu digne de la bonne époque des 16 bits. Budokai 3 est le meilleur jeu de la série.
PSX Extreme (Feb 18, 2005)
Overall the game has made many adjustments and improvements since Budokai 2. The graphics are a lot more colorful, the gameplay has gone up a step, and the story mode is deeper and more involved. It has quite a lot of replay value as many of the characters can only be gained when playing through Dragon Universe for a second or third time, plus dragon arena may keep some gamers going for quite awhile. The developers have shown that they have learned from past mistakes and have also shown great potential with this game, but it is a shame that with this license they are forced to churn out a game every year. With a little TLC and another year or two of development time, Budokai 3 could have been a classic. The game is very good in its own right, and for DBZ fans this is a must have title. For the mainstream casual gamer, you may want to rent this game before rushing out to buy it.
GameSpot (Nov 15, 2004)
With a long, sullied history of extremely poor DBZ games before it, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai was a bit of a revelation when it was released in 2002. Here was a 3D fighting game that, while not offering the deepest combat system, was still reasonably fun to play. Moreover, it featured a great story mode that basically summed up the entire run of the Dragon Ball Z manga-cum-anime in just a few hours. A year later, we got a sequel with improved cel-shaded graphics, but the slick story mode was replaced by a lame board game, and the additions made to the gameplay just didn't seem to mesh with what was already there. Dimps, the little-known developer responsible for the entire Budokai series, learned some lessons and has now returned to the scene with Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. This is far and away the best Dragon Ball Z game around, and it's a must-have for DBZ fans.
GameZone (Nov 23, 2004)
I can not believe that it has it already been a year since the last Budokai game was released, which means that the year 2004 is quickly approaching its conclusion. Since the Dragon Ball franchise is one of the most lucrative things around, it makes sense that the developers would create another game in the Budokai series. This year it has many things in it that make it a lot better than the previous two entries. What are these new things? Read on to find out more!
Meristation (Nov 11, 2004)
Y bien, ahora, dos años después del comienzo, llega la tercera parte. Según sus creadores, Budokai III promete ser el Budokai definitivo, incluyendo más personajes, ataques y transformaciones que ningún otro Dragon Ball hasta la fecha, pero además, con la clara intención de hacer evolucionar a la jugabilidad. Lo cierto es que tienen razón, Budokai 3 es el más completo de esta serie. Incluye muchísimas mejoras en todos sus apartados, una presentación exquisitamente cuidada, y un feeling a Dragon Ball Z muy difícil de superar, pero por otra parte, sigue heredando graves defectos.
G4 TV: X-Play (Mar 30, 2006)
The Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series has never wanted to square off against the hardcore fighting franchises like Tekken or Soul Blade, but it's refreshing to see a lot more effort put forth in Budokai 3 to craft a high-quality product. Dragon Ball fans will fall in love with the fights, modes, and large character list set before them here. The thing is, even gamers who don't know Gohan from any other spiky-haired anime kid will smell what Budokai 3 is cooking. That means this game may bring more people to the DBZ fold, instead of just feeding off of existing fans -- which is what most Dragon Ball games could be accused of.
It's all too easy to dismiss games based on franchises as being average at best and relying on the popularity of the franchise in order to sell. Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 is one of the exceptions to this theory though and is not only an all round solid game but actually one of the more enjoyable fighting games on the PlayStation 2. Yes some of it's moves are way over the top for those who don't watch the TV show but it's truly engaging and offers lots of replay value. Let's hope this is the first of many quality Dragon Ball Z games to come because if it is, it's not only the fans of the franchise who will be eagerly awaiting future titles.
GameSpy (Nov 16, 2004)
Most people don't seem to know that creating a solid anime game isn't merely the result of throwing together some character reference cel-shading and voice acting. There are more crap anime games than kids ready to trash Ashlee Simpson's singing. Bucking the trend, Atari's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series has dedicated itself to fidelity. True, Budokai 2 muddied the waters, but Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 packs on the features to become the sequel that should have been, not to mention the best DBZ game available.
1UP (Nov 17, 2004)
If there's one thing Atari knows, it's how to whisper sweet nothings in the ears of Dragon Ball Z fans like me. On the PS2, they've given us a game every year for the past three; each a noticeable improvement over the last. With Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, the trend continues, and the results are sure to excite fans to no end.
IGN (Nov 17, 2004)
The team at Dimps deserves a lot of credit. In the span of three Holiday seasons, it's managed to take a fun but flawed weekend rental and turn it into something a lot more enjoyable. I'm speaking, of course, about Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3 -- the most recent in the fast line of Atari's head-to-head brawlers that has consistently improved year after year. If anything else, this recent installment proves that the development crew behind it has gone the extra mile to listen to suggestions and complaints brought forth by the fans, which is a feat that few other companies can unfailingly make a claim to.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is the best DBZ game ever. A lot of care was taken to ensure that you can recreate pretty much anything you have seen on the TV show, and this attention to detail makes Budokai 3 an absolute blast to play if you are a DBZ fan. DBZ Budokai 3 is highly recommended for at least a rental, but it is big enough and fun enough that fans of the show can buy it and be very happy with it.
Jolt (UK) (Dec 10, 2004)
I can certainly see the attraction of Dragon Ball Z. Sure, it takes place in a somewhat surreal universe and contains extremely long and often downright bizarre plot lines, but the real focus is the epic duels, which over the years have become known for their substantial sense of power, with glowing combatants flying, teleporting, transforming, letting loose huge blasts of energy and generally causing wide-scale destruction.
75 (Nov 09, 2004)
A ma connaissance, aucun autre jeu estampillé Dragon Ball Z n'a réussi à retranscrire de façon si exquise l'ambiance du manga de Toriyama. Dimps a bien revu sa copie depuis Budokaï 2 et les fans de la série seront aux anges, tout comme les joueurs occasionnels venus rechercher du sensationnel. Malheureusement la maniabilité est encore loin d'être parfaite, certaines nouveautés de gameplay sont uniquement esquissées, les combats sous-marins des versions Super NES ne sont pas au programme et le mode Histoire est bancal par endroits. En résulte tout de même un superbe jeu qui, s'il ne fait pas jeu égal avec un Tekken 4 ou un Virtua Fighter 4, est si respectueux du matériau d'origine qu'il serait folie de passer à côté.
Diehard GameFan (Feb 15, 2005)
This is one of the most fun games I have on my PS2. I’ve gone back to it time and time again to unlock a new move or two or just to battle it out between some of my favorite characters. The over the top moves are worth watching more then once and going back to settle grudge matches from the anime is quite a bit of fun. The shallow combat system hurts the addictiveness though. As easy as this game is to get into, it’s harder to stay into it, as there are fighting games with a lot more to offer in their combat systems. As fun as leveling a city is, there were still more then a few times when I desperately wanted more from the game in the simplest of areas.
And that really sums it up – while it's an accomplished game, it's entirely geared towards Dragon Ball Z fans, and I can't see anyone that isn't a fan understanding the game enough to get enjoyment out of it. It would be like reading a book in a language that you have a poor understanding of – you'll get an understanding of the plot, but miss the deeper meaning. For those not familiar with the source DBZ Budokai 3 will seem like a shallow fighting game built around set pieces, and for that I have to mark it down. For those that do happen to understand it, it's a treat, and would score a 9.
GamersMark (Jan 04, 2005)
There are some games that lose their appeal after a short amount of time. Sure, at first they may seem fun and appealing but after a few hours, or even a few minutes, you begin to realize how bland the game is and how foolish you were for spending anything less than "it defines what a button masher is" five bucks on it. Well, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is one of these games. It just lacks the depth needed to make a good fighting game and unfortunately that is the same fault which prevented the two previous games from being considered worthwhile as well.
55 (Dec 08, 2004)
If you’re looking for a game that is a great representation of the Dragon Ball Z universe, then look no further than Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. If you’re looking for a good fighting game that will entertain and challenge you for hours, then it’s best to look somewhere else. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3’s intended audience is pretty clear due to the fact that its greatest strength is unparalleled Dragon Ball Z flavor, and this same flavor is the source of many of its shortcomings. The only non-Dragon Ball Z fans who might enjoy this game are those who are looking for a unique take on the fighting genre. In the end, Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is a slightly above-average fighting game which does a brilliant job of capturing the feel of the animated series.
Those who enjoy DBZ have already decided that they will buy Budokai 3 and that it will be their favorite game of all time. If you fall into that category, congratulations – this game will reward your loyalty and faith. It has a boatload of unlockables, character customization, and some unique maneuvers that give it the series’ trademark world-crushing flair. However, don’t be upset if the rest of the world doesn’t share your enthusiasm for this puerile wasteland; it’s simplistic, clumsy, unresponsive, and boring, even with the improvements over last year’s entry. I’ve never seen a title that puts so much effort into pleasing franchise fans at the expense of being playable and enjoyable. It’s more of an interactive fan-gasm than a "game" in the traditional sense.