|System: PS2, Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Spike / Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atari||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 13, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 12, 2007 - Well we saw it in Budokai, and now with the spiritual successor to Budokai, Budokai Tenkaichi, we are receiving a third installment. But from the looks of it, this installment will actually have some features that warrant a new title, and even a little excitement.
First, let's talk about the Wii version. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 was one of the launch titles for the Wii and even the most prudent of gamers had to admit that it was pretty good. Both the controls and visuals were decent on a system that had yet to prove itself, and everyone was generally satisfied with the game. But there were no real trailblazing efforts made, short of the limited control scheme. Well, Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is really going to surpass its immediate predecessor on the Wii. First of all there's the controls. Did you think those initial Wii controls were awesome? Have I got news for you, because they're about to become super awesome. And even more super awesome? You'll actually be able to play online via your Wii. Now we know that the Wii hasn't really been famous for its online play, but it looks like Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 will join that select roster of Wii games with online play.
Now, even though the control schemes will be different, those new moves I mentioned will be accessible through both the PS2 and Wii versions. One of which has been named the Sonic Sway. This brand-new technique simply allows the player to evade oncoming attacks. But there's a twist! Since it's faster to dodge than to attack and then return to form, the attacker is left with a split second of vulnerability. So this means that that even if you're getting massively pummeled, there's still an opening you can go for.
Another new defense technique is the Blast Combo. This involves counterattacking by teleporting behind an opponent in mid-attack. The best way I can really describe it is if you're familiar with the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja franchise, it's somewhat similar to the fast reaction counterattack chains. But the twist with this one, is that you can perform devastating attacks from your vantage point, instead of a simple kick or punch. So if you're coordinated enough, you could potentially whack your foes in the back of the head with a Kamehameha wave. Pretty sweet, huh?
And there's still more! Some moves that are getting an upgrade are the Z counter, which is a more generic version of the Z blast and still uses the instant transmission to surprise attackers. There's also the new Z-burst dash, which is an extremely quick evasive maneuver.
Now these new moves may seem very well, and all, but for those of you longing for a better connection with the source material, there's some good news for you too! In an effort to make the game more "realistic" by the laws of the DBZ universe, depending on the time of day that you play, will be how strong your character is, and what powerups will be available to them. So for instance, if you're playing as on of your favorite Saiyans and it is nighttime, you'll be able to harness the power of the full moon and turn into a great ape!
Now the PS2 fans are probably wondering exactly when in this preview they'll get news of their exclusive content. Well fear not PS2 fans, because here's your good news: You'll be getting a whole new bonus disc. And no, it's not one of those "preview" discs that have a whole bunch of information you don't care about, this disc actually has features! It's called a "fusion" disk, and what it does is allow for you to stick in either of the previous Budokai Tenkaichi games for access to exclusive content. No word yet on exactly what that content will be, but in keeping with the theme of this preview, my guess is that it'll be pretty sweet.
Now all this fails to mention the obvious character upgrades, and the fact that this game boasts the largest roster of playable characters in a DBZ game to date. How many, you ask? 150. And it includes such reclusive characters as King Cold, Nail, and even SS3 Kid Goku from Dragon Ball Z: GT.
So all in all, this looks like it's the DBZ game. If you've skipped out on the previous entries in the series, now's a good time to come on back, because Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 is set to Kamehameha your console with enough new features to make even Vegeta a little jealous!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer