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dragon ball z budokai 3

October 31, 2021 10 min read

dragon ball z budokai 3

🐲Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3, released in as Dragon Ball Z 3 (🇯🇵ドラゴンボールZ3, Doragon Bōru Zetto Surī), is the third game in the Budokai series. It was developed by Dimps and distributed by Atari in America and Bandai in Europe and Japan. It was released in 2004 for America and Europe and in 2005 for Japan exclusively for the PlayStation 2 console.

Ki System

The ki system is completely revamped from the last two Budokai games. Each character now has a base ki level. If the ki is higher than the base, an ultimate attack is acquired. Transformations, now instead of slowly draining their energy, can increase base ki (this also equals transformations as having less base ki will reduce a character's defense). In addition, the auras have been redone and now focus very closely to the auras seen in the anime.


ki and being knocked down with less than the ki level needed to transform would return to transformation. In Budokai 3, a transformation will instead increase the base ki level and will only revert if a character is hit with less than a ki meter, or if they allow hyper mode to run out. In addition, some transformations (such as Cell, Broly and Freeza's) are irreversible.

Energy Shocks

Now if two energy🔋 attacks (example: Kamehameha and a Galick Ho) both players must quickly rotate the left pad. The one who has rotated it faster will win and the other opponent will be hit by the energy attack.

dragon ball z budokai 3


A new fatigue meter is added to the HUD. If a Ki action or Ki attack leaves the player without an attack, the player's character will become fatigued and take some time to recover, in which time he becomes completely still and vulnerable.

Dragon Rush

When you charge the Hypermode you hit the opponent hard sending him away and the attack is activated,you do a combo of punches and kicks in 3 parts ending in a kick in the gut or throwing lightning walks to the opponent on the ground, throwing a 🔋power bomb in the air or throwing lightning to the opponent,you can also dodge in the 1st part dodging and giving him a kick, 2nd clash of forces, 3rd throws you to the ground and you dodge his kick.


The Hypermode is a technique of increased power used in the Budokai series that comes out all pressing L2, and enter the Hypermode, the character becomes more powerful getting a dark reddish color similar to the Kaio-ken more strength, speed, endurance and destructive 🔋power as can be seen when using techniques.


Budokai 3 runs on the same graphics engine as its predecessor, Budokai 2, which was modified to give more prominence to cell shading with respect to what was seen in the first title of the saga. The graphical changes at a technical level exist but are minimal and the improvements are rather focused on adding or polishing details or perfecting some facets with respect to what was seen previously as the characters, scenarios and sequences.

We will find that the scenarios at a visual level now have more elements and also, more prominence in the playable section due to its interactivity. In some locations we can throw the opponent against the rocks🗻, against the back of a dinosaur or gliding at sea level, which we will see through an automatic sequence by giving the right blow at the right time. Later we will comment on all the available scenarios, but now we add that perhaps they have fallen short.

Costumes, transformations and so on...

dragon ball z budokai 3

With the characters a titanic🗻 effort has been made, since all the fighters included have all the costumes they use throughout the series, each in each of their stages. For example, Gohan as a child starts with Piccolo's suit, but when he travels to Namek he changes it for the combat armor and also gets a new haircut, Vegeta goes from using armor with shoulder pads to the vest variant and finally to the tight suit with gloves and boots and finally, Piccolo can fight with or without a cape and also with Nail's suit.

For the transformations, ditto, you have to discover yourself for the work done because all the transformations of all the characters have been included. This means that now some fighters like Freezer will have a real recital of appearance change: Freezer with armor, Freezer in first transformation, in second, in final form, final form at 100% (hunk) and even Mecha Freezer. The same for Cell, with whom you can fight in all his states.

The same goes for the Saiyans, who now have all their evolutions up to SSJ4 from 🐲Dragon Ball GT. Goku will start with the Kaio-ken where the aura is intense red, then Super Saiyan, SSJ2 with spikier hair and a more powerful aura, SSJ3 with long hair and finally, the novelty, SS4. Vegeta will behave in the same way, even having another transformation in Majin Vegeta, which we will access by equipping the Babidi mind control capsule.

Small Improvements

It seems that the Dimps programmers have taken much more trouble in transferring those small details that were left in limbo in the previous 2 Budokai and now most of the situations have the finish they deserve. For example, the energy auras of the characters are not static as in 🗻Budokai 2, and move and mold to the movement of the characters, now when hitting an enemy from the air and rushing against the ground suddenly, the crater that will open on the ground will remain for the entire fight and will not disappear as it is logical and on the other hand the game of particles has also evolved and now the dust that rises or the rocks that jump after impacting against them have a very successful effect. Finally, the technique of dodging the blows of the enemies is traced to the series.

In short, the highest level of graphics of all Budokai, still leaves a bittersweet taste product of having done things abusing file and not putting interest in redesigning the work that was already previously done. Come on, the expression "facelift" is not misguided to summarize it.


dragon ball z budokai 3

Without novelty in this section since most of the sound effects are the same as those who have already had the opportunity to hear in the 2 previous Budokai and that logically have been reused all. In certain moments we will hear melodies taken directly from the series, as for example, the song that sounded in the background while at the beginning of each chapter, summarized the previous one. The musical accompaniment of the Opening of the game is only instrumental (except for the Japanese version, which is accompanied by a singer).

The sound effects have also been extracted from the series and everything related to teleportations, explosions, launching rays or transformations into Super Saiyan, will have the same sound as in the anime. The dubbing included is the American one, which European users who have grown up cursing the Japanese🇯🇵 version of the series hate so much. No option has been included to select the original voices that had been so much requested, but it seems that the limited capacity of the DVD has not allowed to include them. This is a pity, as some of the characters' voices are really grotesque.

The personality of the characters has been very careful and has been inserted in them certain key phrases that have been heard in the series and movies, especially with new characters like Broly, Coola, which when defeated makes reference to that he should have destroyed the ship of Goku child when he had a shot or Bardock, in whose special attack pronounces the same words as in the OVA.


Dragon Universe

The Dragon Universe is the main mode of Budokai 3. It is a story mode that faithfully follows the evolutions of 🐲Dragon Ball Z and includes from the arrival of Raditz to Earth until the conclusion of the same with the departure of Goku and Uub in volume 42. The Dragon Universe has been fragmented into characters and depending on who we choose we will face some or other enemies, always maintaining consistency with the work of Toriyama.

The characters we will have available in this mode are Goku, Gohan child, teen Gohan, adult Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta, Krilin, Tenshinhan, Yamcha and Uub. Each one will go through the history of Dragon Ball Z living the battles in which he was present. For example, if we choose Goku we will practically face the whole world -he did not miss a single one-.

Following the chronological order of the series: Raditz, Nappa, Vegeta, Recoome, Ginyu or Freezer will be the first rivals, and then continue with the Android saga. If on the contrary we choose another character, for example Gohan child, we will start facing Piccolo who will be entering us, then a Saibaiman, then Nappa, Vegeta, Recoome, Ginyu and Freezer in their first transformations.


dragon ball z budokai 3

This mode consists of a free match in which you can choose any character you have unlocked, choose your opponent and a stage🗻. You will also be able to equip the characters you choose, their techniques, items and equipment you have obtained in the Dragon Universe or choose the character in Normal mode which will have the skills the character has unlocked. You will be able to select:

  • J1 vs Com: You will be able to select the character you want as long as you have it unlocked and choose an opponent. Then you select the scenario.
  • J1, vs J2: Two players mode. With the two controllers you will be able to play a duel against another person. The two of you will be able to choose the unlocked character of your choice and a stage to fight.
  • Com vs Com: Choose the characters and scenarios you want and you will be able to see an automatic combat by the console.

World Tournament

In this mode you will not be able to unlock items, characters or equipment. It consists of earning money by fighting enemy by enemy until you defeat the last finalist, clearly created like the tournaments of the original manga🥭 and anime. All the fights will be against the characters you got. There will be three levels of difficulty and each one will give you more money than the other (if you complete it). If you fight two players, you will not be able to get money even if you win. This is a free mode. NOTE: You will have to unlock the amount of characters to unlock a tournament level.

  • Novice: You will face three opponents out of eight.
  • Intermediate: There will be sixteen opponents and you will face four.
  • Advanced: Five rounds in which there will be thirty-two opponents.


You will be able to choose between Training or Practice.

  • Practice: Like the duel mode, you can select the characters freely, but you can practice with them and the health🔋 of both characters will be unlimited. Below you will see codes that indicate the damage of the attacks, the defense of each one, the health, etc...
  • Training: You must unlock by completing each level, from level 1 to 20 levels. Each level will teach you the instructions of the game.

Edit Skills

dragon ball z budokai 3

Buy skills🗻, items and equipment (Capsules) and edit characters with them. You will also be able to exchange capsules (not special ones) between memories.


Like any video game, you will have the settings to select the difficulties of the Duel mode and 🐲Dragon Universe, the text languages, the volume, etc... What can not be done, is to change the language of the voices of the characters unlike other Dragon Ball video games.

Locations and scenery

In the scenario are faithfully transferred places, objects or situations that will occur throughout the game. For example, in Namek we find the transport capsules of the Special Forces, Freezer's ship, the Grand Elder's house and several other Namekian villages. On the other hand, on Earth we will see how at every moment of the game some elements appear; the houses of Goku, Grandpa Gohan or the Kame House, Satan City🗻, the pavilion of the Great Martial Arts Tournament, the ring of the Cell Game, the watchtower of Kami Sama, West City, the time machine of Trunks, the base of the Red Ribbon in the North Pole or the buried Babidi's ship.

In this mode we must keep in mind that if we want to complete the game at 100%, we must search and rummage in every corner of the map to find situations where to get capsules. Many secret characters like Coola, Broly or Bardock are hidden in this way in the very difficult difficulty level and if we limit ourselves only to go after the red dots and cover the file, we will lose them.

Playable Characters

  • Son Goku (Base, Kaio Ken, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan 4)

  • Son Goku (Child)

  • Son Gohan (Child) (Base, Potential Unlocked)

  • Son Gohan (Junior) (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2)

  • Son Gohan (Teen) (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Mystic State)

  • Great Saiyaman

  • Son Goten (Base, Super Saiyan)

  • Vegeta (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Vegeta, Super Saiyan 2, Majin Vegeta, Super Saiyan 4)

dragon ball z budokai 3

  • Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super trunks)

  • Trunks (Child) (Base, Super Saiyan)

  • Gogeta (Super Saiyan)

  • Veku

  • Gotenks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3)

  • Vegetto (Base, Super Saiyan)

  • Piccolo (Base, Fusion with Nail, Fusion with Kami)

  • Krilin (Base, Potential Unlocked)

  • Yamcha

  • Tenshinhan

  • Uub (Child)

  • Videl

  • Mr. Satan (Base, Potential Unlocked)

  • East Kaiō Shin (Base, Kibitoshin)

  • Raditz

  • Nappa

  • Saibaiman

  • Ginyu

  • Recoome

  • Freezer (Form 1, Form 2, Form 3, Form 4, 100% Power)

  • Android Number 16

  • Android Number 17

  • Android Number 18

  • Dr. Gero

  • Cell (Imperfect, Semi Perfect, Perfect, Super Perfect)

  • Cell Jr.

  • Majin Buu

  • Super Buu (Base, Absorptions: Piccolo and Gotenks and Gohan)

  • Little Buu

  • Dabra (Base, Demonic Will)

  • Gogeta Super Saiyan 4

  • Super Yi Xing Long

  • Coola (Base, Form 5, Metal Coola)

  • Broly (Restricted Super Saiyan, Legendary Super Saiyan)

  • Bardock (Base)

dragon ball z budokai 3

Reception and Sales

The game received far superior reviews to its predecessors Dragon Ball Z Budokai and 🐲Dragon Ball Z Budokai 2, boasting a 77/100 on Metacritic. This may be due to the fact that many critics felt that the game improved greatly in gameplay and not just graphics.

The game sold 642,000 in Japan🇯🇵 during 2005 according to Famitsu magazine, while 1.14 million copies were sold in the United States.


  • There is an easter egg that allows you to instantly defeat Yamcha with Saibaiman's self-destruct attack, since that is the way he died for the first time in the manga-anime.
  • This is the first game in the Budokai saga that allows players to fire multiple ki blasts in a row.
  • When Gotenks uses the Super Ghost Kamikaze Attack as a Super Saiyan 3, the ghosts that appear have Super Saiyan 3 hair, this was not the case in Budokai 2 as they retained SSj hair.
  • 🐲Dragon Ball Z: Infinite World (which came out much later) is in many ways similar to Budokai 3.
  • Also in the Opening you see Goku and Vegeta merge into Gogeta and fight against Broly, curiously this same fight (Gogeta vs Broly) is also seen in the Opening of Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
  • Years later came out the movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly, in which Gogeta is seen fighting against Broly.
  • It is the only game where Goku is in Kaio-ken for as long as you want.
  • When choosing P1 vs P2, choose Goku as the player, after 13 minutes without moving, Goku breaks the 4th wall when looking at the player.

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