Being a huge fan of the Dragon Ball Z Budokai series, I thought I would give the new "expansion" in the Tenkaichi universe a try. For the ill informed, there are 6 games in the Budokai series of Draogn Ball Z. The First 3 were kind of like Street Fighter beat em' ups, each one being vastly superior to it's predecessor. Then the Tenkaichi series introduced the ability to free roam and fly around massive enviorments, promising an even bigger roster and a more intense gameplay. While it was a whole new experience, once you adjusted to it, it was even better than the previous 3. Tenkaichi 2 was more fast paced than one and had even more characters. With the release of Tenkaichi 3...it's lacking this time around.
Well for those of you who already know the Dragon Ball Z universe(which will be almost 90% of the people who buy this game), then you already know what's going on in the DBZ universe. But for the ill informed you will play your way through abridged versions of the various Saga's of the DBZ universe.
The gameplay is exactly like it's predecessor. A match begins and you fight by land, sea, or air, trying to out power your openents with your energy blasts or with your fists. There are various moves which all have a cenematic flare like the show and make the battles fun and intense. They added a few new features such as a day and night feature which deals mostly with the Saiyans ability to transform into Great Apes at night. And also the character leveling system has been changed.One big dent in the gameplay this time around is how you aquire characters. There is a nifty feaute of the game called "Disk Fusion". AS long as you own a copy of Tenkaichi 1 or 2, you can import all your character from those games(except for your created ones) onto your DBZ TK3 game, meaing if you completed 1 and 2..you'll already have almost every character. While this does sound great for vetrans of the series, you still have to play through the God awful story mode, which has been shortened this time around, to achieve the characters you do not have. And if you're one who likes to unlock stuff as you go and feel accomplished, fi you have the characters already, expect a whole lot of nothing, because you'll go through lots of battles earning nothing but more battles. This can make for a long, drawn out game with barely any rewards.
Unlike it's Wii version, the PS2 does not support online play, so you will be playing solo unless you have some friends to play, which makes the replayability score on this mediocre. It is a fun game, but you won't feel like you're getting your $40 worth.The controls are just as tight as the other games, though I still feel the countering system to be quite hard to master. It's usually a fluke when I get to do a counte move. I've played htrough all 6 games and I find this one to be the most difficult to get the upperhand when you're taking a severe thrashing. Either than that though, the controls are tight.
Now, depending on your skill level, this game can be incredibly easy or just a little bit challenging. They changed a few things in this game, most notably the energy attacks. If you've played the other games, remember how easy it was to block one of those small energy balls, even if you just got hit by one? Well in this game, if you get hit by one, you are POWERLESS. Making it so easy to let off your ultimate attacks. Just hit em with a small energy ball and they will be powerless against your ultimate attack. The computer does have it's times where it can be annoying, but overall, I found the AI to be not a challenge and a really easy game to get through.
Overall, this game trys too little to be a sequel. The past two Budokai Tenkiachi games out did it's predecessor and offered an awesome experience. This game, they just threw in some new characters, bragged about the 150 character roster, but didn't really do anyhting else. I'd highly recommend a rent, but don't be a loser like me and buy it for $40. If this is your first venture into the Budokai world though, this is a prime one to get thanks to the roster and the easiness of the game.