Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 is a fighting game based on the anime Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT. Budokai 3 was released as simply Dragon Ball Z 3 in Japan. It is developed by Dimps and published by Atari. It was released November 2004 for the PlayStation 2. As of today, it has been re-released in an HD collection, together with Budokai 1, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



Budokai 3 is a 3D fighting game with cell shaded characters from the Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT series, as well as some of the movies.

The controls in this game are listed as P for the Punch button (Square by default), K for the kick button (Triangle by default), E for the energy blast (Circle by default) and G for the guard button (Cross by default).

When you start a match, your character has a base Ki (energy) level, which differs per character and capsules you have equipped. Your Ki will automatically regenerate to your base Ki level. Every character has the option to power up their Ki, till a maximum of 7 bars. This is done by holding G and pressing back (away from your opponent) twice. If your Ki level is higher than your base Ki, you will gain an attack bonus, but your Ki will slowly drain untill you're at your base Ki level again. Some characters have the possibility to increase their base Ki level by transforming.

Some characters, e.g. Goku, Frieza and Broly, can transform. To transform, you have to gather a certain amount of Ki bars, and then press P+K+G (Or R1 by default). If you transform, you'll often do more damage, have better defense and/or have a higher base Ki. Some transformations are irreversible (e.g. Cell, Frieza and Cooler). Transformations that are reversible will only reverse if you get fatigued.


A character can enter Hyper Mode at any time during the match. To do this, you have to press P+K+G+E (or L2 by default). If a character enters Hyper Mode, he/she will turn red and his/her Ki will slowly decrease. You will also lose the ability to block during Hyper Mode and your character is slowed down. However, during Hyper Mode you are immune to weak melee attacks. Hyper Mode is necessary to start a Dragon Rush or to use your Ultimate Attack. If Hyper Mode runs out, you are fatigued (and thus will lose your transformation). However, if you start a Dragon Rush or use your Ultimate Attack, you will automatically exit Hyper Mode without getting fatigued. Another way to get fatigued is by increasing your fatigue meter. This will automatically happen during the fight, but can be sped up by losing a Dragon Rush. If you fatigue meter is red and you get hit while having 1 Ki bar or less, you will get fatigued. Once in Hyper Mode, you can enter a Dragon Rush. This is done by simply knocking the enemy away. A Dragon Rush is a guessing game which consists of three round. The attacker and defender both select a button (P, K, E, G), and if the defender chooses the same button as the attacker, he will block the Dragon Rush attack. If the attacker wins, the next round of chance starts, and the button pressed by the attacker is not selectable anymore, so there are only 3 buttons left. This is repeated once more and there are only two buttons left. If the attacker wins all three matches, he will do a final attack which does a lot of damage. Some character have special moves which initiate after Dragon Rush. (E.g. Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon).

You can also perform an Ultimate Attack when you're in Hyper Mode. To do this, you have to have enough bars for the Ultimate Attack, and then press P+K+E+G (Or R2) to do the attack. You will punch or kick your opponent, and if you hit, you will do the attack. A bar will fill up and you have to press the button when it's at maximum power, to fill up your attack bar. If you press it too early or too late, your bar will fill up with less power. After three presses, your bar and the opponent's bar will be compared, and the one with the most power wins. If the attacker wins, he will do maximum damage. If the defender wins he can either do reduced damage or totally evade the attack.

To perform a fusion, you also have to enter Hyper Mode, and then press P+K+E+G (R2) to hit the opponent. If you hit, you will start to fuse. If you do portara fusion, you and the opponent will both press a button, just like with Dragon Rush. If you win, you will fuse. If the opponent wins, he will grab the portara earring and crush it. You can't fuse for the rest of the game anymore. Portara fusion lasts for the full round and can't be reversed. If you want to do a fusion dance, you start the same way, but instead of doing a 1 round Dragon Rush, you will have to press a sequence of buttons in time. If you succeed, you will be fused. The fusion will only be available for a short amount of time, and after that you will return to your base state. You can fuse multiple times in a match. If you mess up the sequence with Gotenks, you will turn in either Fat Gotenks or Skinny Gotenks, doing less damage or being really slow. Super Saiyan 4 Gogeta fusion dance will automatically work.

There are multiple options to defend. The most common option is to guard. You will block all attacks but will still take a little bit of damage. This is done by holding the G button. You can also dodge against melee attacks, this way you will evade all melee attacks and take no damage, but it is at the cost of a littel bit of Ki. The last option is to teleport. This is done by pressing towards the opponent and G right before you get hit. You can teleport after all types of attacks (melee, grab, energy blasts). You will teleport behind your opponent and kick him away. It costs 3 Ki bars to teleport. The only way to defend against a teleport is to teleport! So the person who teleports the lasts will win!


If you have selected an item in your custom loadout, you can use it by holding G and pressing down twice. Items can only be used once per match.

Game Modes

Budokai 3 offers a variety of interesting game modes.

Dragon Universe

The main story mode is called Dragon Universe. You can select one of the 11 available characters in DU and follow their story through the different Saga's they appear in. You can fly around the planet freely, and have one or multiple blimps on your minimap. Follow these blimps to go to the next mission. You can also fly around and search for items such as Zeni (money), capsules (skills, items) or Dragon Balls or the Dragon Radar. You can collect the seven Dragon Balls with every character, where the Dragon Balls are hidden over the different saga's. If you collected all seven, and finish the story mode, you can do a wish. You can select one of three wishes: Breakthrough skill for that character (all attacks are unlocked), Memories of CHARACTER (You can listen to sound effects from that story) or a special equipment capsule. You will unlock most characters during Dragon Universe. A lot of characters require special objectives to be unlocked, and some even require a second play through. This gives DU a lot of replay value. During DU you will also level up your character, which will be saved for Dragon Arena. In DU, you can play with:

  • Goku
  • Kid Gohan
  • Teen Gohan (unlockable)
  • Gohan (unlockable)
  • Vegeta (unlockable)
  • Piccolo
  • Krillin
  • Yamcha
  • Tien
  • Uub (unlockable)
  • Broly (unlockable)


Dueling mode is a simple 1v1 game mode. You can play either Player vs. Computer, Player vs. Player or Computer vs. Computer.


World Tournament

You will play the World Tournament. Select a character and against other characters. You can play with up to 8 players (only two controllers necessary)! There are multiple difficulties, where the higher difficulties have more contenders.

If you win the World Tournament or become the Runner Up (only when playing with 1 player), you will earn prize money. This are the prizes:

  • Novice: 10,000 Zeni (Runner Up 5,000)
  • Adept: 30,000 Zeni (Runner Up 15,000)
  • Advance: 50,000 Zeni (Runner Up 25,000)
  • Cell Games: 50,000 Zeni(Runner Up 25,000)

The World Tournament is held in the official World Tournament stage. If you knock somebody out of the ring, (s)he will lose the game! However, the Cell Games have zero rules!

Edit Skills

In this submenu you can either look at the skills you have, put them on characters or go to the Skill Shop. In the Skill Shop you can buy skills with Zeni. The skills that appear in the shop differ every visit. Some skills won't be unlocked until you buy/find a Silver, Gold or Black membership card.

Dragon Arena

The Dragon Arena will be unlocked if you visit the Dragon Universe mode with every character. In this mode you select a character and battle against CPU's of a certain level. If you win, you will earn experience for your character, and he can level up. Sometimes, a character will randomly break in and if you beat him/her, you will unlock a special item/stage/character.

Character List

  • Goku (Base, Kaioken, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Super Saiyan 3, Super Saiyan 4, Gogeta (Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 4), Vegito (Base, Super Saiyan))
  • Kid Goku
  • Kid Gohan (Base, Unlock Potential)
  • Teen Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2)
  • Gohan (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Elder Kai Unlock Ability)
  • Great Saiyaman
  • Goten (Base, Super Saiyan, Gotenks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3))
  • Vegeta (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2, Majin Vegeta, Super Saiyan 4, Gogeta (Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 4), Vegito (Base, Super Saiyan))
  • Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 2)
  • Kid Trunks (Base, Super Saiyan, Gotenks (Base, Super Saiyan, Super Saiyan 3))
  • Krillin (Base, Unlock Potential)
  • Piccolo (Base, Sync With Nail, Fuse With Kami)
  • Tien
  • Yamcha
  • Hercule (Base, High Tension)
  • Videl
  • Uub
  • Supreme Kai (Base, Kibitoshin as Potara Fusion)
  • Raditz
  • Nappa
  • Captain Ginyu
  • Recoome
  • Frieza (First Form, Second Form, Third Form, Final Form, 100% Full Power, Metal Frieza)
  • Android 16
  • Android 17
  • Android 18
  • Dr. Gero
  • Cell (First Form, #17 Absorption, Perfect Form, Super Perfect Form)
  • Majin Buu
  • Super Buu (Base, Piccolo absorbed, Gotenks absorbed, Gohan absorbed)
  • Kid Buu
  • Dabura (Base, Demonic Will)
  • Bardock
  • Cooler (Base, Final Form, Meta Cooler)
  • Broly (Super Saiyan, Legendary Super Saiyan)
  • Omega Shenron
  • Saibaman
  • Cell Jr.



Also known as Battle Stages in the game

  • World Tournament Stage
  • Hyperbolic Time Chamber
  • Archipelago
  • Urban Area
  • Mountains
  • Plain
  • Grandpa Gohan's House
  • Planet Namek
  • Cell Ring
  • Supreme Kai's World
  • Inside Buu
  • Red Ribbon Base

HD Collection

On November 2012, Bandai Namco published the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai HD Collection, which included Budokai 1 and 3, completely rerendered in high definition. It is available for both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The versions are exactly the same as the original versions, except for updated graphics.

Special Editions

Budokai 3 knows multiple special editions. Every special edition has new and exclusive costumes, but none have different gameplay or characters. The available editions are:

  • Dragon Ball Z 3 (Japanese version)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 Collector's edition (Europe only)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 Greatest Hits (America only)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3 Limited Edition

Games | Fighting Games

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