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Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: Tenkaichi 3: Tenkaiching Again
Company: Atari

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: Tenkaichi 3 once again lets you fight with practically every member of the Dragon Ball Universe and in many familiar locations and situations. Tenkaichi 3 will let you control over 150 heroes and villains across 30 different battle locations. If there is one thing outside of character selection that this line has offered, it's gameplay modes.

Dragon History will be the game's Story Mode. As you would expect, it's here where you will be able to go through most of the battles from the TV series. As an added benefit, you can also create battles outside of the normal timeline so that characters that never actually meet in the series will face off.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: Tenkaichi 3's Dragon World Tournament is a collection of tournaments found throughout the anime series. As you beat various types of tournaments, new ones will be unlocked. Each tournament takes place in a new location, has slightly different rules and will involve more people.

The first tournament is the World Tournament that we've all come to love. After that, you will unlock the World Martial Arts Big Tournament (the tournament as you see it in DBZ as opposed to Dragon Ball) then the Cell Games, Otherworld Tournament and finally Yamcha Game. As you would expect, each type of tournament will yield different amounts of cash reward.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: Tenkaichi 3's Ultimate Battle Mode has been extended from the last game. Here you will be able to play through different types of missions. In Sim Dragon mode, you will go through a series of simulated training sessions in order to increase your character's abilities. You will go through 10 days of training that will end with a fight. Across the 10 days, you can choose to train your abilities, explore the world, rest or take a senzu bean. While you don't do any physical actions (for the most part), you will have to manage your character's state. If you work your character too hard, the training will do no good and may actually remove skill points. While exploring, you will run into various characters and train with them. These trainings typically involve some sort of reflex mini-game.

Ultimate Battle also has a mode called Mission 100 that lets you choose a couple of characters and have you face off against particular combinations of opponents. From what I can tell in this preview build, this is going to be that really tough mode where you will spend a lot of time and make very little progress.

One of the features found in the Ultimate Battle Mode is Disc Fusion where the game asks you to pop in previous installments of Tenkaichi in order to unlock new modes. This is a nice feature that really encourages and supports long time fans of the game; after all, if there wasn't already enough incentive to get them to buy Tenkaichi 3, the ability to unlock modes with the previous discs might be the little extra push that's needed.

Dragon Ball Z: Budokai: Tenkaichi 3 will come out at the end of November on both the PS2 and the Wii, and while this will be the last verions of Tenkaichi to come out for the PS2, the Wii version has a few benefits that will hopefully carry on past this installment. These Wii-based benefits are a revamped control system and it will be the first DBZ game to have online capabilities. So while we won't see any more Tenkaichi on the PS2, future versions should still be good.

If you've been following this series all along, then Tenkaichi 3 is definitely something to look forward to, especially for the Disc Fusion sytem.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer
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