I wasn’t crazy about the motion controls in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2. The special move motions were simply moving the remote off screen, nothing like the demonstration videos where kids mimicked the Kamehameha motions. The other problem with it was overly complex for newcomers. Shaking the remote, pressing buttons and keeping the remote positioned at the sensor bar was overwhelming for someone who wanted try out the Wii game without a lecture.
For Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 the development team started from scratch and streamlined the controls. You don’t have to hold down Z + B to input blast commands for special attacks anymore. When you press and hold down a direction on the remote’s d-pad a figure pops up on the bottom left hand corner of the screen. The orange icon tells you the motion you need to make to do a special attack. Some of them should be instantly familiar to Dragon Ball Z fans like the hand motions for the Kamehameha and raising both hands in the sky to do a Spirit Bomb. Other motions include thrusting the remote forward, crossing your arms and pointing the remote to your chest.
Adding in the little orange man was a brilliant idea. It allows the developers to incorporate unique motions without having to worry about training first time players. The best part is the controls felt responsive, unlike the awkward move the remote off the screen and bring it back set up that relied on the sensor bar. Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 responds to the Wii’s accelerometers so you can move around when you fight. I played around with Goku first and I’m convinced Dragon Ball Z fans are going to like his remote movements. King Vegeta was next, he has the ability to turn into a giant ape and in this mode one of his supers knocks off a half of the other player’s life bar. Babidi was the last character I got to try out, he attacks with an orb.
There is one more feature in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 that fans of the series are going to love. The Wii game is going to include online play through Nintendo Wi-Fi. When I was informed about this I asked about lag issues, a problem that plagues many online fighting games. Latency problems are still being ironed out and Atari didn’t mention any more details besides that they have been playing with online battles in their office. Only the Nintendo Wii version is going to have online play, a first for the Dragon Ball Z: Budokai series. The Playstation 2 release is left out of the online party, which means the Wii version is going to be the one to pick up when Atari releases Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 in November.