Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm
Naruto is a popular Japanese Manga that
focuses on the lead character, Naruto Uzumaki as he strives to become
the Hokage. If all this sounds foreign to you, as it did to me before
playing this game then do not rule this title out based on this. Naruto
Shippuden is a fighting series that features arena style combat that is
fast paced and features a strong narrative, as any fan of the manga will
tell you. Fans of the series manga will likely buy this regardless of
whether it scores well or not, but is there anything here for those new
to the series.
has a heavy narrative that is typically found in manga series’, with
Naruto Uzumaki being the key protagonist and his story being the longest
in the game. The story is very well done in this game, with the cut
scenes being produced by the studio responsible for the show
adaptations, Studio Pierrot. The game allows you to play through a
number of characters stories and features over 70 characters overall.
The game uses cut scenes at the beginning and end of each story with
comic style transitions between each fight, these do a great job and
explaining each fight and providing real motivation, to a standard that
is generally unseen in the fighting genre. Prior to spending some with
this title I had not watched much Naruto, but playing this really made
me want to delve right into the manga series.
game looks stunning, keeping the feel of the series during the action.
Everything looks just as it should, it looks almost like watching the
show. There is really no surprise here, in the current generation of
games developers have really been able to capture the look of cartoons
in games. The arenas do look very basic, but I never felt like this
detracted from the overall experience. It really does add a lot to the
overall experience when the in game action looks very similar to the cut
scenes, especially when it all looks this good.
only bad points about this title visually are the menus, they are
trapped in a bit of a time warp, they look very much at home in Japanese
games from a number of years ago. Also, the main menu is hideous, the
screen is overly bright and I found it very cluttered.
Although most will come for the story, they will stay for the game play,
and fortunately this is another strong point for the game. The fighting
is fast and strategic; it does have its flaws though. This is an arena
fighter involving simple commands with the focus really what is
happening on screen, not what the inputs are. For example, there is
only one button to strike, despite this the fighting is surprisingly
deep. Players are able to teleport away from their opponent when they
are attacking and then attack them. This time there are only four
teleports per player, they do recharge, this can lead to trying to trick
your opponent into using a teleport so you can get the final combo. You
also become more powerful when you charge your Jutsu.
are some negatives to the combat, these feel more like oversights. As a
newcomer to series I had virtually no idea how to fight effectively or
use any of the more advanced moves and quickly found myself struggling.
To overcome this I had to study the combo list and command list, I would
have found a tutorial of some sort incredibly useful and this would have
saved a great deal of frustration early on. Fortunately, the fighting
is simple enough that you can still learn this for yourself if you are
are some balance issues with the game also, some characters are able to
enter an “awakening mode”, this essentially makes them nearly impossible
to beat, especially Naruto’s. They can only transform when their health
gets down to a certain level, but still creates huge imbalances. The
main method that the developers utilised to increase difficulty is to
the opponents deal out more damage, this creates huge imbalances during
sound effects during fights are pretty much spot on, as is the voice
work during the cut scenes. This all adds a huge amount of authenticity
to the experience and with the voice acting being generally very good in
the manga series it really does add a layer of quality to the final
product and also a degree of respect for the fans of the series. As
these fans are going to make up a large portion of the target audience.
is a lot to do here, the story missions will take a while to complete
them all, and there is also a ranking system for those wanting to really
challenge themselves. There are also free battles and online matches.
For those looking for it there is heaps of play time here and a decent
amount of value. The story missions will probably be enough value for
true diehard fans. There are also collectibles within the game for the
completionists out there.
Overall, not surprisingly there is a lot here for fans of the series,
but there is also an excellent story driven fighting game for fans of
the genre. For those of you out there who have not experienced Naruto
this may be a great way to introduce yourself to the universe and even
if you don’t warm to the story there is still a deep arena fighter here
that takes time to truly master all of the intricacies. A surprisingly
complete experience that should appeal to all fans of the genre, and to
those looking for something a little different to the typical fighting