The Naruto anime franchise is unquestionably one of the most popular in history, and one of the most recognizable. The video games based on the series have the same popular appeal. With the release of the Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution title, the franchise has added another winning game. Even those few stragglers who are not familiar with the anime are finding that the game is able to stand on its own and are giving it great reviews.
With a 3D format and derived from the Naruto manga and anime, Bandai Namco and CC2 are offering up a fighting game that ticks all of the boxes for fans of the format. There are more than 100 characters on the roster, both old and new, including the exclusive Mecha-Naruto character designed by the original Naruto creator. Within the game are three original anime. The title features a ninja world tournament feature which allows characters to engage in free-for-all contests involving up to four characters.
The controls will feel familiar to serial Naruto gamers. Some aspects of the battles have undergone slight adjustments, including additional guard breaks, types of battle, and counter-attacks. The system now includes a sort of “checks and balances” feel, with the players having to choose the ideal style to counter specific attacks. “Drive” counters “ultimate jitsu,””ultimate jitsu” counters “awakening,” and “awakening” counters “drive.” It is almost like a game of rock-paper-scissors. It adds an element of strategy and balance to the game according to many reviews.
Players are also able to customize their characters, adding items in the battle mode to creating a unique experience for the player. Additionally, the ability to combine with teammates on “ultimate jitsu” in battle adds visual interest, though very little in terms of advantage. One aspect that does provide advantage is the addition of some titan awakenings providing awakenings that provide the experience of taking control of a “boss” titan that provides attack strength and protection from “ultimate jitsu” attacks which could disrupt the awakening. This does reduce the period of time the character stays awakened, and telegraphs attacks, making them easier to counter.
One complaint about the game which has been voiced is the lack of a primary storyline as in previous titles. The introduction of the Mecha-Naruto thread surrounding the new character provides some original interest, though it has met with mixed reviews as well. Original is a relative term. The lack of story complaints, however, have been outweighed largely in the accolades for the Ninja World Tournament feature, even limited as it is.
Because of the point of view and HUD, the screen would not be conducive to multiple players competing on the local view, and so the game format allows players to only compete against the computer. Though this would not be an issue had they chosen to allow for multiple players in the online mode, that is not the case. It is not enough to detract from the overall experience, but it has been mentioned in some reviews.
Overall, consensus is that the Ultimae Ninja Storm Revolution game is another big win for the Naruto franchise. Not only does it provide another substantive morsel for long-time fans with an insatiable appetite for Naruto, but it looks to be able to draw new fans to the family as well.
By Jim Malone