Hands-On Preview: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution - Everybody Was Ninja Fighting
I love Naruto and Naruto Shippuden but I can’t say the same for the video games which are based on the mega hit Shonen anime. This isn’t a knock against Naruto games in particular but I just find don’t find anime based games appealing, even though I’m an anime nut myself. Going into this demo for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, I wasn’t really expecting much. While it didn’t change my overall stance on anime based games, it sure did look pretty.
Naruto is an anime about ninjas with insane powers so it does make sense that this is a fighting game. The mode that I played was in an arena where I and two other characters got to fight against another team of three. The build I played only had a few selectable characters. I chose to play as Konohamaru because he’s a fun character that I like. For backup I had Naruto and Iruka-sensei.
To be honest, I did terribly at the game since the control scheme was pretty complicated. I managed to toss out a few ninja stars while Sasuke and his team did all manner of impressive moves on me. I was able to do a few cool assist moves of my own but it was to no avail. This isn’t a knock on the game since I’m the one who didn’t know how to play it. However, this is one of the reasons that I don’t like anime based games; they feel needless complicated.
Thankfully, our very own Staff Writer Kevin Sanchez was at the event with me and he showed me how it’s actually supposed to be done. Using the same team as me, he was able to unleash an impressive array of attacks on his opponents. Seeing this was actually more entertaining than playing it since it reminded me so much of the anime. My favorite part was when Konohamaru and Naruto did a combined “Sexy Jutsu” which made Iruka-sensei’s nose bleed. It was hilarious and totally in keeping with the sillier moments of the show.
There were only a handful of selectable characters but they all seemed well balanced. I mean, Konohamaru was able to go up against Sasuke after all. From a fighting game standpoint this is a plus since you don’t want to have characters that are insanely more powerful than others. On the other hand (and this is a sticking point I have with anime fighting games) as a fan of the series, it does irk me that characters who are relatively weak can hold up against the super powerful ones. However, this is a fighting game first and foremost so I won’t consider that a knock against it. The balance seemed just right and if you are being overtaken, you have the ability to come back from defeat if you’re smart.
The game seems to favor players using specials more than normal combos. During the battles I played and saw, it seemed like normal attacks weren’t as effective as the super ones. Often, it felt like I was waiting for my super meter to fill up so that I could do special attacks and actually do serious damage. It’s not that average attacks aren’t necessary, they are, but most fights came down to who could launch the most special moves on the other opponent.
The thing I liked most about this was how much it felt like the Naruto Shippuden anime. All of the characters had very flashy moves and whenever they unleashed them, the game would show cinematics to give them that much more of a visual impact. The colors are nice and crisp and the animations were actually smoother than those from the show. From a visual standpoint this game is fantastic and manages to look better than the anime at times.
The final game will feature over 100 playable characters. Some characters will be exclusive to the game. One of those is Mecha-Naruto, which was designed by manga-ka Masashi Koshimoto himself. The game will continue the story of the previous game (Ultimate Ninja Storm 3) and it will also have an all new story that involves Mecha-Naruto.
While not exactly my type of game, this is a very cool title for those who are hardcore Naruto fans. The roster is huge and since each character will have three different fighting styles, it should have a lot of content for players to dig into to. Believe it!