Naruto Shipudden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is the sequel to the PS3 exclusive fighting title Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm which was developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Namco Bandai. This sequel is from the same creators and promises to expand upon what we saw in that outing.
The demo is single player, and summarily leaves one with high expectations for the full game. I have to point out that the music that plays at the tutorial menu is just beautiful. After a short explanation of the controls (which are largely the same as in the first game) the mission ensues.
Our hero Naruto is shown with his friend Sakura and their teacher Kakashi sensei. In a very memorable sequence, Naruto and his partner are tasked with removing two dangling bells from their teacher’s waist. This scene carries a great importance to fans of the anime and manga since the first time they received this mission was around when they first began training as ninjas.
But enough strolling down memory lane. The fight takes off and you see that almost nothing has changed about the controls. The projectile button, attack button, jump/dash button and chakra button are all the same. You also still use the D-pad to utilize special items. The assist button is still L1 / R1.
Mashing the attack button will still pull off a pleasing combo and pressing the chakra button before the attack, projectile, or jump button will pull off a more powerful version of either action. You can also press the chakra button twice before using another button to make it much more powerful and consume a considerable amount of chakra.
One of the first things you notice while playing the game are the lovely visuals. Everything is so shimmery and lush. It’s clearly an improvement over the previous game in the series. Suffice it to say that this is the most beautiful Naruto game yet, which is saying a lot considering how many of those are available.
At the beginning of the fight, feel free to bombard Kakashi mashing the attack button and occasionally calling Sakura in to decimate his health. It isn’t difficult to clear the first part without taking damage. After his health falls below a certain point, a QTE will be initiated. You have to be fast and reflexive to get it right. If you fail, you lose a small amount of health and then the event resets, so you can try again.
The only penalty for failing the QTE would be the small health loss, which I suppose would become a big deal if you continued to fail. The events are really very exciting and dramatic. You can tell from the first one that the scale is bigger and grander than in the previous game. It is very cinematic action.
At the end of the sequence Sakura steps in and delivers a punch so powerful it destroys the forest setting, revealing a charming oasis. The visuals at this point are very rich and beautiful. I simply must applaud the really fantastic art style.
So after succeeding, Kakashi takes off the kid gloves and leaps to a ledge out of reach to begin casting really nasty ninjutsu. While he is on this ledge, you can use Sakura to assist you and she will amicably destroy the ledge leaving Kakashi on the ground. I’m a little embarrassed to say that it took me a good while to figure out that this was what I should been doing, but that made the realization all the sweeter.
Kakashi is still pressing his offense though, summoning up the water dragon jutsu and throwing his powerful lightning blade all around the stage. You must still decimate him, only this time intermittently because he will charge the lighting blade and it will damage you if you’re anywhere near him. When he finishes though he takes a break, and that’s when you assault him.
He will eventually jump back onto a high ledge and you will repeat the same process; have Sakura knock him down and continue your attack. After about two repetitions you will trigger another QTE and Naruto will unleash the fox demon within. As he is gradually overpowered, the bells fall gently from his waste and you’ve won the mission.
The demo was very exciting, fast paced, and summarily, fun. You even get a nice piece of congratulations art for winning. Playing through this made me thoroughly excited to see where CyberConnect2 will take us with this one. Stay tuned for our full review of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 when the game releases in October.