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Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Demo Impressions

July 4, 2008

Story

No story in the demo and I’m not going to explain the long plot of Naruto in impressions.
Gameplay

Ultimate ninja has really blown me away. You know everything i said about DragonBall Z: Burst Limit bringing a new level of anime realism(That’s an oxymoron isn;t it?) to games? Well Ultimate Ninja will take away its title. The gameplay is fairly simple, yet very complex at the same time. First off i should mention that the demo allows you to choose the language after booting it which is nice giving the option right away.
Alright this is a fighting game so lets talk about fighting. The basic controls are Square Shuriken(Throwing stars), Circle attack, Triangle Chakra and X is jump. There are a variety of combos the game explains like Chakra enahcned Shuriken, Ultimate Jutsu, normal ninjitsu and other things. There are two playable characters in the demo, they are Naruto and kakashi. Naruto plays a bit faster than kakashi but he relies a lot on clone jutsu for his attacks so there will be a bit of delay in his grabs and some combos since the clone has to be summoned. Kakashi doesn’t rely on the clone jutsu much, rather he uses his ninja dogs(Both have normal attacks its just that its really easy using these attacks and you’ll do them without even trying). I should note now im mostly will be talking about Naruto since i played him more/better with him than kakashi. Naruto’s ninjutsu is his rasengan which takes a second or two to charge up. However once it does he will speed accross the battlefield against his opponent. If the oponent is skilled enough he can use the substitution jutsu(Naruto’s version of DBZ’s teleporting) to dodge at the last minute. His ultimate attack is called ninja handbook which is basically a ton of clones, lots of throwing and a lot of hurt.(Kakashi’s ninjutsu is his lightning blade(That’s what the game calls it) while his ultimate is double lighting blade)
Fighting is fast and intuitive and it takes a certain amount of skill and strategy to win matches. Fighting doesn’t just mean combos and special techniques. They also include items(usable using the D-Pad) which can be bombs, ramen to heal chakra and things of that nature. Another key to battles is the support system. The character will have a maximum of two support characters that can be called in at anytime to help you out. This works a lot in the way of drama pieces in Burst Limit but is much more streamlined here. While i mention the word let me say this, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm is VERY seamless. Throws, techniques and more are seamlessly inigrated into the game adding much to the anime flavor. Back on topic with strategy, wise use of support characters and items can turn around a fight.

There is only one stage in the demo but man is it varied. You are allowed to fight on the land and the water nearby. But wait, that’s not all! Throw your opponent on the mountain wall and the fight will move to the wall! I’ve got to say this is pretty innovative and was a complete surprise to me when it happened. It added more variety to the stages while limiting what you can do based on physics. (Jumping while fighting sideways is not smart so you can’t do it)
Graphics

Stunning, absolutely stunning. Even better cel shaded graphics than Burst Limit(Am i making too many comparisons? hm) the game is, well stunning, The characters are the great, animations seamless and environments(Well environment) are just gorgeous. Put this on TV and you’ll have most people fooled that its the TV show.

Audio

There isn’t much dialogue in the game outside of before and after the battle but if you’ve watched Naruto you know what to expect.

Conclusion

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm is the most fun I’ve had for a long time in a fighting game. Its combat and graphics are superb with a simple, yet deep fighting system that makes it both easy and hard to pull off ultimate moves. Based on the demo the game is shaping up extremely well.

*Note Qore under the Naruto section has some pictures that are awesome and i wish i could download them to my HDD

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