So, as well as Tales Of Xillia 2 last week, I also got the opportunity to play another game last week at the Bandai Namco Games UK offices. Folk may be a little more familiar with the ongoing series of Naruto games… well, I got a chance to be an absolute noob on the upcoming instalment titled Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution.
While I’ve never played any of the Naruto games before, it’s clear there is a distinct impression/inspiration in the combat system being taken from the Dragonball Z games, of which I have. Nowhere near enough to be the same experience, mind, as I picked up the controller thinking “yea, I got this”, and after a couple of babysteps intro matches began to see how utterly wrong my initial hubris had been.
There’s so much going on here hidden behind a deceptively simple control scheme. You have your standard button setup, offering attacking, blocking, moving, jumping and powering up, but the amount of variety on display with these few button options and very few others is exponential. As with many fighting games, variety can largely come from the roster, which is as bulky as one might expect, but each of the players (and modified versions of them) come with so much character from an extremely rich pool of lore that I have yet to – but am growing increasingly interested in – delve into.
As with many other animated series inspired fighting games there is more on display than simply: Arcade, Online and Practice modes. Found in Ninja Storm is the Ultimate Ninja Tournament, where players will be given a large world to explore while also participating in a – you guessed it – tournament, as well as Ninja Escapadea, which rules dictate I can’t go into too much detail over, but suffice it to say it’s a story line derived from the show that offers more than simply playing as Naruto and company.
One of things I liked about the game is one of the things I imagine most would like about the franchise in general. These ninjas are so extremely diverse. I mean, it’s questionable that any of them are, in the truest form of the word ‘Ninjas’, but they are all over the place. A personal favourite style is that of the puppet ninja – a man capable of controlling a life size puppet in combat that does everything from attacking to defending the person controlling him… but you still control the person in control himself! While the puppet can move almost anywhere on screen, your opponent will be attacking the puppet master and should the puppet wander too far away, he’s to be recalled quickly… unless your intention is to take damage.
For fans of the series, I can see this being an awesome addition to their already bulky Naruto game shelf, but for me, personally, I feel the need to understand the world of Naruto more before purchase. I will watch the show, perhaps movies if there are any and eventually get the game… this is more of a guarantee than a musing. For the time being, I think those interested are going to love it… and also hate the lack of justice I have done to it here when they get their hands on it.
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco Games UK will be released 12th September in the UK on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.