REVIEW – Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (360)

Colorful But Confusing –

Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 was created for fans of the Naruto series.  Gameplay is straightforward enough that any player can button mash through the campaign, but only gamers with extensive Naruto knowledge will actually understand what the hell is going on.

The biggest downfall is the overabundance of storytelling.  These non-interactive portions try and become more user friendly thanks to the new, but under-utilized, decision making option. But with only one save slot and lack of drastically different outcomes, this system is not really anything to get excited about.  It is a shame that the game puts so much emphasis on a story that only longtime fans will understand and appreciate. However, this title was created with high presentation values as voice acting is superb, the visuals are impressively colorful, and combat is flourishing.

You will fight this guy. He has nine tails so he is named Nine Tails.

You will fight this guy. He has nine tails so he is named Nine Tails.

Ninja Storm 3’s impressive character roster might seem like a welcomed feature but all characters are basically pallet swaps while still managing to throw off the overall balance.  The environments are detailed and resemble the anime quite well but overall lack any depth of exploration especially since backtracking is kept to a minimum and players are limited on saves.  Crazy difficulty spikes also randomly appear with some one-on-one battles and even within group battles against multiple opponents.  These fight scenes contain a high amount of visual flare and work hand-in-hand with the anime but the QTE events are reminiscent of Asura’s Wrath as some can be a bit over the top and redundant.  Luckily, fighting and performing combos is easy enough for non-Naruto fans to enjoy; the fighting engine also makes battle look fantastically good even if many encounters can be completed by mashing a single button. Players can also throw down with other orange jump suited ninjas both locally and online with ranked, unranked and tournament matches.

The game looks just like the anime.

The game looks just like the anime.

All in all, there really isn’t much to be said about Ninja Storm 3.  Only fans will appreciate the plot but they are really the only players that will show interest in this title anyway.  The lack of an in-depth fighting system removes the chance of staying power but the visuals look great despite an occasional hiccup in frame rate and longer load times.  While it is still one of the better anime-to-gaming conversions, it still isn’t a top tier gaming experience even through this is the third title in the series.  Who ever said third time is a charm anyway…

3/5

Not As Good As: wearing a prison orange jump suit

Also Check Out: the free demo (which is 20 minutes of video, 5 minutes of gameplay)

Wait For It: Digimon X Pokemon

By: Zachary Gasiorowski

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