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Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Full Burst Review Rebuttal
Posted on Wednesday, November 6 2013 @ 15:32:32 Eastern

Dear Ryan,
 
I had a chance to read your review today regarding Full Burst and as a fan of the series I just wanted to play devil’s advocate (aka: pseudo fanboy) for a moment. I am all good with your score but just wanted to provide a perspective from someone a bit more familiar with the series while trying to retain some semblance of objectivity.
 
First, I like your Doctor Who reference! (I needed to say that right off the bat)  In the comments section, Blake compared the backstory relationship to something like a Halo 2, GoW2, or even a MGS4 with regards to reliance upon prior stories. I would compare it more to your Doctor Who reference with 208 seasons or in the video game world Dragon Ball Z. As you stated, the series has been out since 1999. That’s over 14 years of 30 minute weekly episodes to try and summarize just to get up to speed on what is now happening in the series. They actually tried to do those types of recaps in previous entries and as a fan of the series I can tell you it’s difficult to balance summarizing that much info at the beginning of each new game without being called out for repetition. This also makes it difficult to properly develop the characters. One of the frustrations of the previous entries was just how long it takes to get through the information you already know, just to get to the new/current stuff in the game. To parallel it, it would be like having to play though the storyline of each of the original Tekken characters first before being able to unlock and find out about the new characters that come with each iteration.

But that brings me to another differentiating factor between this type of game and a Tekken, Soul Calibur, DoA, etc…Unlike any of those game which focus 95% on fighting mechanics this is more of a 60-40 split between fighting mechanics and story. So whereas the pot of gold is in the fighting in the prior games mentioned, the feeling of gold can only be achieved with a Storm game through a proper balance of fighting and story presentation. The game is pretty though, I would even go so far as to say some of the scenes in the game are actually graphically better than their anime counterparts. Thus my comparison back to Dragon Ball, which in trying to strike that balance went from Budokai to the Tenkaichi formula in an attempt to find some happy medium.

The following quote made me laugh:
 
“The title offers a free fight mode which acts less like a fighting game and more like “What would happen if we turned a fighting game into a quick-time frenzy?” For avid fans of fighting games like yours truly, UNS3’s fighting style was a knife in my brain. I’m used to memorizing combos and performing them with accuracy, but the precision all-or-nothing requirement from this game’s fighters bred more irritation than rolling around in a bed of poison ivy in a Floridian summer.”
               
It reminds me of my buddy Dre’s first time playing with my cousin and I in Ninja Storm 2. He would come in and see my cousin and I playing Storm and then after a while we would switch over to Tekken for some real smack talking and beatdowns.  After a few months he finally asked us to not switch and to give him a shot. He started off with that precise Tekken mentality and memorized combos.  When he would watched us play he was amazed by how much was going on with regard to counters, block strategy, supports, tool usage, etc... and felt a bit overwhelmed. The pace of the game when played by those familiar with it can be perceived as franticly methodical by third party observers, 6  characters controlled by 2 players with match pausing over the top ultimates  and substitutions vs blocks, etc…and so he, like yourself wanted to initially put a knife in his brain. To curb his intent we had a very brief discussion which changed his entire perspective and it went something like this…
 
                “Dre this is not like Tekken! Don’t think about what is going on onscreen, that’s far too hectic. Only think about what your buttons actually do. The buttons are the same for each character because this is not only aimed at fans of the series but also little kids who are not ingrained with memorized combos from years of fighting games (note: this is coming from a guy who routinely participated in neighborhood streetfighter, mortal kombat, virtua fighter, tekken, soul caliber, etc tournaments growing up). So even though moves appear different on screen it really isn’t that complicated. Consider the fact that you have to remember far less than even half of King’s moveset.”
 
                The conclusion of that conversation was,” hey man don’t over think it”. Literally, that’s all it took for him to immediately start enjoying the game and he got a lot better and really began to enjoy the game for it’s simplicity vs, “the precision all-or-nothing requirement from this game’s fighters”. Sadly, I don’t think you had someone to sit down with you and say don’t over think it (which by no means should be necessary to get you to enjoy a new fighting game…but this isn’t really a pure fighting game).
                Lastly, in response to this final comment:
 
“Unless that person is solidly in the Naruto fandom, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Blast is not the game for them.”
 
            I would argue that young kids and also casual gamers who don’t have the implicit fighter mechanics ingrained in them could find some solid entertainment in this game. But honestly, as I stated in the beginning, I can respect your score of 2.5 but I think if you really don’t think about it as a pure fighter and tried it again you might have a bit more fun (not change your review score fun, but relatively more).
 
Final note: I have Storm 3 but did not see the value in the Burst DLC, so I didn’t purchase it…$10 for one more character and story arc wasn’t that motivating, but will probably get the next full entry in the series. To Blake: that goes for Metal Gear Solid 5 as well *cough…cough*.
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