I am writing this review as I did not agree with the GR one. This game is aimed at Naruto fans so as a fan I will attempt to write what I hope will target fans of the game.
Firstly like Ultimate Ninja Storm this game looks fantastic all the minor details on the characters are accounted for, the special moves look great and the quick time scenes are absolutely epic.
Quite obviously the best thing about this game is the fighting. The formula is the same as it was in UNS simply bash circle coupled with a direction to pull off over the top true to the anime combos. A simple press of triangle and circle will make your chosen character perform one of their signature moves. Double tapping triangle and hitting circle will perform an ultimate attack. Now if like me you were looking forward to over the top attacks like in the first game then this is where you might find your first bit of disappointment. The ultimate attacks are cool but the sequences have been shortened and the frantic sequential button pressing to pull them off has also been omitted. BUT there is a new addition to the ultimate attacks. If you use your team mates enough then you can pull off a 3 man ultimate jutsu attack in which each character pulls off a devastating move then passes the poor S.O.B to the next guy, a nice addition and a good excuse to utilize you’re A.I. companions.
The story is roughly true to the manga and TV show and follows the story from the beginning of Shipuuden right up to the end of the Pain and Destruction of Konoha arc. A lot of the cut scenes have been changed around a bit and liberties were definitely taken in order to keep this game as a 12 rating. The story is quite long and took me around 13 hours to complete which seems a long time for this sort of game but when you thing how many episodes and plotlines that took place in the timeframe of the game you can imagine A LOT of stuff was left out. In order to try and flesh things out a bit the designers have put in a good chunk of the Naruto world. You can visit the Akatsuki hideout, the villages of Rain and Sand, Itatchis’ hideout and even the toad village, there are even various side quests for you to do. Successfully doing these will award you points which in turn is used to unlock various other characters, so it has a slight RPG feel to it at times.
One thing I do miss is the little mini games from the first title, there is no sign of tree jumping, vertical tree racing or hide and seek and despite not really doing too much of it in the first game I do kinda miss it all now.
The sound is great and the music in true Naruto style is amazing and some of it is even heartbreakingly beautiful, the final fight with Pain could be used for an “are video games art” discussion.
The online mode for me was the biggest let down. I was looking forward to showing off my super ninja skills online but I kid you not the game would lag out and crash before my opponent and I could reach each other. This happened EVERYTIME I tried to play online and seeing as I have a 20mb fibre optic connection I fail to see why it is so very bad.
All in all if you are a Naruto fan then this game is great and keep you coming back for more, but I fail to see it being a big hit outside this demographic.