Naruto is not only a hit, but a phenomenon in Japan and here in United States, in both the anime and video game markets. That being said, a new Naruto title is once again upon us and this time CyberConnect has combined the elements from the Ultimate Ninja Storm series to make Generations the ultimate Naruto fighting/action game. For fans like myself, who enjoy both the Naruto anime and video games, is Ninja Storm Generation a definite purchase for Naruto fans? Or should it be ignored?
Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Naruto Shippiden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations.
Story Re-Told in a Whole New Way
Ninja Storm Generations once again tells the story of Naruto and the rest of the characters from each their perspectives through a mix of anime cutscenes and still images. Those who missed part of the story will be given a quick refresher course, but finer details are glossed over. However, almost every major fight is present. Having forgotten how the series starts, I was glad that Ninja Storm Generations told the story of the Shippuden story arc in addition to Naruto’s earlier stories.
Fans who have played the first or second Ninja Storm games can expect the same visual quality in Ninja Storm Generations. The beautifully designed visuals are vivid, colorful and simply look outstanding. Those of you who watch the anime, think about the visuals in Ultimate Ninja Storm, but imagine them in HD. What makes me appreciate Ninja Storm Generations even more is the inclusion of certain parts from the anime that highlight some more memorable scenes, which are nice to revisit, especially the emotional scenes that fans loved.
Pure Fighting Action Game
Naruto games have been renowned due to the perfect execution of their combat. Mixing action elements with simple fighting mechanics, playing Generations will not only cater to fans, but it will also hook those who enjoy the anime and want to experience the game. The fighting mechanics within Generations are somewhat similar to the past two Ninja Storm games, but there are some new tweaks such as the removal of the infinite substitutions and the ultimate attacks which require chakra now. While some of the tweaks are fan-requested, other additions may disappoint.
Addictive Online Mode
The reason why fans love the Naruto games is because the online mode puts you in the shoes of your favorite Naruto characters and allows you to fight others. Here you can enjoy a vast selection of characters, which ensures that there is something for everyone. Those who are fond of the online portion of Naruto will be pleased to know that it’s back in Generations. The only major change is the addition of tournament mode.
Inclusion of Online Tournaments
Besides Free Battle mode and the other common modes found in previous Ninja Storm titles, players will notice the addition of Online Tournament. Through a bracket style tournament, players can now compete both online and offline. Using the characters unlocked from playing the story mode, there are over 70 characters and 15 support to master in the tournament. Since the Naruto games are all about the fighting, this mode is a welcome addition and greatly extends play time.
Lots of Collectibles to Get
Generations wouldn’t be a Naruto game without collectibles to find. Since the game is solely based on fighting, you will still have an opportunity to earn Ryo and items that can be used in the shops. If you love collecting stuff from past Naruto games, you can expect the same experience in Generations. Some collectibles include movie clips or using Ryo to buy items that can be used in the Story mode or replay tickets for the online portion. With so many collectibles within the game, there is certainly a lot of a replay value here, but it’s not really necessary to enjoy the game at its fullest.
Removal of the Free Roam
One of the biggest disappointments I have with Ninja Storm Generations, is the removal of the free-roam mode and the RPG-style gameplay. At least there are still rewards that are given after each fight and those can be used for customizations and battle. However, it’s still hard to forget that the free-roam was one of the aspects I really loved in past Naruto games. Instead of having free-roam, the game is more focused on fighting and the story being told in an anime/still-image fashion. Those who are expecting to see the return of free-roam in Generations will be disappointed.
No Epic Boss Fights
As someone who has played both Ninja Storm games, one of my favorite elements was the boss fights. Since Generation is more of a fighting game, followers of the franchise may fee let down upon finding out that the boss fights found in previous Ninja Storm games are not included. In the story mode, you will only play through a series of fights till the end.
Lack of Depth in Fighting
The combat in Generations is as fluid as previous Ninja Storm titles. The execution of combos and attacks aren’t hard to master, but what I noticed in all Naruto titles was a lack of depth when it comes to fighting mechanics. Playing this game doesn’t require any sort of complex inputs, which makes the whole game feel overly simple. Instead, those who simply want a light fighting game will feel right at home with Generations, but those who love complicated fighting games will not. No matter how complex or complicated the controls are, Naruto still does its job in providing fans a solid fighting action game.
No matter how you look at it, Ninja Storm Generations is the same Naruto game you’ve probably played in the past, plus a few tweaks. While Generations carries the Ninja Storm title, fans will be undoubtedly be disappointed with the removal of free-roam and the epic boss battles. Those who wished for a deeper combat system than previous entries will not be seeing one this time around. Overall, Generations is a combination of everything fans loved from the first two Ninja Storm games. This has created a very solid fighting game. However, don’t expect this to be a revolutionary entry in the Naruto series, as it isn’t much more than an updated version of past titles.
[Editor’s Note: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations was reviewed on the Xbox 360 hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Review,