With the Naruto Shippuden storyline set to end pretty soon outside Japan, CyberConnect’s Ultimate Ninja Storm series will come to a close as well with the release of the fourth iteration of the series. Improving the formula introduced in the last release, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 promises to be the best Naruto game yet and yes, they succeeded with that giving the end of the Shippuden series an unforgettable finale.
Similar to past games in the series, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 relives the key moments of the last Shippuden arc starting with the prologue battle between Harishama and Madara. The fourth great ninja war has begun and it’s up to Naruto and his friends to put a stop on Madara’s plan in achieving his planned dream world. Unlike in past games where Naruto mostly takes the lead in the story mode of the game, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 now gives players a chance to play many new characters such as the first Hokage, Obito, and many more. Not to mention, Sasuke will be playable among the plethora of other characters available in the game.
There are a number of missions that players will undertake in the story mode. As the story goes up to the final battle, players will no longer be playing a linear storyline of the game. Instead, as Naruto fights his way through Obito and Madara, Sasuke will have his own storyline as he battles it up with Orochimaru. Luckily, players are allowed to switch between characters, and this is one of the new features that I like about Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. For those who want to do side chapters, there are a few available that you can do upon unlocking the branching storylines available.
The storytelling in the story mode of Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is done through still images with audio playing behind it. Instead of anime pieces being shown in the key moments of the last Shippuden arc, dialogue is done through the series of images, though it’s hard to really notice it as most of the time players will be engaged to see what is going to happen next. There are moments in the game where real anime cutscenes will be shown but it’s usually during post-battles. As for the amount of storytelling portion that players are set to see in UNS4, expect to see a lot and it’s great for people who haven’t caught up with the storyline of the anime series.
Just like other Ultimate Ninja Storm games, CyberConnect did a phenomenal job to the visual aspects of the game. For those who find the third game in the series to be magnificent, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 truly delivers with its more intense fight scenes and solid frame rate. From the many anime games that I have played, this one gives me goosebumps from watching hhe majority of the in-game cutscenes – they are vivid, colorful, and flashy. From the plethora of UNS games released, this one simply offers one of the best visuals in the entire Naruto series.
After the climatic conclusion of the story mode, players can jump through the Adventure mode where they can relive the key moments from the first Naruto game all the way up to the end. While not all of it is there, the classic adventure mode that fans of the series love from past UNS games are back and it’s a great for them to revisit some of the memorable moments in the game.
As for the online battles, they are back, along with the free play mode. From my experience, there is very minimal lag on the few matches that I tried. Almost the same mechanics are present in the online portion and those who have played the game before online will pretty much be familiar with the online portion in this game. Unlike in past -games, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 now has over 100 characters that are playable in a three-on-three battle.
While I was expecting more of an in-depth fighting game, the gameplay is more of the same in Ultimate Ninja Storm. The game still has one button for basic attacks and combining it with the other button that uses Chakra unleashing a much more devastating attack. The game is pretty to play and those who are expecting a more complex fighting mechanic that requires strategy and proper button mashing like the ones found in Street Fighter games, don’t expect it in this one.
To make the fight scenes more intense at certain parts of the game, players will be going through interactive action segments which is also known as Quick Time Events. While many gamers are annoyed with this kind of feature, the game works pretty well in Naruto games as the more precise players get in button pressing, the more intense the fight scene gets. Not to mention that doing it successfully unlocks certain scenes and can increase your rank to an S.
Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is a fitting finale to the long running game series of CyberConnect. The game proves to be the best in the series as it offers much more intense fight scenes, solid combat that runs very smoothly, interactive storytelling that gets the players hooked, and characters that are playable in many portions of the game. For fans of the Naruto series, this one is a must get, though newcomers should check out the first title in the series as this one isn’t very well accommodating to new fans.
[Editor’s Note: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Review,