May 10, 2006
by: Troy Beck
Naruto has hits stateside and along with a fighting game that has promising anime feel!
Naruto's success has been noticed worldwide over the passed few years and I am glad to say we will be seeing a stateside version of a previously released Naruto title very soon.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja is displayed visually through cell-shading and there couldn't have been a wiser choice. It immediately has a manga feel to it, opening each fight with manga action cells containing the characters in the upcoming fight. The colors and artistic style match up very well to both the series and the manga.
A story mode will be present in the game, as well as 14 characters from the series and 12 battle arenas. I was also informed that the time frame in this game is ahead of what has currently aired in the Unite States, which will appeal to some of the more hardcore crowd who are keeping up with its progress overseas.
Control-wise the game can come to be challenging in the beginning, due to its classic fighter game combos and controls. In my hands on experience button mashing did not prove to be effective, which nicely seperates a first time player from a long time veteran. Although the learning curve did not appear to be extensive. Many of the moves made availible come straight from the series and vary in certain asspects for each character. Chakara can also be utilized during the fight and changes based off how the player is doing. While playing if the player hits triangle his chakara becomes visually appearant and if the next attack goes unblocked he has a chance to match a combo on the screen and perform a killer player specific move. Another nice asspect is the use of arena depth even though essentially the game is 2D. With the simple push of Up and X a character can use ninja speed to move to a different platform in the background.
From what I experienced hands-on Naruto: Ultimate Ninja definitely has the feel and look of Naruto and believe it to be very promising in the near future. Look for its release next month.
Stay tuned to AMN for more coverage on Naruto: Ultimate Ninja in the coming weeks.