Review | NARUTO SHIPPUDEN ULTIMATE NINJA STORM LEGACY

What Ninja Wears An Orange Jumpsuit?!

Platform - Playstation 4, X Box One, Steam
Developer- CyberConnect2
Publisher- Bandai Namco
Release Date- 25/08/2017

Review code supplied by Bandai Namco Eu

It All Starts With Naruto

Naruto, the long running series about the little Ninja who could, who’d of thunk that this little orange jumpsuit wearing loud mouth would lead one of the biggest anime/manga franchises around to the degree it even rivals the mighty Dragon Ball Z!. This latest title is a compilation of the CyberConnect2 titles chronicling the entire Naruto saga from his rough beginnings to the final battle, is it worth fighting for or just another Naburo vs Water Boy? Read on to find out!.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy is every main title of the Ninja Storm series complied into one package, this means 1-4 without the rather weak Generations. The games included also contain the DLC for each title making these the definitive versions of the games which is a nice bonus as the games did have some weighty DLC behind them.

With this being the complete package you get the full story of the Naruto saga going into it’s follow up Boruto, this is brilliant for long time fans giving them the chance to recreate the bigger moments of Naruto but is also a fantastic place for anyone who’s been tempted to start Naruto as you get a somewhat abridged version of the anime’s events. This isn’t spot on though, there are a few bits cut and Ninja Storm 1 actually skipped one of the earlier arcs which is a shame but as a whole it’s hard to knock the story content on offer here.

Gotta Go Fast!

In terms of gameplay the games are mostly similar with tweaks added as you progress through them, don’t worry you can start any game rather than having to unlock them, story and gameplay features do make it easier to work through in order though. The main differences between them are outside of battle, 1,2 & 3 all contain free roam sections, the original features a lovingly re-created Hidden Leaf Village in all it’s glory, populated by dull NPC characters and more fetch quest sticks than issues of he manga. 2 & 3 feature more areas to explore as the game branches out to different villages and battle fields but somehow feels emptier and lacking in the charm the Hidden Leaf of 1 had.

The only exception to the above is Ninja Storm 4, there is a review at the bottom of this of the title which explains further but the free roam has been cut completely from that title giving it much stronger story pacing with little to no down time. Ninja Storm 1 easily has the best free roam option, it’s a joy to see how Naruto can bound from building to building, swing from washing lines and interact with the world. It does house lots of Side Quests to keep you busy and seems to justify the lesser amount of the series signature battles but it’s a fair trade off for the quieter moments in this little Ninja’s life.

Time For Jutsu!

The combat in these titles is the very definition of easy to pick up, hard to master . Combos can be done with the tap of the Square button, special moves are just a simple matter of pressing Triangle enough to charge up and perform them. So where is the depth? well it’s in the spacing, the use of items and how you use the tag system that gets introduced.

Bigger fights in the series usually feature set pieces, QTE Events and giant bosses to tackle which will test your skills and get your heart pumping with the series signature soundtrack blasting in the background. No anime game has yet managed to top the authenticity and fun of playing the bigger more iconic battles in this series & it truly shows how these titles are above the cheap cash in of licensed games and more a labor of love.

The End of This Tail

Overall it’s really hard to fault such a content filled package such as Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy, it features 4 games that all easily last at least 20 hours each, some of the most expansive fan service for an anime game, pleasing and engaging combat and online multiplayer if you feel brave taking on Shinobi around the world. It’s interesting to see how the series evolved over the years and just how bigger and better the series famous battles get.

The only bad points of this title are that Ninja Storm 1 could of done with a little work, it’s rough around the edges with long and frequent load times and the slowest camera controls around & the lack of new content for series veterans. The titles are straight ports with the DLC, it’s good if you missed the games or DLC but if you have already played them to death there will be nothing extra here for you, it’s good to have all 4 of the games in 1 tidy package on the PS4 but as it’s a full priced release it’s down to how much you want to replay the titles which will decide if you can drop the money on the title.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy is currently the best bang for your buck on the market with Naruto games. It’s a reminder of how to do licensed games justice, it’s a whole bunch of fun and will chip away at your free time with ease. I may of stopped reading Naruto a while back but this title has reignited that Ninja Spirit!, Now if you excuse me I have over 60 Characters to master.  Dattebayo!

 

Below I have included 2 reviews for Ninja Storm 3 and 4 as they originally published on this site. 

 

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

Review originally posted Feb 4th 2016

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 aims to finish off the saga of Naruto which was started way back on the Playstation 3 with the release of Ultimate Ninja Storm 1, follow on from the 4th Great Shinobi War which was the main focus of the previous release this game starts there and ends where the manga/anime ended.

For those who are new to Naruto and his Ninja adventures this isn’t the starting point you need, if you have access to Playstation 3 there is a collection coming out soon which covers up until this point though Ninja Storm 3 at the time had created it’s own ending to the war section so that bit is actually covered again in this title. For those initiated in the Hidden Leaf, the game starts with the iconic battle of Madara vs Hashirama and then fast forwards to Naruto unmasking the mysterious and powerful Tobi.

The story mode is presented in a time line split between the two sides of Ninja or simplified Naruto & Sasuke path, each “Episode” is presented with either a cutscene or still frame form and you are given the average running time for each section, once you have seen the story section you are put into the core fight these range from standard battle to mob battle and the games famous Interactive battles. The differences between these are that standard battle is exactly what it says, standard 1 on 1 or 3 on 3 no gimmick bare bones battle, Mob battles are one character versus many much like Musou games & the Interactive battles are gimmick battles with lots of QTE and flashy scenes.

The standard battle system for this game is pretty consistent with the standard of the series, it’s flashy, fast paced and hard hitting. You have a collection of items to help when in battle and swing things in your favour and you always have to keep an eye on your Chakra, Substitution Jutsu isn’t something you can abuse as you only have a set amount before they run out and you need to wait until they replenish. Combat is a few differing melee combos though not as many as previous titles, you’ll find you see the same attacks many times during battles, throwing Kunai as a way to interfere with moves and Chakra building, Chakra building builds your power up so you are able to perform special attacks, throws to break blocks & during 3 on 3 you also have support attacks from your team. Special attacks are your hard hitters and can leave you wide open if blocked or dodged, Ultimate Attacks are as above only they tend to be match enders and some characters have Awakened states, here you are alot stronger but comes in a limited time scale and once that has run out leaves you very vulnerable. If you have played any of the previous ones you’ll be right at home with the combat here it’s just a shame that with each version they strip the melee combat down more and more.

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The Mob Battles play out like they did in UNS3 only this time rather than the illusion of exploring these are set in arenas, you are usually confined to one combo and one special move to deal with the hordes of enemies which are usually copy and paste jobs. Though a fun distraction at first the controls are clunky and irritating in this mode as targeting is all over the place and tends to have a mind of it’s own, they also tend to over stay their welcome and become very repetitive quickly especially if you need to replay them to fulfill the battle conditions for more unlocks.

Interactive battles are where Naruto shines, all the abilities from the standard battles apply but these are in more of a boss battle form. Often there are patterns you need to learn and some have certain gimmicks to them in order to battle the character, during the battle you’ll hit scenes from the anime/manga and have to react to them in QTE form. These really show off the gorgeous and authentic graphics of UNS4 and keep the battles feeling tense and generally really enjoyable, perform these well enough to unlock extra scenes to further the authentic experience.

Graphically this game is untouchable in visually fidelity, it mimics the anime perfectly and everyone looks and acts exactly how they would in the show. The voice acting on both Japanese and English is both spot on even though I personally would suggest playing with the natural dub but that’s just my personal preference. The soundtrack is that from the show and perfectly helps set the scene or pump you up mid battle and the sound effects are all spot on, really as a product tie in this is one of the most authentic and pleasing experiences you can get as a fan of Naruto.

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As an added bonus once you have finished off the Story mode which shouldn’t take you more than 6/7 hours for your first run attempting all the sub missions you can tackle the Adventure mode. This is the series standard free roam mode, featuring a unique story set after the events of story mode this sees you exploring familiar locations meeting the cast of the series and performing side quests, purchasing equipment and getting yourself into all kinds of match ups be them classic bouts or dream matches. This mode can be a little grindy but is a pleasing side addition for fans of the series who’d want to explore the series locals even if they are a little smaller than they have been in previous versions. The main idea to this is to complete 50 “Tasks”, it’s a bit of fun but lacks the bite of the story mode & the fetch quest nature of it does tend to wear thin on you in a few hours.

I only briefly tackled the online mode due to a lack of players but what I played the game held a constant frame rate and was quite fun but brief. You have the standard casual and ranked match ups aswell as a tournament option which would be quite fun vying for Ninja Supremacy. Having played the previous games online somewhat this mode is one for the more hardcore fans but should extend your playtime as you will want to rise the in ranks, hopefully they can balance the game so it doesn’t end up the same 3 characters all the time like the previous titles.

As I have said previously in this review this is perfect for Naruto fans, outsiders it’d be completely lost on but trust me when I say this isn’t your standard shallow cash in but more of a swan song for developers CC2. With over 100 characters from the series to playthrough, more coming in DLC & additional story scenarios aswell as the adventure and online modes you’ll easily get the most bang for buck out of any Naruto title with this one. It may be a little shallow for totally competitive fights and the repetitive nature of the combat system into mini cutscenes does knock it somewhat it’s a perfect example of how you should approach a franchise like Naruto. Personally I hope CC2 get their hands on One Piece and use everything they have learnt over the years with this series to continue crafting these borderline perfect anime experiences.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst

Original review posted on 7th Feb 2014

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (Breathe) is the latest title in the Naruto Video Game series, based on the hugely popular Manga/Anime series featuring the orange jumpsuit wearing Ninja Naruto Uzumaki. When i say latest this isn’t actually a new title, it’s a re-release with extra content I.E GOTY edition. We weren’t around when the original dropped and after my Dragon Ball review I was left with an itch that needed to be scratched, so here is the next instalment in my anime game reviews.

First & foremost this game is a 1vs1 Fighting game along the lines of Dragon Ball: Raging Blast. As mentioned it’s based on the anime of Naruto so characters from the series are your weapons of choice.
Along side your main character you also get to pick support characters, this is a throw back from the series as alot of the time they are in “Squads”. This adds an extra dimension to the fights as each character has a set ability which can help sway the tide of battle, for example you could catch the enemy off guard with Sakura performing a surprise attack.

 

Another aspect of the system is Chakra, this is something Naruto fans will be VERY familiar with but for those just joining us to put it simply, it’s energy which you use to perform special Jutsu (special technique/attack). Along side that use you can use it to close the distance by performing a Chakra dash or even apply it to your projectiles making them that little more powerful & be bigger combo boosters.
To build Chakra it’s a simple task of holding a single button down, as is activating it. The key to it is when & where you do this. You are immobile while you gather Chakra & thus become a giant target, also should you miss with an attack you have depleted your supplies and will need to stock more before you launch another offence.

Items are another aspect to combat, simply put the Ninja Tools you bring along to battle with you. Pills for strength,speed & defence boosts. Instant Chakra boosts & weapons are all part of your array and you should plan them into any strategy. A well placed Ninja Bomb with a trap & forward planning gets you off on a great start to a powerful and deadly combo!.

Characters can also reach an Awakening state. This is a very powerful place to be during a battle & can usually be your path to victory. You are faster, attack harder, have better defence & are capable of doing the strongest move in your repertoire. The downside to this is that you lose all of your Chakra & are unable to gather more for a period of time leaving you vulnerable to a beat down.

 

The main attraction with this game is it’s lengthy story mode. Unlike most fighting games NSUN3FB features a giant world for budding Hokage to explore and interact with. Once again it follows alongside the setting created for the Manga/Anime so this means you’ll be visiting alot of familiar places such as the Hidden Leaf Village. The story follows alongside the ongoing Anime/Manga rather than being a What If?, it starts at the Five Kage Summit & concludes with the Shinobi World War arc. At the time of this game being made the arc hadn’t ended so instead you are given a Non-Canon ending presented by Namco-Bandai, it’s a nice addition rather than it just ending abruptly.

It’s pretty solid in terms of emulating the series to a point, all the main points are presented in some form or another. Unfortunately it doesn’t always get it quite right, for example certain fights are either skipped over or done as just a bare bones match thus losing a little of it’s impact. Boss fights are a highlight here & have been for the series since the first release.
Usually following along the same lines of the anime you’ll find yourself battle giants & powerful foes with QTE sections, split second timing & stunning visuals. These battles most often take various forms and feel a fair bit different than the usual 1vs1 battles.

The exploration is brilliant but until the later parts of the game it feels rather gated due to keeping you from exploring various areas for “Storyline” purposes. You have people to talk to, items to find and side quests that demand your attention, it’s alot more content for a fighting game than usual and it’s a nice break between fights.
The cut-scenes are almost anime perfect, especially when it comes to this Full Blast release in which they have remade a huge amount of the cut-scenes in a new engine giving them that little more shine than usual. My only gripe was the sheer amount of them in the earlier sections of the game, especially compared to how many fights you have. It seems like for the first few hours you spend more time watching people talking about fighting than actually getting down and scrapping!.

Classic fights and story points are also available in the story mode, this means you can re-live some of the bigger events in the history of Naruto & The Hidden Leaf. It’s a nice little option and a decent little time sink, it increases the package by a whole lot and was a generally pleasant surprise if I’m honest. It’s an excellent way to work through the roster as-well!.

 

A final addition to the story mode set in this game is the multi-battles. Done along the lines of Dynasty Warriors you’ll find your character fighting armies of enemies. Unfortunately with the game engline it’s not the smoothest nor pleasant experience. Fortunately there are only a few times you have to do this and they are fairly short.

FULL BURST CONTENT With the Full Burst release alongside the remade cut-scenes they have also added a bit more content. This comes in the form of 1 new playable character, a new chapter, 100 extra missions & all the existing DLC. Is it worth it? this fully lies on if you have played it before or not, If you never played the original release of this game then yes the extras are like a nice little cherry on top.
On the other hand if you already have had the game and played it to death the price tag and minimal additions will not be worth you opening your wallet.

Overall I’m enjoying this game very much not only as a fighting game fan but as an on-off Naruto fan, in terms of games in general it’s not the strongest purchase but as a licensed anime/manga game you’ll be hard pressed to find a much better package

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Nameless Andi

Pride of utopia & greatest thing ever, I found the One Piece, Collected the Dragon Balls & won the Mortal Kombat Tournament in one night, it was quiet for me that night!

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