Review | Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
Very long title-itis
Format: PS3/ Xbox 360| Genre: Beat em up | Publisher: Namco Bandai | Developer: CyberConnect2 | Release Date: 15/10/10 | RRP: £39.99
Brendan Caldwell delves into the world of insane animation with NARUTO: SHIPPUDEN ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 2. Phew.
HERE ARE the facts. There are roughly 720 ninja left in the world today. Ninja are approximately 10 times stronger than the average American Football player. They are 98% genetically identical to human beings. Although I may be confusing one or two or all of these facts with what I know of the Mountain Gorilla, it is still clear that a better conservation effort must be made to protect the humble ninja. Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is perhaps, a step in the wrong direction.
An explanation is due, so let’s begin with the obvious. There is that name. You didn’t even read it did you? You did that thing. Oh, don’t give me that look. I know exactly what you do. You read the first two words and then skip over the rest until the text stops using capital letters – then you started reading again. Because that name is just not worth reading. Look, what if we try once more? Naruto Shippuden Ultimate No Sorry You’re Doing It Again. I don’t blame you. As we all know, Naruto is Japanese for “I’m wholly unlikable.” Additionally, Shippuden means “Bestower of cruelly lengthy titles.” Ach, we shouldnae judge a game by name, though. A turd by any other name would smell as pungent, as they say. That isn’t to say Naruto Shipwrecked Underling Nonce Scrum 2 is turd-like. At least, not in every respect.
The source material is God here. From what I’ve learned of the Naruto anime series it’s mad, colourful, incredibly fighty and it flashes lights at 35 epilepsies per hour. It’s pure carbonated seizure in a can. The kind of can that’s been kicked around in the off-license store room before you open it.
The game is no different. It follows Naruto, a ninja-in-training, and all his friends and enemies. He has a lot of both. So many that they get muddled up sometimes and he ends up punching his mates hard in the jaw. It’s good that he has this many weirdoes to scrap with, considering it is a beat-‘em-up. But it’s an odd beat-‘em-up. It has an “Ultimate Adventure Mode” which adds a big dollop of typical shonen manga storyline to the fighting. The world of the series is realised in a screen-by-screen fashion and you can run around, collecting materials to unlock items, buying health ointments or ramen, or talking to all the creepy people hanging around.
There is only some purpose to all this wandering and scenery. Between fights you have to keep your health maintained, otherwise you’ll go into your next bout still damaged. It’s a fighting game in fancy dress as an RPG, and really all you end up doing is moving from one place to another until your next fight. It is progress at its most linear, which is why I describe it only in “fancy dress” as an RPG and not, say, as a fully committed cross-dresser. It lacks the intricacy, variety and choice of normal role-playing titles. And yet it nails the poor dialogue, bad voice acting and unlikable characterisation that too often plague the genre.
Pages: 1 2