(http://www.naruto-stormrevolution.com) Rated T for Teen by ESRB. Full Disclosure, I despise Naruto. I find it to be one of the most God-awful anime properties to ever exist, from its garbage animation quality, to its over-wrought story, terrible characters, and cancerous fan-base that helped destroy the anime scene in the States. Literally nothing good has come from the series, except for a few mildly entertaining brawlers.
Fans of the series know what to expect here – it’s the millionth Naruto title. The visuals call to the show and manga fairly well. The story follows the “story so far” routine. The voice overs and audio are proper call backs to series norms. And of course, the design of the gameplay properly mirrors the anime and all its over-the top action.
Naruto’s latest foray into console brawling is pretty mediocre. Placing the last Ninja Storm game next to this one would make for an interesting debate over which is in fact the new game. Naruto is the Call of Duty of anime games. That is not to say that the graphic fidelity is bad or has any real issues, but just that it hasn’t improved much. The game is decently cell shaded, runs well, and looks pretty good. Why complain?
In order to not go on a long tangent about the annoying quality of the US/Canadian voice actors and their cringe-worthy dubbing, I will speak only about the quality of the audio. Sound effects are pulled straight from the show, as are voices. Music is mostly remixed BGM from the show as well. All audio is clear, crisp, and well mixed.
If you have played one Naruto game you have played them all. Not a bad thing of course, it’s just that they don’t try to refine or tweak much game to game. The combos are pretty typical for a Namco brawler. Light attacks, heavy attacks and contextual dodging round out your arsenal. You have little control over how the characters attack besides the general type. Like the DBZ games, pressing the button 2-3 times means a flurry of punches and kicks. This leaves little room for strategy and pacing. That said, the game is meant for pure entertainment and fan service; it is not meant to be a competent fighting game by any means. Battles are entertaining to watch and to play, special attacks and supers are pretty cool and rewarding, and the overall feeling of the gameplay is fluid and fun.
I’m not going to delve into the games deeper points because it would be a tome of nonsense not worth reading. The fact is simple. Bandai Namco puts out Naruto games like throwing confetti. That is not a bad thing by any stretch. The property still sells, and the games are still entertaining enough. Some of the characters are pure annoying rubbish and others are mildly interesting asides. If you are not a fan of the series, there is little to the game besides mindless entertainment.