and repetitive, Naruto is a watered down version of
Dragon Ball Z. by
can read our other Naruto: Clash Of Ninja review here.
25, 2006 - You
might have heard of the axiom, "Easy to learn
but takes a lifetime to master." You can attribute
that statement to a lot of games, especially where
strategy is involved. Unfortunately only the first
part of that statement applies to Naruto: Clash of
the Ninja. It's easy to learn but that's because the
move list is so limited. You can master the techniques
in less than half-an-hour.
simple control system may be perfect for young and
casual gamers, or those that just want some mindless,
arcade entertainment. If you're looking for a challenge
you're not going to find it here; unless that challenge
is trying to contain your boredom.
Naruto franchise centers on a very popular Japanese
character named Naruto. He's part of a group of ninjas
that employ hand-to-hand combat, weapons, stealth
and mysteriously magical ninja techniques to shock
and awe the enemy. Naruto appears in Japanese comic
books, several movies, in an anime TV series, and
as many as 20 videogames. It has a loyal and somewhat
fanatical fan base. This is the first time that Naruto
has been translated into a game for the North American
audience. It's good to know the background of the
characters since there is very little back-history
presented in the game. It's basically a tale of three
kids that attend a ninja school. Don't count on the
storyline to give you much relevant information beyond
that. Between the poorly written, or translated, dialog
and the terrible voiceacting, it's hard to glean much
coherent information from the story mode. On the other
hand, this is a fighting game and you don't have to
know anything about the characters to dig in and have
presented in manga or anime, the characters have never
looked better. They are well rounded with cel-shading
and fully rendered in 3D. They are very colorful and
animate smoothly. You may be familiar with some of
the locations but I found the combat arenas to be
confining. They are quite small and don't give you
as much room to move around in and you would expect
from a Dragon Ball Z game.
attacks such as punches and kicks are accessed by
the A and B buttons with the analog stick controlling
the direction of the attacks. The Y button is used
for executing throws. The X button is used for special
attacks, the only moves that truly separate one character
from another. You can unleash a furious attack when
you've filled your Chakra meter which slowly fills
during combat. These attacks can be used as finishing
moves as they are usually strong enough to put your
opponent away if he or she is getting low on health.
of the gameplay is button mashing. The characters
do have subtle differences in displaying various strengths
and weaknesses but during the heat of battle it's
really is hard to tell one from the other. It all
comes down to timing your moves correctly and learning
how to block, dodge and counter incoming. You can
connect with some decent combos and even launch your
opponent into the air for some aerial combat while
you continue to juggle your enemy with kicks and punches.
The combat animations are excellent. You can witness
Naruto's Sexy Jutsu move in addition to Sasuke's over-the-top
gymnastic skills that look even better than they do
on the TV show.
ninja skills such as deception, invisibility and weapon-use
are also included. You can use a smoke screen to disappear
behind, and re-appear somewhere behind, beside, above
or below your opponent. You can summon a doppleganger
and clones to confound your enemies and even throw
the deadly shuriken blades which take the place of
story mode is nothing more than a slide show with
some talking heads thrown in every few fights to advance
the so-called plot and increase the tension. You can
only play as Naruto in this mode which I think is
odd. There are eight playable characters but you won't
get your hands on them in this mode.
yourself in shape is the first order of business so
you'll want to check out the training mode. Here's
you'll learn how to use the controls, which won't
take long, but putting them to good use in a real
combat situation will take a little more practice.
As far as modes are concerned there may look like
there is quite a few but they are very redundant.
Excluding the practice mode, you could combine all
of these modes into two main ones: A single-player
and a multi-player mode. The Time Attack, Survival,
Story, Verses and two-player modes are just variations
of the same thin theme. The single matches are really
a stupid addition. These superfluous modes just make
it look like you're getting more value for your money
but trust me, you're not.
two-player mode works great and might be worth the
price of admission alone. Here you can unlock different
playable characters and see for yourself if you can
tell the difference among them when engaged in battle.
If you can manage to play against a really good opponent
you will see that there's a little more depth to the
gameplay that you would suspect just playing against
the CPU. It's not so much strategic as it is finessing
the controls. Using all the moves, timing, blocks
and counters at a fast pace can really keep you on
your toes but remember that the gameplay is only as
challenging as your opponent.
of the action is fast paced and all of the acrobatic
animated moves and flourishes never drag the framerate
down. Sometimes the characters are bit slow to move,
especially when you want to turn them around 180-degrees.
It can cost you some hits. The sound effects are great
and the background music is very fitting. The voiceovers
are very cliché with overly exuberant shouting
anime kids that just make you want to beat them up
all the more.
from eight of your favorite Naruto characters including
Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura and more
on challengers in one-on-one fights to determine
who is the greatest ninja
fast controls and special effects make combat feel
Shaded graphics parallel the style set forth in
character-specific moves add to the feeling of authenticity