|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai Games||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 6, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
However, even though the mission mode does lose considerable value over time and the ad-hoc multiplayer is unexceptional, there are still plenty of things to discover in Akatsuki Legends. There are two special modes that can be unlocked, as well as character technique scrolls that can be found, unlocked, or created to give your favorite character some improved attacks. Of course, all this is in addition to the game's 13 unlockable characters. There is definitely plenty to do in Akatsuki Legends, and those going for 100% completion won't be disappointed by lack of content.
The visuals in Akatsuki Legends are hit or miss. The cutscenes feature some great cel-shaded animation, and the world of Konoha looks vibrant and bright. However, the contrast between the cutscenes and the in-game world is quite a leap. While the cutscenes feature richly detailed character models and environments, the reverse is true for the in-game world. Environments are flat, and textures look painted on. Some 3-D elements render in 2-D, and to make matters even worse, character animations are often shaky, and jagged lines are pervasive. The gap between the two visual styles is quite staggering, and it makes the overall visual style feel very imbalanced. The audio, though, is very good and well-rounded. The game features both English and Japanese voiceovers, both of equally good quality. The background music is also very good and is sampled directly from the anime.
Naruto Shippuden: Legends: Akatsuki Rising is a solid title. While the story mode features the same old Shippuden opening plot, if you have yet to play a Naruto Shippuden, its certainly enjoyable. For fans of the series, there is plenty of content in Akatsuki Rising to explore and unlock. While neither the mission mode nor story mode have any outstanding elements, the game works well enough, and if you have to get your Ninja on with the PSP, Akatsuki Rising is your best bet.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor