Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Review
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Box Art
System: PSP
Dev: CyberConnect2
Pub: NAMCO Bandai
Release: October 18, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes

This is a real shame, as fighters have gotten to be quite beefy on handheld consoles. Series like Super Street Fighter and BlazBlue have offered hungry gamers plenty of content after an initial single-player playthrough. Ultimate Ninja Impact unfortunately does not follow suit, and feels outdated and underwhelming as a result. When you can completely finish a fighter in only a few hours and have nothing left to do, you've got a serious problem.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot

About the only real thing Ultimate Ninja Impact has going for it are some great production values. CyberConnect2 has outdone themselves once again with the game's visuals, giving Naruto and company their signature highly-detailed cel-shaded look. Although environments and battle stages aren't as beautiful as they could be, and story scenes feature stoic character models, the 3D character design used in battle gets major points for re-creating the look of the Naruto anime almost completely. This is certainly one of the best-looking Naruto games on the PSP, and the visual style is the one area where you can tell that some hard work went into the development process.

Sound in the game is also extremely well-done, with all the anime's original voice actors reprising their roles. Though only the English voiceover is available for play, most fans of the American version of the show will still be happy with the fidelity to the series. Background music is also sampled directly from the Shippuden anime series, which works very well in-game. About the only thing I can really complain about with the sound is that some of the catchphrases that characters use over and over can become grating after a while. However, this comes with the territory, I think, as the Naruto anime has the same repetitive ear-numbing catchphrases. I can't hold this against the game version too much.

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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact is a game that would have been great about five or six years ago. However, as the years roll on and we get more and more Naruto games, there becomes an increasing need for games to stand out within the franchise. Ultimate Ninja Impact just doesn't do a whole lot to give it its own identity. While the battle system works well and the technical specs are spot-on, there just isn't enough content to justify a purchase. And with the PSP on its last legs in lieu of the PlayStation Vita, Naruto fans would be wise to just skip this entry and wait for a better handheld to come along. This one just doesn't have enough going for it to be legitimately called an "Ultimate Ninja." Maybe next time, Naruto fans.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The game looks great and preserves the look of the anime extremely well.
3.5
Control
Battle system is easy to learn but complex enough to not be boring.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Music and voiceover work recall the anime perfectly.
1.9
Play Value
There isn't enough to this game for it to be very fun, and you're better off playing any one of the older Naruto games for the PSP.
2.5
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Large Scale Battles - Test your skills against hordes of attacking enemy ninjas in frenzied large scale melee battles and emerge victorious using famous moves like Naruto's Great Ball Rasengan and Shikamaru's Shadow Stitching Jutsu!
  • 360° Rotating Camera - Upgraded camera views enhance battles sequences that offer an exciting and immersive gameplay experience.
  • New Anime Characters - Over 50 characters including Gigantics like Eight Tails, Kakuzu, and Gamabunta, including Awakenings features that enable incredible power and defense for short bursts.
  • Deep Missions - Over 100+ unique battles to experience over 8 stages and 25 custom designed missions.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Screenshot - click to enlarge

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