|System: X360||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The controls in The Broken Bond are very easy to learn. The face buttons are primarily used for combat and, because of the simplistic nature of the battle system, generally require timed presses rather than all-out mashing like in other Naruto brawlers. The hand-sign system is also very simple, although switching from buttons to thumbsticks takes a while and does feel a little awkward at first. But, if you are used to the core brawling format of most Naruto games, then you will ease right into the control style of The Broken Bond.
Visuals in The Broken Bond are very good and feature the series trademark anime-look. Although the visuals are not as sharp as those featured in Ultimate Ninja Storm, the cel-shading is expertly done, and all the characters sport a fair amount of detail. The environments look very good as well, although there are a lot of repetitive elements in crowded environments. Many of the non-playable characters also have repetitive design, which is slightly annoying when you are looking for one specific NPC among many who look very similar. However, the graphics do look very nice when taken as a whole, and character animations as well as cinema scenes stand out as the best facets of this titles visuals.
Audio in The Broken Bond is very pleasant to listen to, and the game includes both Japanese and English voiceovers. Both of the voiceovers are of excellent quality, and fans of both the Japanese version and the English version will appreciate the original voice actors from both reprising their roles for the game. The music in this title is a nice mix of original tunes as well as songs sampled from the anime.
Naruto: The Broken Bond may well give the much publicized Ultimate Ninja Storm a run for its money as the best Naruto game this year. Although the latter was touted for its amazing visuals, The Broken Bond is the most complete-feeling Naruto title currently available. With a fun and varied story mode, an easygoing battle-system and, most importantly, online brawling functionality, Naruto: The Broken Bond is definitely worth your time as a Naruto fan. This title has plenty of content, and if you cant wait to get back to Konoha, this title is one of the best ways to do so!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor