Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Review: 4 Reasons to Buy

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Review: 4 Reasons to Buy

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 brings the world another additional of Naruto’s high-powered third-person hack-and-slash game. Released in 2013 by NAMCO Bandai, these kinds of sequels are kind of like sports games. The game focuses on roster updates and improved single-player modes rather than actual innovation to the gameplay system. That being said, here are five reasons to buy the sequel to Naruto Shippuden.

Insane Graphics

Right off the bat, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 has a completely overhauled graphics system. NAMCO describes it as “moving anime visuals,” and they are right. The use of cel-shading in this game is second to none. There are points where it’s hard to differentiate between what is an anime cutscene and what is gameplay footage. Even while in motion, the game gets all of Nartuo’s classic speed lines and impact effects down perfectly. Games are very nearly reaching the point where converted game media will be nearly indistinguishable from the media it was adapted from. Who would have thought that it would be the Naruto franchise leading the charge? Seriously, the graphics in this game would make Square Enix blush.

Impressive Set Design

Of course, graphics are only part of the game’s appeal. The set pieces look astounding. For example, seeing the giant Kyuubi attack Konoha is simply brilliant, since all of the buildings crumble individually as he stomps all over them. Thousands of little ninjas and citizens are animated fighting against the Kyuubi for their lives. The flames, though drawn in Naruto’s cartoony style, appear as if they are engulfing everything. This is just as badass a close-up as it is as a backdrop for a fated battle between the Fourth Hokage and Madara Uchiha.

Brand New Boss Battles

To make these set pieces come alive, NAMCO Bandai has added in a whole new sort of “boss battle” into the story. In the trailer we’ve seen so far, the Third Hokage takes on the Nine-Tailed Fox on top of Konoha’s rooftops. These sequences seem to have fighting game, platforming, and strategy elements. A good portion of the time, the Third Hokage was hopping from rooftop to rooftop, dodging the Kyuubi’s blows.

When he got close enough, he wailed away at it with his gigantic monkey staff while other Konoha ninjas shot fire at it from afar. After a while, the Kyuubi itself would generate an explosion that would blow the Third back across the rooftops. Here, he met with another ninja to charge up a sustained fire assault. It was pretty epic seeing the one-on-one fight transition into something more akin to tactical troop combat.

A Cinematic Feeling

The whole battle felt cinematic, even though the player would be controlling it the whole way through. The rest of the boss battles feel this way. In fact, the only actual cinematic portion of the battle was the quick time event that punctuated it all. However, this quick time event had you rapidly filling the shoes of some of Konoha’s most powerful ninjas, essentially controlling an entire army with one button prompt. This is certainly an interesting spin on the traditional QTE, with the camera focusing more on the overall scene than any individual character.

Final Thoughts

The die-hard Naturo fans will absolutely fall in love with this game. The graphics, storytelling and new set design will have them head over heels dying to buy this game in a heartbeat. The real question remains, how many hours of playing will players get to before they realize the sun has come up.

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