Graphics:
8.8
Gameplay:
7.7
Sound:
7.4
Control:
7.5
Replay Value:
8.2
Online Gameplay:
8.0
Overall Rating:
7.8
Publisher:
Namco Bandai
Developer:
CyberConnect2
Number Of Players:
1-2
Genre:
Action
Release Date:
October 19, 2010


I think we all know that Naruto games are made for fans of the popular anime TV show. Therefore, if you’re not really into that type of thing, this is probably a big ol’ pass for you. But considering the technical proficiency of this particular sequel, the fun factor and relative depth involved in the combat, and the excellent encompassing of show highlights (classic fanservice), the intended audience should be satisfied. If you’re on the other side of the fence, the unbearable English voice acting, somewhat bland Adventure Mode in terms of detail and exploration, and mostly unfamiliar storyline will likely turn you off. But hey, CyberConnect2 cares only about the fans in this scenario and in that respect, they pump out a solid – and even surprisingly diverse – product. From the deceptively simply battle to the QTEs to even a few role-playing elements, Naruto followers will have plenty to do.

Believe it or not, the graphics are the biggest highlight. It’s almost as if one is playing an interactive version of the TV program, which is one hell of a technical feat. The clarity and singular anime style shines through in almost every facet of the presentation, the special effects are borderline astounding, and the colors and shading are nearly perfect. There were some small drawbacks during certain encounters and I wasn’t the biggest fan of the environments found in Adventure Mode, but if you just dive right into Free Play, you’ll be blown away by the graphics on display. This really puts so many other anime-based video games to shame and in all honesty, it’s long past time a developer managed to implement realistic Japanese cartoon style in an interactive adventure. But again, you sort of have to be into anime, or you might not be too impressed.

Okay, so the visuals are where they deserve to be; the designers dazzled us with their seamless and professional institution of a colorful, pleasing presentation. But I suppose terrible voice acting is a staple of anime that must remain, or we’d lose the authentic nature of the distinctly Japanese production. …all right, but that doesn’t stop it from sucking. Thankfully, you can opt for the Japanese voices if you so desire (and you so do). The sound effects are certainly good and play the proper role of “enhancer” in regards to the fast-action gameplay. There’s some balancing issues between the effects and music, too, but this is something else that seems to be permanently lodged within the world of anime. Well, at least in the world of anime video games. For the most part, it’s exactly what the fans are looking for and the effects become the focal point, which was the right move.

For a bit of background, Ninja Storm 2 starts at the very beginning of the series: Naruto comes back to Konoha after a whole lot of training, but there are multiple story branches to follow. One follows Naruto, one deals with his friend, Sasuke, and the third is about Naruto’s mentor Jiraya-sama. The story really does grab the limelight so don’t think for a second that we’re looking at a traditional fighter; both the various gameplay elements and story emphasis debunks that erroneous idea. Remember, CyberConnect2 had to find a way to get several hundred episodes worth of content into this game, so… As for the structure, the aforementioned village acts as a central hub of sorts, where you can take on missions, buy items, and talk to a few minor characters and civilians. You actually start by controlling Gaara, a former villain who has a powerful demon trapped within him, which his enemies apparently want for themselves.

Yes, there’s Adventure Mode, Free Play, and online battles, but unsurprisingly, it’s all about the fighting. This is both good and bad in my eyes: the good is that the combat mechanic is both accessible and compelling, in that newcomers can easily pull off some devastating strikes with a tap of a button (or two), but there’s plenty beneath the surface, if you wish to uncover it. I’ll get back to this in a moment. The bad is that with such a heavy emphasis on the fighting, the developers sort of forgot to flesh out the Adventure Mode to the point where it feels like an actual “adventure.” It’s just a little bland; you never really feel as if you’re doing anything but taking roundabout ways to your next encounter. And sometimes, they’re not even roundabout; it’s all a mite thin. When playing, I didn’t have much incentive to see what happened next, which is a definite flaw, wouldn't you say?

As for the controls and battle system, it all resides on a very stable foundation. At its base you find a simple setup where we only utilize a few buttons to take down foes; one button for this attack, one button to jump, one button for the character’s special move, etc. It’s very accessible and only after playing for a while do you realize there’s a lot more to this than fists and feet. No, you can also bring different items and spells into battle, and Naruto has an always-handy supply of throwing knives; combined with insane agility, skilled players can really give enemies fits. However, I think – I think – the hardcore fans may be resentful of the battle system’s ease of entry for newcomers. After all, you can blast through a lot of the game by using very simple strategies and mashing on a few buttons, and that’s usually frowned upon by the purists. It can also be interpreted as a shortcoming, depending who you are.

Me, I don’t mind in the slightest, as I require that kind of assistance, anyway. The initiation was pleasant and I think that’s the most important part. The online mode boasts around 40 fighters although I have to say, I don’t think there are enough differences from character to character. Also, it’s highly recommended that you play the offline modes for a while before venturing online; as you might expect, there are some serious fighters out there who will wipe the floor with novices. The online play feels a little thin, too, though, and in the end, I felt as if the game was just shy of reaching its overall goal. Still, for the most part, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is a game strictly for the fans and in that, it succeeds. The graphics are nigh-on amazing, the sound fits (provided you can get past the poor English voices), and the combat is a complete, fulfilling mechanic that delivers in a big way.

I liked the twists to battles we usually find in the Naruto games; with the items and spells and other exploration/RPG elements – not to mention the focus on character development and plot – I was able to enjoy myself for quite some time. Granted, it got a little old due to some repetition and the Adventure Mode that just got boring, but I imagine the fans won’t complain.

The Good: Great graphics; it looks exactly as it should. Devs successfully implement many highlights from TV show. Combat is both accessible and intricate. Controls are solid. Twists to the standard nature of fighting games; i.e., items, spells, exploration.

The Bad: Adventure Mode feels bland and stark. English voiceovers are terrible. Noobs can mash buttons for a long time.

The Ugly: If you’re not into anime, it’s an almost automatic pass.

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WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Never could get into Naruto, I'd like to see some other anime get all these games though for sure but I only tend to like the ones that only last 2 seasons. Any more than about 24 episodes and an anime starts to go off the rails. Anybody else notice this?

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

Neon Genesis Evangelion, the greatest anime EVER.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I kinda liked it at first but lost interest for some reason.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

One question.

Do you drink/like Mountain Dew?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I do not, it's like drinking stomach acid.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/26/2010 10:16:02 PM

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

They should make a One Piece game!

"Any more than about 24 episodes and an anime starts to go off the rails."

Some do, yeah but one piece only gets better as it goes.


Last edited by SnipeySnake on 10/26/2010 10:17:43 PM

gangan19
gangan19
11 years ago

same here, im a none naruto guy

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

I absorb all 291 episodes of Dragonball Z annually. 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

I tried DBZ, at first I was really into it, then it just kind of started to feel like this massive soap opera. All it would do was pump you up for the next episode, then it would be something where they just talk to each other before the fight and it sucks but you get pumped again and let down again and over and over with that as the plot got weirder.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Ha, yea it's not for everyone. You might want to try watching Dragonball Z Kai. it follows the Manga almost verbatim. Cut out all the filler bs. It's only 100 something episodes as opposed to 291.

DeusExMachina
DeusExMachina
11 years ago

@World: I have two words for you: One Piece, just wiki it and ull see what I mean. Best long/ongoing anime ever. Im anime fanatic though so I have many favs.

@LV: Thumbs up for youuuu! I hav the Platinum boxset, while its not my fav anymore, its in my top 5.

firehahahahaha
firehahahahaha
11 years ago

NGE is the best ever

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

Trying watching Dragon Ball Z and One Piece, really 2 of the best anime of all time World.

Like SnipeySnake said, it only gets better and better from time to time.

Dridion
Dridion
11 years ago

You know I have to agree about one piece. For the longest time I always wanted to catch up and albeit it took a REALLY long time, it really does ONLY get better and that's no exaggeration. From the very first episode that grabbed me, I've yet to be disappointed and that's including the small bits of filler here and there. Also that animation gets better too.

One thing that I like about it too is that it's never too predictable. During Luffy's time on Amazon lily, I swore up and down that he was going to learn Haki there and yatta yatta yatta, but it took a left turn and did something totally different. I really do love that anime. 🙂

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

@SnipeySnake,

There are many One Piece games, mostly in Japan.

I think a few came over for the PS2 and Wii…

AbsoluteZer0
AbsoluteZer0
11 years ago

I really enjoyed FullMetal Alchemist and that went for 50 some episodes

Milonakis
Milonakis
11 years ago

I'm sorry you had to play this Ben.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

LOL! Why, the demo was fun.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
11 years ago

He gave it a decent score, I don't think he minded the experience. I still laugh at Arnold having to review Quantum Theory. It's as if Ben gave him that game review as punishment for being absent for a while.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Not a fan of the cartoon but i liked the demo. I just ordered the first game off Amazon. Will be getting this one soon enough.

Now they need to get this team to make a decent Dragon Ball game. So much technology and talent yet DBZ games remain as crappy as ever. The best one this gen was a PS2 and Wii release.

Akuma_
Akuma_
11 years ago

DBZ Budokai 3 was an excellent game. the best to date!

The first Naruto UNS is good, but from what ive seen, the second one is soooo much better.

SnipeySnake
SnipeySnake
11 years ago

Since im a naruto fan i got this day 1. Its a pretty good game, story mode is really fun and the boss battle are amazing. But yeah as ben and ALOT of reviewers said, you gotta be into the anime to like the game. Still i was hoping they'd make it more customizable, instead its less customizable.


Last edited by SnipeySnake on 10/26/2010 10:19:36 PM

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

I agree with the 7.8 for this game because they ruined the adventure mode by making it corridor based whereas in the first game which is a PS3 exclusive had the adventure which was open world, naruto fans please play the first one then play this on the ps3.
But i will buy this game because i love the fight scenes which is better than the anime.
As for the voiceovers.
We hardcore anime fans know we should always watch anime and play anime games in Japanese where the characters real voices are shown and are spot on.Japanese anime is not meant to be watched in english.It is meant to be watched in Japanese with English Subtitles.
PS3 owners please play the first one first you will feel like you're in that naruto world.
WHY DID CYBERCONNECT2 MAKE IT MULTIPLATFORM DAMN XBOX CANNOT HANDLE THE POWER OF THE FIRST GAME!!
DAMN MICROSOFT RUIN EVERYTHING BY MAKING IT MULTIPLATFORM!!!
I"M SO ANGRY,THEY RUINED A PERFECT ANIME GAMING FRANCHISE!

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

The fight screens and quick time events were pretty awesome. Seriously, why can't we get a DBZ game with lush and well rounded graphics with similar gameplay and presentation?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

You gotta let that whole Japanese voice thing go man, I watch all my anime in English and enjoy it much more for not being distracted from the action sequences.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

I agree with Kiryu. Most anime is more enjoyable with subtitles. Doesn't distract me. The only anime that i have ever watched with decent voice acting was Ninja Scroll and the original Pioneer VHS release of Akira. The much later DVD release, they redid all the dialog with new actors and it was utter crap.

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

@world
Just Shut up

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

@jawknee
my fellow jap voice loving brother you're right why can't cyberconnect2 or anybody else make a fantastic DBZ game.The fight scenes will be out of this world like Asura's wrath and even better.The current dbz games are ass!
Naruto is nothin compared to the fights in Dragonballz.Always watch dbz in Jap!


Last edited by Kiryu on 10/26/2010 11:31:16 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

hey screw you.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

@Kiryu, i always watch Dragonball z in Japanese too. Can't stand the voice actors they use. I did like the voice actors in The Worlds Strongest though. That movie was published by Pioneer as well. Seems Pioneer knows how to pick better voice actors than Funimation.

Side note. World didn't mean anything by it his first comment. He's just being the World we all love and admire. Straight forward. 🙂

Now you two make up. 🙂

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

@world
really sorry dude.

@jawknee
who do u think can make a hardcore dbz game?
p.s dbz kai music didn't suit me.old dbz jap music was better with better voice acting performances.


Last edited by Kiryu on 10/26/2010 11:50:47 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

It's all good, I just think the whole "English voices are bad" thing is WAY overblown. I hated the Japanese voices in Cowboy Bebop, totally didn't fit.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

What do you mean by hardcore DBZ game? I want to see a DBZ game with high production values. At least as high as these Naruto games. I just downloaded the Raging Blast 2 demo. Not impressed. The demo for this game was far better and more entertaining. I just want something with fast action and quick time events like this Naruto. Those quick time set pieces are awesome in Naruto. The whole time i was playing the demo i just kept asking myself why DBZ games aren't done like this.

As far as the Kai music, i agree. The original score is the best. The voice acting is the same though if you turn on the Japanese audio.

At least i thought it was. Goku and Piccolo sound the same.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/26/2010 11:56:52 PM

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

@jawknee
Yeah even me while playing the demo i thought y aren't dbz games made like this.My only wish for a Great DBZ franchise for the ps3 only with great graphics ,mechanics and spot on story telling.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Agreed. They need to do some nice cell shaded graphics like Naruto. Seems like they try too hard in the DBZ games.


Last edited by Jawknee on 10/27/2010 12:16:13 AM

firehahahahaha
firehahahahaha
11 years ago

American anime voice acting is pretty hit or miss for me. Theres some titles like s-CRY-ed, Big O, Cowboy Bebop, or Neon Genesis Evangelion that have some pretty awesome english va's, and then theres just the awful stuff like One Piece, Naruto, Bleach, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

And you guys obviously missed Budokai 3 :).
Although I thought Burst Limit was pretty awesome, it just needed ALOT more content than what it had.


Last edited by firehahahahaha on 10/27/2010 3:21:02 AM

th3_bLy
th3_bLy
11 years ago

The only anime I can watch in English is DBZ and Gundam Wing. Basically, anything that was on YTV when I was kid I grew accustomed to.

Snaaaake
Snaaaake
11 years ago

I also love my anime in Japanese dub, the American never put any decent effort into dubbing an anime.

I have never watched any anime with good english voice over.

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

@firehahahahaha
I've finished and got all characters maxed in Budokai 3 greatest hits!Burst limit didn't have that much depth to the fighting like Budokai 3.Infinite world sucked it removed beam struggle and dragon rush.BUt they need to make a Burst Limit 2 with full Dragonballz Story and better Fighting mechanics!

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

@firehahahaha

No I didn't forget about Tenchaichi Budokai 3. I mentioned the best DBZ game this gen was a PS2 and Wii release in my original post. I loved that game. Was one of the first ones I bought this gen. But I still would like to see a DBZ game on PS3 made by these guys who did Naruto UNS 1 and 2 with the same level of graphics detail and presentation.

Temjin001
Temjin001
11 years ago

I haven't watched an anime in years, except for maybe something GitS, but this demo was a blast. The super ultimate moves are great. I think I'll snag this at a bargain price.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Sounds good but I always feel like these Naruto games are best played after you've finished watching the shows. They contain spoilers galore for those who are halfway through.

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

Yeah this game is only till the pain fight so many people know the story already i think!


Last edited by Kiryu on 10/26/2010 11:52:47 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

What's a Shippuden?

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

Who knows but its a funny word none the less. My friend and i were cracking up at how long the titles are for these anime fighting games.

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

Dragonball Z is better.Z is enough.


Last edited by Kiryu on 10/27/2010 12:05:59 AM

Ergi
Ergi
11 years ago

I think shippuden stands for hurricane chronicles.

Ultimate_Balla
Ultimate_Balla
11 years ago

I'll purchase it when I have some free time from the exams. F.Y.I some English VAs are better than their Jap counterpart: Vegeta, Gaara. . . Uhm.

Jawknee
Jawknee
11 years ago

No way. The Japanese Vegita is one of the best voices in the whole series.

Kiryu
Kiryu
11 years ago

That's right Jawknee!