I never give up… I never go back on my word… that’s my ninja way!
As people who are unfamiliar with the Naruto franchise, playing Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution has definitely made us want to check out the anime, partly just so the Ninja Escapades mode will make some sense. The Ninja Escapades mode of the game consists of long cut scenes in which you occasionally play a battle. The animation is of a very high standard, and the game as a whole is cell-shaded and beautiful. We would imagine people who follow the series and know what is going on with the story will love this section of the game, whereas those like us who are unfamiliar with it will not really understand what is going on. It’s easy enough to get swept up and carried away in the world through an art-style that we simply don’t see anywhere else on consoles. For sheer artistic merit the Naruto series of games are ahead of many next-gen titles.
The Ninja World Tournament is the main story mode of the game and begins in a hub section on the beach. From here you can visit various shop keepers, collect items and recruit others to help you with the tournament. The hub is a nice touch, providing a break from the battles and allowing you to interact with other characters and complete side missions. There are over a hundred characters in the roster to choose from, and although due to the sheer number some of them have very similar fighting styles, it must be great for fans of the series to be able to choose from so many characters. The fighting in tournament mode differs from the rest of the game in that the aim is not to deplete the opposing fighter’s health bar, but to collect orbs which you get from hitting your opponent. It feels odd at first but encourages movement and situational awareness.
The game features a revamped fighting system in which there are new ways of forming teams based on skills and the introduction of counterattack and guard-break which involves breaking the guard of the opponent and rendering them unconscious. This is a positive step forward for the game as a strategic approach is needed instead of simply button-mashing which you could get away with in the previous games. Fights often stretch out for a long time with quick frantic combo attacks and then opponents backing off and circling before trying again. It’s a very different feel to the relentlessness of other fighting games and the huge arenas each fight takes place in plays a big part in that.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution is great game for Naruto fans and is also a decent fighting game for those who are unfamiliar with the series, but there are other fighting games out there that are technically more accessible and nearly as good looking without relying so much on knowledge of the Naruto lore.