Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 Reviews

AuthorReview
Lozzy Denton
83,264 (51,788)
Lozzy Denton
TA Score for this game: 122
Posted on 15 October 10 at 01:29, Edited on 25 April 12 at 21:52
This review has 39 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
http://www.trueachievements.com/Naruto-Storm-2-xbox-360.htm is a sequel to Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm which was only distributed to the Playstation 3. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (henceforth abbreviated to Nash2) firmly follows the story of the anime series, Naruto Shippuden. So for those who have already watched the series, this storyline will be nothing new, however, there is definitely a lot more to explore beyond that.

Story mode – 'Ultimate Adventure mode'

External image

The storyline behind Nash2 revolves around the adventures of our hero, Naruto Uzumaki and his unlikely band of friends. His passion and enthusiasm is the main driving force behind the story, with his determination to overcome obstacles and protect those around him paving the way for plot lines. It begins just as the series did; with Naruto's return from his 3 year training regime.

The base of gameplay involves defeating opposing ninjas via the fighting system with the odd boss battle thrown in for good measure. Boss battles are pretty tough and generally require you to have a solid grasp on the mechanics of the fighting system. Interspersed throughout the story are plentiful opportunities to buy items which improve your battle performance, collectible Ninja info cards and even gifts, like flowers, to boost relationships with other characters.

Fighting system

Considering that a core part of the gameplay, it seemed appropriate for it to have its own section. Unfortunately, this is my first foray into games of this genre, so I won’t be able to do comparisons with similar games, but I shall try to present the information as best I can.

Nash2’s fighting system is fairly simple to get the hang of. Combos only require repeated presses of the B button and sometimes a direction on the movement stick. There can also be combos for thrown weapons, depending on the skill set of the ninja. Similarly, these require only hitting the X button repeatedly.

External image

The real challenge comes with evading these attacks. This is called substitution jutsu and involves transporting away from danger and leaving a log in your stead. Timing this trick is tough and can be quite satisfying when your opponent has lined up for an elaborate combo only to find themselves flailing wildly at nothing, which also happens to leave them wide open for your next attack.

During the more important and story driven battles, you will often enter into an interactive cut scene with quick-time events, much akin to God of War or Heavy Rain. These allow you to play out more elaborate and flashy sequences which wouldn’t be possible in standard battle mode, nor would they have the same theatrical depth. These events come as a welcome twist and can allow a break from the action.

External image

There are quite a few other elements to the fighting system, like items which can improve your abilities or damage your opponents, ‘Chakra’ which fuels ‘Ultimate Jutsu’ moves and ‘Awakenings’, though including it all would make the review considerably longer.


Visuals

For the most part, Nash2's visuals are beautiful, however there is one fairly major nag with the Xbox 360 version. Though that shall be covered in more depth shortly.

There are 2 main elements to the graphics in Nash2; static drawn elements and CG elements. The static elements comprise of almost all the backdrops and foreground set pieces (tables, signs, store counters) and are pre-drawn by artists. Many are stationary images, while others use a little perspective adjustment to create a 3D feel. This method, while not being truly 3D, works well and allows the artists to draw detailed scenes without having to delve into the nitty gritty of meshes, shaders and particle systems.

The result is enchanting, smooth looking environments which hold true to the source material. This can sometimes leave scenes looking slightly flat and unanimated, but this is rarely noticeable; places that need to be lively have animation in one form or another.

External image

Konoha in particular is a good example. You will be spending a fair bit of time in the village as it acts as a hub for missions and requests. Some scenes would likely feel stilted if they had no animation, but you will always find people milling about, going about their business or playing in the street, bringing scenes to life.

Which brings us onto the other other type of graphics elements. Character models, set pieces and battle locations use 3D cel shaded rendering to achieve their look, which is close in comparison to the source material, yet not to the same degree as the drawn scenes.

Herein lies the aforementioned issue though. For whatever reason, it appears that the developers have decided not to include any kind of anti aliasing filter for these CG elements. Now while this has the effect of making the Xbox 360 version seem like a cheap port, it simply does not seem to make any sense to exclude an anti aliasing filter. An Xbox 360’s hardware is more than capable of handling that task.

Even if there was a good reason for this oversight, it is such a big issue which prevails throughout the game and should have been rectified. It spoils what would otherwise be a superb visual presentation. Here is a raw screen grab so that you may draw your own conclusions. Note in particular Kakashi’s jacket. Some more examples below too.

External image


Audio

It should be mentioned right off the bat that this reviewer only had to play for a few minutes before rushing to the options screen and switching the voice option to Japanese. The English voice actors just did not seem to fit well and tended to induce cringing. Though you may well find the English dub suits your tastes better. Either way, be glad that the option is there for those who don't enjoy the default. Plus, the English subtitles seemed to be perfectly accurate.

As for the soundtrack, it has a much more colourful picture to paint. The music which accompanies story mode really does compliment it well. During quiet periods the accompanying music is charming and sombre, while battle music is much more intense. Each theme is well suited to represent the current surroundings or setting while remaining relatively conspicuous. You’d be forgiven for not noticing the music in the background while in a fight.

Conclusion

A solid game with an enjoyable storyline. Fans of the franchise will enjoy this but hardcore fighter gamers might not find enough challenge in the fighting system.

Pros & Cons

+ Solid storyline
+ Simple to understand fight system
+ Enjoyable soundtrack

- Graphical issues with the 360 version
- Somewhat clunky camera controls
- The story glosses over some of the more enjoyable scenes from the anime
- Loading screens are frequent and tedious
Given 4 stars by Lozzy Denton
There are 29 comments relating to this Review | Please log in to comment on this solution.
STRESSER1
104,333 (79,155)
STRESSER1
TA Score for this game: 1,525
Posted on 08 April 11 at 20:21
This review has 4 positive votes and 1 negative vote. Please log in to vote.
The latest Naruto game for the 360, is a life like look at the anime. The visuals are stunningly realistic to the anime's animation. There is more to this game than fighting. For example to obtain all of the achivements possible, you must expirience and master everything this game has to offer. There is gathering items for ninja tools, collecting birds, and becoming a true friend to all of the caracters all of the fans have become attched to.The story takes place right after the prvious game The broken bond ( even though they have different titles.) You play as naruto: as well as sauske and a few friends along the way.The good news is to pull of advance special all that needs to be done is a few button mashes. ( rather than trickey thumb stick manuvers. Also they have added a support feture that can turn the tide of anymatch with a team special. Their are a few draw backs, if you get too caried away with melee button mashing the enemy can pull a fast one and pull off a move or two of their own. Another thing is that the game can be repetitive espacialy trying to get all of the achivements, and therfore replaying certain matches over and over again.Then there is on thing that is good and bad. The whole time you are side scrolling from screen to screen trying to get to places which can get a little boring. On the other hand it is impossible to get lost. Overal this game has made improvements yet the combat reacting time may need a little fixing. Thatnks for readinmg this review I hope it was helpful.
Given 5 stars by STRESSER1
Please log in to comment on this solution.
Laundry Lunatic
69,103 (44,823)
Laundry Lunatic
TA Score for this game: 1,525
Posted on 02 March 11 at 02:32, Edited on 02 March 11 at 02:32
This review has 3 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
This is a good fighting game where the controls are easy to use. A huge roster of characters, good sound and graphics. The button sequences during the boss fights are fun. The only drawback to this game is that you have to play through the story mode to unlock the extra characters. But that is something that makes the game play last longer. Don't let it deter you from buying it. I have had trouble connecting to online matches. The people online can be tough as nails, so its easier to play against people at your same skill level. Experiment by playing with different characters and you will stand a chance. If a Naruto Shippuden Ninja Storm 3 comes out. I will be looking forward to play the next one.
Given 5 stars by Laundry Lunatic
Please log in to comment on this solution.