Let’s face facts here; there have been a lot of pretty good titles that were released in 2013, but there is one game in particular that has gained my interest: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. When I saw the trailer for this game back in November 2012, I knew it was going to be good. The attack sequences look fantastic, the storyline seems very well done for a fighting game, and on top of all that, the game has a Goku costume you can download for Naruto if you pre-ordered the game. However, when I finally have the chance to play it, it isn’t what I expected…
It is better.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 features a plot that continues the story last depicted in Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, with a focus on the Nine-Tailed Fox’s attack on Konohagakure. Players will be in control of characters to help defend the village. Ultimately though, the game will cover the events from the series’ world war, adapted from most of the episodes aired on television up to the time of this game’s release. This game also includes the “Ultimate Decision Mode” which allows players the options to change the results of battles. In addition, it also features mob battles wherein players control a single character in a battle with a series of enemies.
Quite impressive is how easy it is to pull off the combo attacks. The learning curve is quite easy, but at the same time it’s also difficult enough to make the game challenging. It features a fantastic character list that allows gamers the option to select between younger versions of the characters (e.g Rock Lee, Hinata, Gaara) and their respective current versions of themselves. What impress me the most are the cut scenes. I’m not just talking about the cut scenes from the story mode, or when you’re playing as Naruto or Sasuke—but the cut scenes for EACH character. Cut scenes are added right before each character pulls off their special attack(s), and I must say, they are epic. These give meanings to the characters in the game, even if they don’t have a huge role in the story mode to begin with. These very well crafted cut scenes truly provide an extraordinary cinematic experience that’s often absent in fighting games.
Now, one of the downsides to the game is that there are way too many versions of Naruto and Sasuke. Believe me, I love Naruto, but 5 different kinds to play with? Come on now. The same goes for Sasuke as well; the worst part is, they’ll use the smallest difference as an excuse to make another character, even if they’re extremely similar to their counterparts. It’s annoying. Also, when you unload a Taijutsu butt-kick on your opponent for instance and they manage to evade the attack, your character will just keep going in the same direction like a train. It’s not a major problem because in a way, it kind of makes sense – but it does get annoying after a while when you have your enemy on the ropes and when you go for the knockout, and they use a substituted jutsu to get out of the way.
Overall, I like the game a lot. In my opinion, it’s the best Naruto game I’ve ever played. Sure, it doesn’t have the ridiculously large amount of characters to choose from like Ultimate Ninja Storm Legends, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from giving this game a chance. If you are looking for a little something different from your typical American Superhero fighting game, this is the game for you.