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Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: D3
Developer: Tomy Ltd.
Media: GCD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Fighting/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 not only uses the same graphical style of the previous game, but with the exception of slight changes to the HUD, it looks like it could be Clash of Ninja all over again. I'm not saying this is bad. In fact, the first game looked good. Characters came off clean and fit their TV show counterparts to a tee, and arenas also looked like they were plucked from the show. This was very much a case of not messing with a good thing, and it was a wise choice by the developers to not drastically change the look and feel of the game.

The game's sound is pretty dead on. Comments characters say during fights are limited, but not so much that they get tiring fast. One aspect of fighters that always appeals to me when I find it is banter specific to certain characters. It seemed like each character had a certain phrase he or she would use when facing off against opponents. Like when Kakashi and Sakura face off, Kakshi says "Let's see what you got" and Sakura says "I'm not going easy on you sensei". What's really funny is the events that happen before Naruto and Sakura face off. While Sakura is really mad and wants to battle, Naruto backs off and definitely looks intimidated. It is details like this that really give something extra to fans of the show who know how all the characters are related.


Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 is nothing but pure, anime-inspired fighting fun. This follow-up title not only covers more of the Naruto storyline in the game's single player mode, but it also offers a few more characters and even an enhanced multiplayer mode that lends itself well to the GameCube.

Taking advantage of the system's four player capabilities, gamers can now have matches that are not only one-on-one, but also two-on-two, two-on-one, three-on-one or even an Every Ninja for Himself free for all. What amazed me most about Clash of Ninja 2 was how well the game handled the four player matches. Sure there have been other melee style games, Super Smash Bros and Shrek Super Slam, just to name a couple. But the Smash Bros games weren't in a 3D arena like this one, and Super Slam was nowhere near as solid as this title. Put simply, the game just doesn't seem to have any problems with everyone doing flashy, anime-style moves at the same time.

These three or four fighter matches also show up rather frequently in the game's single player story mode. What impressed me most about these matches was the fact that, just because I got knocked out of a match, the fighting still continued until either the time ran out or one of the teams lost all of their members. This is a lot better, at least in my mind, than forcing you to lose just because the character you were controlling didn't survive the fight. It made the events seem much more like a team effort that way.

Besides these two modes, Clash of Ninja 2 also features old standards like Survival, Training and Time Attack Modes. Each of these are pretty self explanatory. Survival sees how many enemies you can plow through in one health bar, while Training is a great way to get used to the different characters' various attacks, while Time Attack sees how quickly you can defeat 10 opponents.


Like most fighting games, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 gets easier as you learn character moves. Sure you can button mash your way through the first 10 or so battles in the game's Story Mode, but as you progress, you will find it harder and harder to pull of victories. Eventually, you will either learn how perform the special attacks, or you will get frustrated.

Except for a few fights, Naruto has a nice, steady difficulty gradient and never gets drastically harder. The exceptions are when some A.I.'s get very defensive and hardly let any attacks through. Nothing is more annoying than unleashing barrage after barrage of super-flashy attacks, only to have them not pay off at all because your opponent just guards all the time.

Game Mechanics:

Where Ultimate Ninja takes a 2D fighter style, the Clash of Ninja series is fought in 3D arenas and with more of an arcade feel to them. Part of what makes Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 more of an arcade title over Ultimate Ninja is the fact that you don't have to enter in series' of buttons in order to unleash your best attacks. In the other game, when you initiated your move, you and your opponent were then prompted to tap in buttons that determined how much damage was ultimately dealt. Here, you just have to build up your power and hit simple two or three button combos.

Clash of Ninja 2 is a very solid title, something that isn't seen too often on the GameCube. If you are a fan of Naruto or you are just looking for a new game for your GC before the Wii comes out -- then Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 is definitely worth the buy.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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