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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution

Score: 89%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Cyber Connect2
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2 (2 - 8 Online)
Genre: Fighting/ Themed

Graphics & Sound:

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution breaks away from the standard past Ultimate Ninja games in several ways, one of them is providing several new stories that don't simply recap the events of the anime and manga.

While Revolution doesn't stray very far from the previous games' visual style or quality, what it has is solid. Characters, both iconic and background, look great and it doesn't matter if you are in the midst of a fight or running around the open-world settings of the Ninja World Tournament location, Festival Island. Part of how Revolution strays away from past titles is that it also offers a couple of new anime episodes. So while most of the title looks and feels like a 3D video game, the anime that gets unlocked are just like watching an episode of the series, well, until a fight breaks out and you have to take control.

As is the case with most Naruto titles, the game's audio is spot on. Characters sound like the voices you hear in the anime, and the high-energy music that accompanies the shows' fights are also prevalent here.


Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution offers a couple of different story modes. One is called Ninja Escapades and is the aforementioned anime episodes while the others are contained in the World Tournament option.

Ninja Escapades lets you sit back and watch new stories unfold, but instead of keeping you out of the action, when it comes time for a fight, be ready to pick up your controller. After clearing the arena, the story continues until the next fight scene. Each episode seemed to go on rather long, even if you don't count the amount of time in the fights, so expect a lot of time to be spent here working your way through these new adventures.

The Ninja World Tournament Mode is a competition between many of the fighters in the Naruto world even "bending time and space" to grab characters that aren't contemporary with each other. While this mode takes on a standard tournament structure, there is time between matches where you explore the open world of Festival Island. Here you will talk to people, take on a few side quests, and buy tools to use in your fights.

The fights in the Ninja World Tournament are a little different than the standard fare. While you are still doing everything you can to knock your opponents out, they will shed orbs with every bit of damage they take. Your goal in these fights is not actually to take out your opponents, but to have collected the most orbs when the match ends.

You start this mode as a D-Ranked competitor. Each time you win the final fight in the tournament, you get the next rank and will fight a harder selection of enemies, but you will also get bigger rewards and unlock more characters. Completing the D-Ranked tournament also unlocks a separate story mode following the new character Mecha-Naruto.

The Mecha-Naruto story starts off when Naruto and Hinata find a robot that looks a lot like Naruto and activate it. The damaged robot learns that a piece of its internal components is the prize at an upcoming Ninja World Tournament and has to work with Hinata and Naruto to make it through the ranks. Of course, Naruto and his mechanical doppelganger don't get along right away, and Mecha-Naruto's jealousy over how the Leaf Village treats the human leads to some drastic actions.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution's other modes include the standard methods of taking your customized core preset characters out for a spin. You can play in Free Battle Mode in everything from one-off fights to full League style competitions, as well as tournament modes for 4 or 8 players. Meanwhile the Online Battles Menu option lets you take your fighters to Xbox Live and pit them against other people.


Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution handles ramping up the difficulty a couple of different ways. In the Ninja Escapades option, the battles slowly increase in difficulty as you are forced to play as new characters, as well as employ stronger tactics rather than just pounding on the main attack button. As a result, you never really find yourself getting comfortable with a single character's abilities (that's what the other modes are for) and you really get a feel for how to pull off the more powerful attacks, because if you don't, there comes a point where you simply won't be able to win.

The Ninja World Tournament fights, on the other hand, don't really increase their toughness within a single set of fights, but rather between tournaments. As stated above, you start off as a D-Rank fighter, but once you win the first series of fights, the C-Rank tournament is opened up to you. Here you will face stronger A.I. For the most part, the style of the fights stay the same; you are generally going to be pitted in a 4-fighter free-for-all, but the number of rounds in the fight will vary. Since each round forces you to switch characters, you don't have to worry about making it through the entire stage with a single health bar (that's what Survival Mode under Free Battle is for).

I did find it interesting that even though the real goal in Tournament fights is to collect the most orbs, the A.I. rarely goes after them. Sure, attacks that deal massive damage will release a lot of orbs and the attacker is typically the one that will get them because they are the nearest, but many fights will result in unclaimed orbs spilled all over the arena. I found that most of the time, I won because I would stop actively fighting and run around to collect orbs. That isn't really a winning strategy, because you still have to be able to fight and avoid attacks, but with the computer-controlled characters not going after them, they were simply free points that you can afford to go after for a bit of a leg up. As a result, the Ninja Tournament fights, while not easy in the latter ranks, were probably easier than intended.

Game Mechanics:

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution's fighting mechanics more or less stay close to the Ultimate Ninja titles of the past. Your primary attacks are performed with the (B) button, and mashing on that button while pointing in a direction with the Left Analog Stick lets the character perform several combos iconic to that character. The (Y) button will throw your character's projectiles, while the Right Trigger is your guard and Substitution Jutsu. Knowing this gets you through most of the early battles, but Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution is also good about making the character's more powerful attacks fairly simple button combos, as well as team-based attacks (when available) similar combos that are just different enough to not make it too hard to remember. As you progress in the game's stories, you will have to learn to pull off these more powerful attacks, and as always with this series, knowing when to use which Ninja Tools (activated by the D-pad) can be key to victory as well.

While Naruto fighting games are starting to get dangerously close to the Dragon Ball Z games of the early 2000's, at least as far as making each one "bigger and badder" than the last, it is nice to see a game that works really hard to break away from the main story this much. Sure the DBZ titles did that occasionally, but they rarely had a game that didn't at least touch on some aspect of the show's story. The stories found in Revolution all feel very tangential and stand alone. As a result, I would say this is a solid game for any Naruto fan. The fighting mechanics are simple but solid and it isn't just a rehash of Naruto's quest to gain acceptance and save his village.

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

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