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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 on Xbox 360 Impression

Playable anime? Just about dang near close with Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

Anime based video games have come a long way in the States and they continue to evolve with Naruto: Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 from Namco Bandai. The blending of fighting game action with RPG leveling up elements merges with storytelling and graphics grander than the most top-level games … period. Having a prior knowledge of Naruto will help greatly but the game moves along at a pace on par with the manga and anime which will allows those new to the franchise to get into the action. What makes UNS2 the next evolution in anime gaming? Let’s take a look …

Gameplay – Take control of Naruto in the Shippuden story-arc as he returns to Konoha after training with Jiraiya to begin his search for Sasuke. Gamers move through the story up until the Pain battle by moving from village to village, location to location taking on battle after battle with a mixture of timed events thrown in. Essentially it’s playing the anime, the key battles and events with a lot of running around between battles. The story mode is the meat but there are also single player and vs. modes to fight out. A fighting game wrapped in an excellent adventure story with outstanding and memorable characters.

Graphics – Beautiful, worth the purchase alone. Only the anime compares in how the game looks and flows from the character movements to the settings. Every piece of this game is eye candy not only to fans of Naruto but gamers as a whole. Impressive visuals, all the special moves and effects from the anime, it’s just one gorgeous game.

Sound – Looks AND sounds good! Oh yes! With the voice cast from the anime and a strong soundtrack to back it this is one title that sounds as professional as it looks. The voice actors know their stuff, sound great and bring the game to life while the background music matches the situation with a unique flare that is totally Naruto and worthy of some soundtrack purchasing love.

Design – Not much freedom for the developers when it comes to story (already set) or character/setting design (ditto) but how the battles unfold with regular moves and time actions works very well and makes this feel like playing an anime. Gamers and fans are in the Shippuden story arc with ease and it’s seamlessly integrated.

Miscellaneous – Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 on both PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. When Naruto was first licensed in the states the video game rights went to three publishers, one each for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. With Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 the same game now appears on both PS3 and 360 making one next-gen choice which is a treat in place of a variety of games on all systems.

Overall for fans of Naruto reading this, they do so for fun as they must have purchased Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 already. For gamers looking for something different that looks, sounds and plays great then look no further. As Dragon Ball Z put anime games on the map in the last generation it’s now in solid hands with Naruto moving the genre along yet again. Naruto: Shippuden is an excellent anime and manga and with Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 games can be added … nay continued on that list.

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