Naruto: Clash of Ninja


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 2

Overall: 2


Naruto is the latest in an ever growing line of anime properties being shoved at kids today, It's caught on quick, and with a gold mine of Naruto games sitting over in Japan, it's no surprise they're being translated. The problem is this is not a great game, and in a market with countless other anime one-on-one fighters, Naruto does nothing new.

narutoclashninja1gc.jpg (27887 bytes)Everything about Naruto is generic. The cel-shaded graphics are gorgeous, but we've seen them before. The same goes for the fighting engine, which has so much in common with the Dragon Ball Z fighters, that it's utterly amazing that there's a different development team at work.

What this all means is Naruto has been adapted to be as accessible as possible. Combos are rarely more complex than hitting a bunch of buttons in the proper sequence. The easy access to projectiles takes away a lot of strategy, and the absurdity of being able to launch a special attack with the press of the R trigger is impossible to comprehend. There's accessible and then there's dumb. The latter is Naruto.

Button mashing is welcome too. That's not to say there isn't some strategy. 3-D movement is necessary, counter attacks need to be timed, and risking it all with a charged super may not be worth the payoff if you miss. At its core however, the original Street Fighter II had far more depth than this.

Like the fighting engine itself, the options are barely even noticeable. With a "massive" roster of eight characters, three useful gameplay modes, and few reasons to come back, there's nothing worth recommending here. Fans of the franchise will find controlling their favorite characters enjoyable, while everyone else will continue wishing for more characters in general.

The story is told through still shots and voice acting from the dubbing cast. There's very little footage of the show aside from the intro cinematic. It cheapens the game, and again, makes it feel almost exactly like the Dragon Ball Z Budokai series.

Tomy deserves to apologize to the fans of the series too. Importers have been raving about Naruto 4, its wealth of features, characters, and moves. Instead, Tomy is going to milk the target audience with a "new" game every few months until they catch up. It's inexcusable and fans have every right to be aggravated.

For fans of the anime series itself, Clash of Ninja (shouldn't it be Clash of THE Ninja?) provides the action they should expect. They're the target audience and the only ones who will find this lackluster attempt exciting. Fighting games fans will know better, bad review or not.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Sunday, June 25, 2006 11:34 PM