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POSTED 12/3/13


NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 3

Bandai

PS3 (also on Xbox 360)

If you think that ‘Naruto Shippuden’ might be the parent company of a Japanese vehicle manufacturer then you may as well move along now. Go on. Or goon if you’re a cheap wine buff.

For Naruto’s actually a teenaged ninja of spiky yellow ’do, with a big problem. You see, he has a massive nine-tailed demon thingy squished inside him in a feat of space-saving that the would leave the makers of those vacuum bags for clothing in sheer awe. He’s the titular star of a huge manga/anime sensation, and this here instalment involves the fourth great ninja war which, of course, follows the three average ninja wars and the seven really kinda shitty ninja wars.

If you’re into story then you’re in luck, for what’s ostensibly a beat ’em up has a bloody lot of movie in it. You want elongated cutscenes akin to watching the teev show? You got ’em, complete with English or Japanese voicing. Actual outbreaks of gameplay bring mostly one button combat that’s deceptively complex, for that one button can pull off numerous combos to go with assorted other potions and whatsits that you can summon for biffnificent assistance.

Of course you can eschew the adventure mode with its occasional free roam bits that pack about as much meat on their bones as a Jenny Craig-obsessed Skeletor and just dive into various free battle modes, eventually boasting some 80+ characters and a chunky pile of postcard-perfect locations.

This is for fans, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They’ll lap up the quality animation and extension of the TV story arc. Anybody else who’s just after a fighting game may find it rather impenetrable though. Luckily there are plenty of alternatives, including Asura’s Wrath from the same devs – and no, that’s nothing to do with pissed off Hondas...

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.