Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 Review
Boss Battles… ‘Nuff said.
No really, that’s all I really need to say about this game. I’ll go into detail about that later. After a week of playing, finishing and some online games with total strangers I put this game down satisfied with my purchase. Of course, like every game created, it isn’t perfect, but the one thing it sets out to do, it does –EXTREMELY- well. Let’s break this down into the game’s multiple styles of play; Story, free battle, Online battling, and Options.
Story: Well, the game goes through the whole Shippuden story from the time Naruto returns to the village from his two year training with Jiraiya, up to a little after the battle of Sage Naruto vs Pain. Of course, one of the main positives of the game is that it sticks very close to the anime/manga’s telling of the story. At many times it will feel like you are actually playing the anime, that is a pretty good feeling IMO.
The normal phase of the story mode consists of free running, cut-scenes, battles, and boss battles.
Free running is exactly what it sounds like, you run around talking to NPCs and collecting items to unlock in shops. Items are picked from objects like flowers, trunks, trees, animals, ect. To make this easier, you may be granted a bonus by praying to a luck shrine making farming for items much easier. Items tend to respawn if you move 5-6 areas away or cause an event, like a battle. A glaring negative is that, compared to Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Storm 1, Ninja Storm 2 is incredibly linear in exploration. You are restricted to streets and paths, even though you have the ability to jump… you can’t really go anywhere with that… If I am wrong, SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT ME IN THE COMMENTS. Please… lol.
You have many optional side missions for bonuses and points. There is also a “relationship” thing that fills when you do character specific missions or quests…but this can easily be bypassed if you just buy them all a certain respective item. Also concerning free running… I spend most of the time running around collecting items rather than fighting or viewing cut-scenes. Then again, I am an item-whore so that could just be me. ALSO, I WISH I COULD MOVE FASTER. I know I’m supposed to enjoy the scenery (Which is beautiful btw.) but running through the same areas over and over makes me wish I had something similar to ninja speed, or something activate-able like that. :P
Now onto the Boss Battles… BOSS BATTLES BOSS BATTLES BOSS BATTLES BOSS BATTLES… Ok, I got that out of my system. BOSS BATTTTLESSS… This is how a boss battle should feel like. Crazy things happen, you feel super awesome, things are different than normal battles, and sometimes different mechanics are available for that one battle. A few of these battles are ridiculously dramatic and over the top… I love it! They feel so refreshing.
I have left each battle satisfied and each boss battle had its own little gimmick that grabs your attention and made you want to play. One boss battle had a massive dodging segment, a different boss battle had a fight through the air that involved locking onto the target, and another caused clashes between the characters depending on your actions.
I sometimes wish other action games followed this style of boss battles, or at least spruce up the boss battles to make them feel LIKE ACTUAL BOSS BATTLES. Rather than just an overpowered normal character that takes more hits and does more damage.
Nothing really special here, this is pretty straight forward. For free battle you can choose to fight a human or a computer or have two computers fight each other if you’re lazy. You can choose between single character battles or a single character battles with backup.
Online mode is pretty much the same as free battle except with people over the internet. It would be in your best interest to find someone that has a maxed out connection bar because any sort of lag in this game will throw you off. For the first few games it will be quite apparent.. OMG… PEOPLE SPAM SO MUCH… and this is true; however, they can be easily beaten if you practice your Ukemi and time your blocks. Or better yet, expect a spammer to spam and set them up for a beating with bombs or ranged melee attacks or give out punishment when they whiff on your block.
Options: Nothing really special here except for the ability to change between Japanese and English speech. I like the normal speaking in English, but when it comes to battle some of the voices feel so much better in Japanese. Take Pain’s “Almighty Push”, it sounds TERRIBLE/WEAK in English… but in Japanese it sounds so much more deadlier. I liked English Neji but they changed his Ultimate…this brings me to…
You have your normal attack buttons which crank out ridiculous combos, using the left stick you can alter the combo to a different variation. Pressing X on being pushed away will execute ukemi(Replace yourself with an object). One button for throwing shurikans and other stuff, And a jump button somewhere in the mix. The most important button there is the chakra button. Holding it down allows you to gather chakra. Pressing it once gives you a single layer of chakra which allows you to throw super ranged stuff, chakra dash forward/backwards, and perform simple Jutsu. Pressing it twice opens you up to performing your Ultimate Jutsu.
Speaking of Ultimate Jutsu, there are many character’s Ultimates that are extremely satisfying, and then there are some that leave you wanting more since it is called an Ultimate. I’m happy they trashed the ridiculously long Ultimate cutscenes in Ninja Storm 1, but some of the Ultimates don’t feel ultimate or don’t look very ultimate in comparison to the other Jutsus. Neji’s ultimate makes me cry, it’s the only rendition of his ultimate where we don’t see the classic 2-4-8-16-32-64 palms… It’s more of a strange running dash and blur stuff. :\ Meh. Lol. FAN-BOI RAEG!
Finally, the last gameplay mechanic is Awakenings. When you are under 50% health, you can overcharge your chakra to enter the Awakening state. In this state, your character has increased power, is immune to a variety of effects, and on some occasions, your attacks/jutsu changes shape/form/effect. One thing I really like about Awakening is that IT MAKES A FREAKIN DIFFERENCE. It’s not just, “lol I hit harder”… It’s more of a turd hitting the fan and your about to get wrecked hardcore. You fear it… (If the person knows what they are doing~)
Other mentionables: The camera is perfect, it tries it’s hardest to keep all characters in the screen at once and succeeds for the most part. I like how it isn’t stationed behind any specific character, it kind of acts like a mobile bystander. You could be in the foreground, you could be in the background, its dynamic! Woo… my only problem is that if someone in the foreground backs up onto the arena edge(which is a horrible tactic), the camera has a low chance of forgetting to swivel around and you get a nice shot of trees and the sound of your character screaming bloody murder as the computer eats your face.
As usual with the Naruto series it contains Unlockable characters, moves, clothing, side missions and other silly hidden things. But really… BOSS BATTTLLEEESSSS!
Special Note: The graphics. They are beautiful. Kudos to the Storm Team for putting out such impressive graphics. I cannot stress enough how beautiful the graphics look.
If you disagree with anything I’ve said or if I have made a mistake, please let me know in the comments!
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