E3 2008: Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Hands-On

The air is thick with flying fists, feet, and shurikens as we take to the battlefield with Naruto and company.

Everyone's favorite ninja-in-training is coming to the PlayStation 3 this October in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, and we checked out Namco Bandai's booth at E3 2008 to get our hands on this flashy fighting game. The whole Naruto roster is on hand to take place in the action, so fans will be able to create any matchup they please. With its impressively sharp visuals and accessible control system, this is looking to be one of the strongest Naruto titles yet.

Jumping into the head-to-head fighting mode, we chose Sasuke as our primary fighter, but the selecting didn't end there. We then had to choose two teammates to back us up throughout the fight. These allies won't jump in when you are defeated; rather, you can summon them intermittently to jump in, land a flurry of blows on your opponent, and then jump out again. We chose Chouji and Sakura, autoselected our computer opponents, and then headed to a riverside arena for our showdown.

We were initially struck by the ample size of the battle area. It spanned a sandy bank and a grassy knoll beyond and was bordered by forests and the river. We ran around with the left analog stick for a while to get our bearings, and though we wandered hither and yon, we always refocused on our opponent whenever we inclined the stick toward him. The size of the area was evocative of many of the fights from the anime series, which often take place across a broad swath of land. Soon enough our opponent, Naruto himself, got tired of our antics and began a fevered assault.

At first we jumped and dodged out of the way, but then we struck back with attacks of our own. Jump and attack are each mapped to one face button, as is the shuriken throw. We soon felt the need to kick things up a notch, so we hit the chakra button to charge up our strikes. Single shurikens grew larger and multiplied, and our fists and feet began to pack more of a punch. Holding the chakra button down for longer made our attacks even stronger, and soon we were dealing some pretty hefty damage. Naruto countered with his shadow clone technique, which left us pretty low on health. We desperately called in our reinforcements to lend us a hand, and their attacks were quite effective, though we then had to wait a while before using them again and were soon defeated.

Despite getting our headband handed to us, we enjoyed the smooth controls and vibrant visual effects, especially during chakra and jutsu attacks. The open arenas allowed the battle to flow naturally through space, and the flashy reinforcement strikes were definitely handy in a pinch. Naruto is on track for an impressive PlayStation 3 debut, and we'll be sure to keep you updated in the coming months.

Written By

With his Apple IIGS as the spark and his neighbor's NES the fuel, Chris Watters' passion for gaming caught fire early. Y

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Discussion

66 comments
PRANITH002
PRANITH002

this is prolly the first good thing the naruto game have done it looks kickass

forgotenguy
forgotenguy

This game looks really good and it is fun to play but there is no plan for online multiplayer what is up with that?! do they want this game to bomb? what fun is it to fight the computer over and over. what they did was make a rental that will allow you to play the campaign and then take it back.

wolfofthepack
wolfofthepack

their ontrack to a good game hope they dont mess it up cause this looks like a difinite buy 4 me

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

The fighting system sounds great. It looks great too. I'll be keeping a good eye on this.

KING_KEV_321
KING_KEV_321

dam this game comes out a week afta midnight club an motorstorm pr im b broke copin these sikass games smfh lol

Thecruiser54
Thecruiser54

i dont agree with vasot many people like naruto anime and games so do i but if you like fps or rp games go ahead and play does games

monkeyboss1
monkeyboss1

d@mn this game is looking good, im not a big fan of fighting games but i might get this one.

dj_c4
dj_c4

RE: Frapas That would be kind of neat if you could have an RPG / Adventure Naruto game (maybe like Knights of the Old Republic style) Where you could grow a custom ninja in the village, Become a ninja, take the Chunnin exams, go on missions, protect the village, and become a hero or an outcast villain.

Frapas
Frapas

i have the demo on the PS3, i have to say, its gonna be a good game when u can use all characters, still waiting on a naruto game with a "create your ninja" option =D

CrowMan121
CrowMan121

this looks wicked awesome, its just too bad the ps3 is at my dad's house xD (my parents are divorced and i only see him on weekends >.>)

NavySeal-103
NavySeal-103

Yup. Vasot mentionet also that this game was ''ugly'', I wonder what did he try to say with that, so far this game has beautiful graphics. So sad that this game won't have online gameplay :/

chico12
chico12

personal i like naruto and im 20+ my brother cares less and he is 29.. but even he admited that the game was great. he probably would not play it but ppl do not have to say its a bad game just cuz they think the series is childish. from the demo. this game is a 9. had yet to see a good naruto game. and its here at last. and for the one and only mighty ps3. i have a 360 so what, 360 sucks

NavySeal-103
NavySeal-103

Vasot, why would Naruto be childish game ? Sure it has more kids as fans but I think it's not childish, good to play something like this once in a while than GTA IV or Metal Gear Solid 4. I hear that some say that grown people who plays video games is childish too ;) Naruto is a good anime, tough when I reached to shippuuden episodes I was suprised that I wasn't the only adult watching the serie :) This is gonna be good game indeed.

singerr
singerr

cant wait till i can play whit Lee,Gaara and whit Itachi

Vasot
Vasot

Ugly Anime game... Another childish game for PS3

Thecruiser54
Thecruiser54

the games looks cool but the the specials are a crap i just watch naruto bump kakashis face in the ground (which is totally AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but boring when you see it alot i buy the game then the free demo its lame i rader play with hinata shes better than naruto

dj_c4
dj_c4

Ahhhhhh I want this game!!!! The demo is so good, highly recommended if you haven't grabbed it on PSN and are curious about this game.

dirty55409
dirty55409

Glad I have both systems (360 & ps3) :P

DarkSmokeNinja
DarkSmokeNinja

I wish that I had a ps3 just so I can play this game because it looks awsome!

kilik22
kilik22

this is the best next gen naruto game. from the looks of it if there is a sequal it LIKELY to be Naruto Shippuden

Waffleman60
Waffleman60

dude the game kicks ass. Too bad no online play. It stops me from buying it right now but later I'll buy it

flexappeal
flexappeal

The demo was actually surprisingly fun to play. Im not fully versed with the anime myself but after playing the released demo, I think it's a safe bet I'll end up getting this title.

EGoodlife
EGoodlife

the only way to know it's good it's just playing...i'm waiting for that moment but it looks good...

Blizz99
Blizz99

I used to love the series then it got bad so I don't like it anymore except for the first episodes until like Zabuza dies I guess. Anyways, so I'm not a huge fan of the anime you see, but I was amazed by the demo, the amount of freedom in this game was just magnificent! You wouldn't even start to believe how much freedom your given. The game REQUIRES strategy, it's amazing! You can even turn the fight all the way around. My brother and I who are now pretty pro at the demo. We're having a bout, I playing as Kakashi and him playing as Naruto, He had almost a full green bar, while I was at 1/3 of my orange bar left. I summoned up kakshi's sharingan, did some mad damage, called in guy when he called in both of his support characters when I only had one. Blocked all his shurikens even the chakra ones. Did a few chidoris and one special to bring him down to orange. Then he became deamon nine tail fox naruto and I seemed screwed. At taht point it was extreme. Jump, block, throw trap, block block, shuriken, supports fighting eachother, then both of us trying to end it with a final superjutsu! My brother as the nine tail rolled right by me as i performed my super jutsu and went underground. Upon finishing his roll kakashi uppercutted his way or shoryukened his way up from the ground and started his super jutsu! With two lightning blades in hand, it entered a button pattern sequence where whoever taps enough of the pattern as opposed to the attacker will either sucessfully hit or dodge. I, luckily succeeded and performed a visually stunning move where kakashi charges two lightning blades, hit naruto up into the air, he then takes fliight 100m into the sky and performs a lightning zig zag moevement in the air leaving chords of lightning in the sky. stop at naruto and then you see his sharingan fort the final time as he lunges his hands with two more chidoris into Naruto and bolt of lightning flies down the middle of the last zig zags and disperses into particles everywhere in the sky. At the same time you hear a gaiant crash and my brother's character, naruto is KOd.

ultima_weapon21
ultima_weapon21

i AGREE COMPLETELY with Vegeta1120 hahahaha to Jono__789 if u like fighting thos os a good game,if u like naruto this is a good game great game for fans but if ur judging a game JUST because u dont like the anime well its like judging a book by its cover.do ur self a favor TRY the game 1ce if u hate the fighting then u got the right to say its crap but just judging the game because of the characters ur gonna miss on a great fighting game to beat ur friends at.BESIDES THATS the REAL reason we all LOVE fighting games just so we can BEAT THE SNOT out of our friends and talk smack about it.

tlow0678
tlow0678

demo = amazing cant wait for this game

yellowflash89
yellowflash89

thyis narut ogame is gonna be the best one yet and 2 those naruto fans who like the ultimate ninja series and still play them naruto shippuden for the ps2 will b coming out 2009 in North America

ukxxboi
ukxxboi

played the demo aint fully versed on the cartoon jus know the just of it played a few others in the past and this by far is the best (far as the demo goes) graphics and general look true to the series......sooo getting this ... i mean come on running on water dude ....games awesome...cant wait

Vegeta1120
Vegeta1120

all of you who are judgeign it saying your not gonna get it, shut up an play the freaken demo b4 u judge it, its so solid, btu then your probably just some 360 fanboy who is upset at the crap they dished on 360, it was trash, this on the other hand is gonna be great.

tyzwain
tyzwain

Heard of it, but doesnt really appeal to me.

xXJ0N0K3RXx
xXJ0N0K3RXx

Naruto sucks balls im not buying this piece of crap game

burstlimit514
burstlimit514

its really fun! Now i just have to pick 3 games comming out that i will buy...This made it even harder.

batman360
batman360

never played Naruto, but might give this a shot.

ognen
ognen

Never been into Naruto...

Nylon4
Nylon4

I played the demo of this game, best naruto game yet

Akatsuki398
Akatsuki398

This could be the most antcipated Naruto title yet.

8dragoneyes
8dragoneyes

i think this game will get a 8.5 on gamespot

gmax
gmax

Something for the next gen Naruto fans...

MQJ13
MQJ13

This game s gonna be awesome

DirtyRedd15
DirtyRedd15

Nope. There will be no online play :(

saborzero
saborzero

anyone know if there will be online play?? This is a must for me with fighting games nowadays

keyroon
keyroon

does anyone know if theres a freeroam storymode

singerr
singerr

naruto games are awesome and now there an 3d game cool !!!