Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 Hands-On

We return to Hidden Leaf Village and brush up on our Jutsu in Namco Bandai's upcoming Naruto game for the PlayStation Portable.

Naruto Uzumaki may look a bit more grown up in the Shippuden series, but he's still the same brash character that left Hidden Leaf Village two and a half years ago. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 tells the story of the young spiky-haired ninja who has returned to his village, only to realize that everyone else has risen in rank while he was off training. Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 for the PlayStation Portable mixes good old-fashioned brawls and side-scrolling missions with a solid line-up of all your favorite characters from the Naruto universe.

One of the features of the game is the Master Road, a story-driven experience that will take you through the Naruto Shippuden storyline up to the Hidan and Kakuzu arc. The story follows Naruto on his ongoing adventure to save his friend Sasuke, but it starts off with Naruto, Sakura, and Kakashi teaming up to rescue Gaara from the Akatsuki. In Master Road, the missions, as well as story events, are represented by squares and connected on a path that can also split off. You don't necessarily have to complete everything, but you earn ninja points each time you complete a mission. Ninja points can be spent to purchase tactics, collectables, and ninjutsu moves, which you'll come across during your travels. Tactics are enhancements that you can tack onto yourself before you start a mission to give yourself the upper hand. You can only choose one, though, so there's a little bit of strategy in figuring out what would work best in the given situation, such as greater jumping power or increased speed. Collectables like pictures, music, and ultimate jutsu movies can also be purchased with NPs, as well as viewed in Naruto's home. Additional ninjutsu moves can be bought, but they're only available for use in Free Battle mode.

Each mission comes with a win condition and can vary between a fight against one or up to four characters. Or missions may come in the form of a side-scrolling adventure where you must either defeat a certain number of foes before the timer runs out or get to the end of the stage. Missions that can be played cooperatively are indicated by an icon in the map menu, so you can team up with up to two friends via ad hoc and battle your way to victory. You can always skip or even replay missions to earn more NPs, and there are more than 80 of them to complete. For some free-for-all fights, Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 introduces four-player battles over ad hoc, where you can play against three friends and team up for some powerful jutsu attacks.

There are more than 50 playable characters, including young Kakashi and Obito Uchiha from the Naruto Shippuden special, Kakashi Chronicles. As you progress through the game's story mode, you'll encounter familiar faces that will eventually be unlocked to play as in Free Battle mode. You'll also have the opportunity to play as other characters as you go through the story, depending on the scenario, so you're not always playing as Naruto.

Birds hate ninjas.

The game's story is voice acted and presented with great still art, as well as character portraits. Some of the side-scrolling areas are reused, however, but the environments are nice backdrops for your ninja roughhousing. The controls are tight, and you'll easily be able to get the hang of the combat through a few practice sessions. Naruto fans should keep an eye on Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 when it is released sometime in May.

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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3

Discussion

82 comments
ultima_weapon21
ultima_weapon21

i had ultimate ninja heroes and i loved it(SPECIALLY ITACHY WITH MAX STATS)

Sparkhy
Sparkhy

It goes all the way to Hidan and Kakazu?!? Dang, this game looks long and fun! My favorite combonation! Exept, the battling itself does not look as fun. I guess I'll find out. I can't wait!

Wizav
Wizav

not bad, but the game looks maybe a little to linear. And the crows again WTF...

sonnysep
sonnysep

This is awesome and all. I'm still gonna get but way didn't they release Ultimate Ninja 5 for PS2. Come Gamespot don't fail me please tell them to release it in America.

AlphaJez
AlphaJez

@JohnisGodd Ah yes, you are correct. I didn't make myself clear enough, I meant that I don't hope they will go on with this particular series, like Budokai.

JohnisGodd
JohnisGodd

@alphaJez Theres more naruto games than dbz out there >.>

daman246
daman246

this game will be much better if played on a ps3 which will probably be later on

daman246
daman246

well this game seems pretty good now they added 4players to the ultimate ninja series which makes it just like clash of ninja series which was awesome

olivares14
olivares14

I think its pretty decent and the best one

AlphaJez
AlphaJez

Hmm... I was sceptical at first, but it seems decent enough. I just hope they won't overdo the amount of Naruto games, like Dragon Ball.

gamermanjames
gamermanjames

personaly i'm OK with it cus the last few heroes games they didn't have a story mode like this

RTUUMM
RTUUMM

Why Naruto fighting birds? I hate when they put stupid stuff like this to drag the game

xxnike629xx
xxnike629xx

How about releasing Ultimate Ninja 5 on the North American PS2?

digimonkey12
digimonkey12

Man I love sidescrollers for the PSP ( goes perfect with the widesscreen ) and even though I have not seen the anime I might buy this game anyway.

Crimsader
Crimsader

Are there going to be Pain and Konan in the English version? I heard they're feature only in the Japanese version of da game...

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

@limneosgreen:::: probably a hundred haha as long as it gets famous that is

limneosgreen
limneosgreen

how many of these games are they going to make...

dragospodariu
dragospodariu

hmmmm this may turn out to be a very good game :D

SkeithHaseo122
SkeithHaseo122

this should be way better with 4 player battling

Teengamer94
Teengamer94

all I want is to play as a faster moving gaara. That and for this game to be available on the PSN too. Does anyone know when any of the previous Naruto games will be available on the PSN? I mean I really want Nartuto UNH 1 & 2 and Naruto Legends: Akatsuki Rising!!

Paul790195
Paul790195

rasterror the game stops at the fight Sasuke vs Itachi you unlock sai at the start of the Hidan and Kakuzu Arc as the game goes on you get the main Naruto story and then some filler Crunk_Dog Kiba and Akamaru can not be played as solo thay are played as one

manilove2d
manilove2d

YES!! FINALLY! A Quality Naruto 2D side scroller for PSP!

DevilKazeya
DevilKazeya

i hope the attacks r more different like wat happened in naruto ultimate ninja heroes 2 :D

kkidkifresh
kkidkifresh

check out hulu all the shows u love and more

tmaclabi
tmaclabi

I really love Naruto games. And now a much cooler Naruto version is coming to the PSP wow!

keyroon
keyroon

Hang on, correct me if I'm wrong guys but did'nt the jap version go up to the pein vs Jiraiya story?

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

Looking forward to this. I have the original Ultimate Ninja on PS2 and enjoyed it.

cierraroxs
cierraroxs

I'm a sucker for Naruto games. They could probably release the exact same game with a different number attached to it and I'd go buy it. Ok maybe I wouldn't but the games really are a lot of fun. I love the flashy specials too. Rock Lee FTW!

silveraddiction
silveraddiction

English subs, japanese audio! thats the better they can do! at least leave an option to change those english voices... lol

Murderdoll_666
Murderdoll_666

Oh man I forgot how bad the english voices are. Still this looks pretty good.

Crunk_Dog
Crunk_Dog

For once, can Kiba and Akamaru be a playable character in one of the Naruto games?

gunshottrigun
gunshottrigun

I'm hoping it comes out on the PSN along with the PSP release. I emailed Namco Bandai about the previous title being released on the PSN, they responded with no plans for such a thing. That makes me hope this new title will be released then.

SpiKeX-Crom
SpiKeX-Crom

"I have to smoke like I have to breath. It gives me inner strength!" Lol, little kuriboh.

Tornado_Volcano
Tornado_Volcano

@rasterror Sai will be in the game (not mentioned here), and they mentioned that UNH3 is going 'til the Hidan and Kakuzu Arc (read above again)...

rasterror
rasterror

Meh. They didn't mention if Sai was in it. I wonder if they get to the point when Sasuke battles Itachi or when Naruto battles Pein. Would be great if they got to where Sasuke fought the 8 tails or when he fights Danzo. Both epic battles.

admund
admund

english dubs are bad most of the time for jap games...just sounds fake.. jap dub w/ eng subs are the best =] KH is a jap game which has rather good eng dub in it. =) im proud to say

ALFRED_mvp01
ALFRED_mvp01

i have the game but the akatsuki is not complete only 3 pains and has no zetsu

fire-afro
fire-afro

@unknown57 I agree, most JP games and animes can have some pretty horrible and sometimes awkward english dubs. But that usually only matters to the fans doesn't it?

Ranma_X_basic
Ranma_X_basic

Game looks cool but i'm gonna wait for Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 since it's coming out for both the ps3 and 360. But a portable naruto game is good too.