8.5

Naruto is a great fighting game and I'm not even a fan of the original manga or anime.

I'm a huge fan of the Naruto games and I only read and watched a little of the Naruto anime and manga.
I first got into the Naruto game franchise through Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. I was pulled in through the graphics. They looked unlike anything I've ever seen. You can tell how much work they put into the way the characters move just by looking at some gameplay footage through some youtube footage. So I bought this game just expecting some eye candy. However no where did i expect this game to be actually any good. The story mode was where it was at in Ninja Storm 2. Hands down the best story mode I've played. You really have to experience it for yourself. Some battles incorporated some quick time events for cutscenes that take place in the middle of battle. Those cutscenes where some of the most epic, beautiful, emotional, coolest looking cutscenes I have EVER seen in any movie, TV show, video game, book, ANYTHING! I was born at a time when the highlight of video game graphics was Final Fantasy III for the SNES or even Super Mario World. At that time I never thought a video game could look like a cool over-the-top anime show. So for me at least, this is probably the best a video game is going to ever look. EVER!
So if you come to Storm 2 for the Story Mode, you come to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations for the online mode. This is where I started to notice the gameplay more. Generations incorporated the substitution jutsu bar which is a move you use to teleport behind your enemy. You get 4 and it goes down each time you use it and you need to wait a while before it goes up again. You see, Naruto isn't like any other fighting game, its more strategic than other games because combos isn't really what's important here, like, I like to try and make my opponent waste his substitution bar by using some of my team members jutsus (This is a team battle by the way). Like Tobi's Mindfield jutsu puts bombs around my opponent. Sometimes my opponent will substitute into a bomb, thus wasting their substitution. Once there is no more substitution that my opponent can use, I can use a combo on my opponent and there is nothing my opponent can do about it unless they find someway to keep me away till their substitution bar fills up again. So there's a lot of depth into the gameplay and it kept me very interested. I was addicted to this game at one point, it was a great indepth game even though they took out the story mode but that was okay because Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 was around the corner.
Ninja Storm 3 came. I bought it on the first day it came out. It was my most anticipated game because I knew it would have the story mode from Ninja Storm 2 and the deep gameplay from Ninja Storm Generations................ However both of those elements were lacking in comparison from it's previous games in the series.
Sure it had the epic cutscenes like in Ninja Storm 2 and it will be the best thing i've scene this year but the actual story seems kinda cliche like there's that scene where those ninja's had to battle their sensei and after they defeated him they were like "Alright! Whoever did this? Now I'm mad!" I mean, I'm no story critic but could they have went for a little more subtlety here? I'm not sure how to say this but a lot of conflicts that seem really epic are downsized by piety reactions or awkward dialogue. Storm 2 was no Shakespeare but at least it took itself a lot more seriously. The only time I think I cared about the story was when Sasuke was around. Now he's a good villain. He is actually kinda scary and tragic at times. He appears for a good deal of the story but than is put in the background for the remainder of the game.
The gameplay has also been downsized from the previous games. Chiyo Shuriken support now only puts up 2 shurikens instead of 5. Now there is no reason to pick Chiyo as Support. Shikamaru's bombs now just only stuns your opponent for about a second instead of knocking your opponent away like it should, again, no reason to pick Shikamaru as support. And another thing, why take away Part 1 Shikamaru but leave Part 1 Neji? I kinda liked Part 1 Shikamaru because he was different from current Shikamaru. Part 1 Neji has the same Jutsu as current Neji. Samething with Part 1 Lee. Part 1 Lee is exactly the same as current Lee. Why not replace him with Part 1 Tenten? I don't use part 1 Tenten but I really like to pick her as my team mate because she has a really useful jutsu i like to use. Not only that but some characters jutsus are really downgraded like this one girl who uses gravel to slow down their opponent has been taken away. Now it just knocks back the opponent, like every other jutsu of it's nature. Slowing the opponent down is what made the gravel girl.... The Gravel Girl! Now she's like, just another ninja on the character select screen. If you are gonna take something away from her, leave her ability to decrease the opponents speed and take away her knock back or else you are gonna have a game where a lot of the characters feel the same. That what was good about Naruto Generations, that almost every character felt different, and had different Jutsus that almost never worked the same, life for instance, that gravel girl I talked about, she had the ability to not only knock back the opponent but also decreases the enemies speed. This made her different from Sasuke's Fire Ball Jutsu which also knocked the opponent back but didn't decrease the enemies speed but was not entirely useless because unlike that girls gravel jutsu, Fire Ball Jutsu can be effective from anywhere where as that girls gravel jutsu could only be used from a short range.
So yeah. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is a good game however when compared to it's previous games in the series, it's lacking in comparison.
Also I've been hearing a lot of people talking trash about this game and let me tell you, I'm not embarrassed to say that Naruto is my favorite fighting game of all time because it doesn't require you to spend like a day in training mode to learn certain combos, no, training mode is not required, just learn the basic moves and learn the rest as you go along. Team mode is the way to go to get the most out of the game, you'll learn stuff like what guard, attack and support type is and what team member excels at what team type. Just pick this game up and you'll know what I'm talking about. Put down "critically acclaimed games" like Mass Effect or that new Tomb Raider game and Pick up Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and Generations. Than pick Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3.

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