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Review

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations Review

  • Game release: March 13, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations improves on the series' fun and flashy fighting mechanics, but drops a few features along the way.

by

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations is a good gateway into the world of fighting games. As with previous games in the Storm series, Generations' core combat mechanics are accessible enough for a large audience to enjoy while still rewarding practice and proficiency. This series has a beautiful visual style and an aggressive combat rhythm uniquely its own. But while the core mechanics remain intact, Generations drops some features found in its predecessors and offers shallow alternatives.

Watching a match of Generations is a lot like watching Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy--it appears complicated but is quite simple. For Generations, matches are fought between two opponents until one side runs out of health. The face buttons control attacking, dashing, throwing shurikens, and manipulating chakra. Chakra is the currency of special attacks and can be used in conjunction with any of the other three functions for enhanced results. For instance, using chakra and dash together lets you move farther more quickly, while chakra and attack together produce devastating special moves.

These special moves are the main point of distinction between this game's 72 playable characters. Generations, like previous Naruto fighting games, focuses its efforts on providing interesting outputs rather than inputs. There's no need to master complex combo timing or to study the particulars of a light punch versus a medium kick. The vast majority of fighters use the same style and tactics. Proficiency steams from mastering the fighting system, rather than individual characters. Whether you're a novice or a veteran, the fights are still fast-paced bouts filled with fireballs, tidal waves, and more.

The backbone of Generations' combat system is the substitution technique, which lets a character teleport behind his or her attacker. This mechanic drives the flow of combat, which, at its most basic, follows a rhythm of strike, teleport, strike, teleport, and so on until one side cannot teleport further. The challenge is manipulating that flow so your opponent exhausts his or her substitutions before you do. This gives the game an overwhelming focus on aggressive, rush-down tactics and doesn't leave much room for different fighting styles.

In addition to being the game's backbone, the substitution technique has received significant changes. Previously, it depleted the chakra gauge when used, which led to some unintended exploits from skilled players. Now, this technique has its own dedicated gauge that is divided into four sections. Each section affords one substitution and refills automatically. The window for performing a substitution is larger in this game as well. These tweaks make each substitution extremely valuable and lower the skill barrier by de-emphasizing precise timing and instead focusing on resource management. They maintain the core strategy of substitutions while making the technique more accessible.

Items and assist characters add complexity to your arsenal.

Generations does a marvelous job of re-creating the look and feel of its televised counterpart. The visual style is smooth and crisp, with a high-contrast art style that reflects the colorful look of the show. Each character's most powerful attack includes swooping camera angles that highlight the devastation. Sadly, the road to these moments is needlessly difficult since the game lacks a comprehensive tutorial. Diving into the training mode options menu reveals a command list with the game's most basic functions, but some of the finer points--such as how assist characters can extend combos--are left unspoken.

The narrative mode in Generations has dramatically changed from previous games. What used to be a large, interactive world to explore has been reduced to a glorified arcade mode. The former was often bogged down with numerous uninspired fetch quests, but even so it was an interesting way to explore the world of Naruto. Its replacement weaves a tale through narration and stills that bookend each fight. This structure is a safe bet, but lacks the epic cinematic events, rail-shooting sequences, and other unique features of the former mode.

The online offering in Generations is very robust. Across numerous matches of varying connection strengths, this game's performance is consistently excellent. There is hardly any noticeable lag or other connection issues. When playing with a group, spectating is available for the non-active players. Replay support is also included, letting you view and download replays of other matches, but there isn't any way to filter replays, which is unfortunate.

Fighting earns you money to spend on new items and cosmetics for your online profile.

Thanks to the tweaks to the substitution technique, the combat mechanics in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations feel better than ever. But as a whole, this game is a minor refinement over the previous installments. Generations is still a solid fighter, but definitely leaves you wanting more variety in its modes.

The Good
Fluid animation supports vibrant art style
Solid online with spectator/replay support
Flashy and accessible combat system.
The Bad
Streamlined story mode
Lacks dedicated tutorial
Younger characters feel redundant to older counterparts.
7
Good
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Discussion

19 comments
symphony4flamez
symphony4flamez

I got this game for my modded 360 and I still want a refund. I am a huge naruto fan buy this copy and paste degenerate backwards naruto game has even me running face first into a rasengan. They removed all the epic story scenes and different free roam gameplay, and just did another street fighter 4 where you get bullshit text and a ending which 100% of naruto fans have already seen in anime and manga, so we skip it. What do you have left when skipping more then half the game? Cheap story cpu where everything is on +80 to +100 attack damage handicap to make it seem more a challenge. It is bad enough story cpu is automaticaly on level 9 but to add this cheap shit, all we can do is spam cheap dash to air combo or spam charged up jutsus over and over over... Then people complain online about fuk noob jaja no skill you spam only. The entire story of the game not only encourages BUT forces us to use cheap spam tactics to beat the game, it should be the opposite for whoever doesn't spam online, clearly never beat the story mode.

ChrisP20
ChrisP20

My friends have this game and they both love it. I'm going to have to get it soon. I beat the one before this.

duffellcoat
duffellcoat

I did a play a demo of this on my ps3. Looks cool

ColdScorpion
ColdScorpion

Its a shame this game's only flaws lie within the single player elements which is the shallowness of the storymode. The online and MP aspects of the game are dead on. I would rate the storymode at 7.0 but the online would get a 9.0 imo so as a whole this game would be a solid 8.0

tmarinucci
tmarinucci

Can't they make a naruto fighting game, or any anime fighting game really, that isn't shallow and has fighting mechanics similar to tekken or soul calibur? In all the anime fighting games I've played the move sets and play style have been universal through all the characters. Such a shame when you consider how much variety there is with these characters fighting styles on their respective shows. So much potential phoned in to make a mediocre novelty game.

Caduceus89
Caduceus89

How far into the manga does the story go? I'm behind in the manga and don't want to see a gimped version in the game.

FelipeMagro
FelipeMagro

I expected the redundancy. But i didn't get any of it's predecessors, my chance to pick a copy...

darshie76
darshie76

Basically the same game of the previous one, with the only change in the mechanics using the limited subs. What hurts the most thou is the full price, the bunch of useless young characters (just fan service, I would rather like to get better moves for the adult versions honestly), and the story mode that looks like the one on the PSP (I like the fact that I can avoid to spend hours wandering on the map, but the map in UNS2 was just right size wise). DBZ was among the first to implement the "substitution", which in dBZ is called teleport, and works exactly the same. Dimps made that game on PS2, and looks like CC2 took the idea and implemented in the UNS series... The game is cool but I keep my UNS2 and skip this one....I can live without the young version of the characters and the kyuubi mode naruto (got the psp games, so I have plenty of characters).

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

dw9872
dw9872

@Proman84: "Streamlined" means "simplified," which is often a bad thing in video games (just look at Dragon Age 2).

Culochilegge
Culochilegge

Ohhh, a game based on the clone of dragon ball got only 7, well i gived the last f**k yesterday so...

hickabickabooya
hickabickabooya

I'm a little disappointed by reduced storyline, but in NS:UNS2 the mission almost made the game tedious, so maybe it is an improvement. I'm still going to get it, as I'm happy with the revamped substitution control (I found it a bit testy in the last installment)

Proman84
Proman84

Why is "Streamlined story mode " a negative?

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

Not interested after playing the demo. Seemed identical to 2. This is the first time I dont buy The new game dating back to the PS2 games.

tagyhag
tagyhag

7.0 is considered "good" last time I checked.

Tokizu
Tokizu

Leave it to gamespot to give another great game such a mediocre score.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations More Info

First Release on Mar 13, 2012
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations combines characters from both of the series timelines for players to battle it out.
8.4
Average User RatingOut of 503 User Ratings
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Developed by:
CyberConnect2
Published by:
Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games, Namco Bandai Games America
Genres:
Fighting, 3D, Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Teen
All Platforms
Cartoon Violence, Mild Language