Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 Hands-On

Everyone's favorite blonde ninja returns for more Wii Remote fighting.

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Last year saw the release of Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution, the popular orange-clad ninja's first entry into the world of Wii fighting games. Unfortunately, that particular entry wasn't the most sparkling one. What many saw as a limited cast of characters and a lack of fresh content kept the game from carving out a special place in the hearts of Naruto fans. With Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2, Tomy is aiming to right these wrongs with a new storyline and gameplay modes while delivering a larger, more balanced cast of characters.

Visuals look much the same, save for the new widescreen and progressive scan support.
Visuals look much the same, save for the new widescreen and progressive scan support.

Last year's game offered a selection of 20 characters. That number has been bumped up this time around to a portly 35. A light sprinkling of brand-new characters designed just for the game is included in that figure, but the vast majority should be familiar to fans of the series. And at the risk of sounding overly cryptic, we understand that a pair of particularly interesting characters from the show will be making an appearance, but we'll have to wait a bit longer to get firm details on that front.

Besides just adding to the roster, much of the focus this time around has been on balancing characters. The developer found many characters to be a bit overpowered last year, so now it has gone under the proverbial hood with an eye on keeping characters on a level playing field. But when playing as these fighters, you'll find that they still control much the same. The weak attack is done with a remote waggle, while the strong attack is used with the A button. Special hand signs can be done by tracing remote gestures on the screen, which help power you up. In addition, you unleash special attacks after you've built up enough chakra power, which triggers a long, dramatic cutscene in which your character does his or her thing for the camera. Similar moments of dramatic flair are shown when a fighter is knocked from one level section to another because each setting comes with the areas that can serve as battlegrounds. The number of fighting environments has also been bumped up to 15 for this go around.

The Story mode will feature 24 missions and an original plot not seen in the television show or comics. However, certain points in the story will intertwine with what fans have experienced in the series, so it won't be a completely foreign viewing experience. The Mission mode will build upon this number with 300 missions.

Visually, the game looks similar to last year's, but it has a bit more crispness, thanks to newfound support for widescreen displays and progressive scan. It's still far from the prettiest of all cel-shaded Naruto games, but the sheer speed of battles combined with the blizzard of visual effects goes a long way to compensate. We should have more on Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2, including details on the aforementioned characters and a few new gameplay modes, in the near future. In the meantime, Naruto diehards can mark their calendars for a fall release.

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