While being a completely unorthadox fighter, Narutimate Hero 2 is a fun game that greatly appeals to fans of the series.

User Rating: 8.8 | Naruto: Narutimate Hero 2 PS2
Naruto is known as one of the finest animes ever made. It is currently tearing up to the top of Japan and America's favorite animes, as well as providing Viz a great amount of customers for its appearance in Shounen Jump. It's also jumped straight up to the top of Toonami's must-shows, being given numerous timeslots that even the greatest of action shows, including DragonBall Z, did not earn until more than a year of airing. Given all this publicity as a killer action series, it only deserves a set of games, and what better to complement a good action show but with a good fighter? Narutimate Hero 2 picks up the original's slack by providing a long and satisfying story mode, providing many more characters, putting in numerous unlocks, and adding in new jutsus and strings. All in all, Narutimate Hero 2 is the sum of many good parts with few flaws.

NH2, unlike its Gamecube counterparts, is more of a platform-fighter (brawler) than anything. While there are a few combos, they're brutally easy to pick up on and require skill more to string to jutsus than to master on their own. As an unorthadox fighter, NH2 forces the player more to learn reflexes than to practice long and hard to master a length of combos.
There are five basic ways to take down your opponent. Simple attack combos will be the core of fighting, allowing you to wear down your opponent's defense and to string in other attacks. Jutsus are used either to lure your opponent into battle or to finish off a string with a satisfying knock of health. Throws are used to counter heavy guards, and Oi Uchis are used to finish off a simple throw or attack string with a precision-timing battle. The juice of your battle lies in Ougi attacks. These are attacks that must be performed while your opponent's guard is down. They cut into a seperate screen where you and your opponent have a button-mashing contest while seeing manga-style scenes of your character's jutsus. These cut off anywhere from a quarter to a half of your opponent's health and often give an extra effect, like heavy speed or attack bonuses, to the user.
Players are also given four defense moves. One could simply block, which is mostly useful and prevents the enemy from using Ougis, but it leaves you open to throws. Kawarimi no Jutsu (replacement technique) is a simple tap of the block button that requires perfect timing and allows you to teleport behind the enemy and completely dodge almost any attack (though projectiles and Ougis are particularily hard to time right), leaving your enemy open to ALL attacks. There is also a dash move performed by double-tapping the jump button that allows you to cut through certain thrown projectiles and tears straight through your opponent's guard. In the event that your enemy uses Oi Uchi on you, you will need to hold the reverse directional and tap the attack button. This will allow you to completely counter the opponent's attack. All in all, the fighting system is very simple yet incredibly reflexive. This allows for a satisfying fight that could be easily turned around in a tap of a button.

The graphics have a smooth feel to them and are pulled straight from the anime. The characters look almost identical to their manga counterparts, and their Ougis will put you right into the middle of the memorable fights, complete with a shifting perspective and altered pace. The graphics ultimately suffer from a heap of aliasing with no progressive scan.

The sound is actually pretty impressive. All the seiyuu from the anime voice the characters, so they all sound just as they should. The music is appropriate to the stage, and even changes mid-battle to fit the Ougi scenes.

With 33 characters, a heap of missions from every ranking, and numerous things to buy, it'll be a long time before you have the game beaten 100%. And even when you're done, the versus mode lasts forever.

Defining Moment:
Using Rock Lee's Kawarimi variant to jump behind the enemy, cut into a four-scene Ougi, and then cut down the other 50% of the enemy's health using his rediculously high speed.