Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Genrations is the game adaptation of the World renowned Manga. Like it's predecessors, It includes a vast cast of characters from the manga and pits them against each other; to truly find out who the ultimate ninja really is. But there's a twist, not only are there present characters; but also the young charaters(versions) of Naruto's friends, foes and ancestry blended into one Large roster.(72 characters!)
Well, Its common sense really. The Naruto series draws far too large a fan-following to not have a video game series. What is it about? Ninjas of course!( fighting, brawling, counter-attackingand .......well, more fighting) Brawling is the way to go for this Series. After palying it on my PS3 for almost 15 hours, I can without a shadow of a doubt say - This is an enchanting, praiseworthy and a kick-ass entry into the Naruto Universe.
Lets break it down:
- Graphics and Audio:
The previous entrants in this long-running series from Namco Games has always been graphically impressive. From the characters to the varied environments, it's all lush with richness. And this? It's no exception. It's just as awesome to look at as was with Naruto: Ninja Storm 2.
The visual splendour that it is, gleefully encapsulates(i know my words :p) the game. You will feel right at home if you're a fan(like me), with HD though, this game truly shines. It's suffice to say that you are actually watching the anime, it's that good. Just this time, the fate of the characters' hangs in the balance; a balance that you control.
The audio is good to the ears. Give's the battles that bit more....feel. Namco have always provided good sound to the series and this proves it.
- Control Mechanics:
You'd be pretty familiar if you've played any of it's previous entrants before. Because not much has changed. The controls are simple. The face buttons stimulate attacking, dashing, throwing shurikens and manipulating chakra(used for special combos) and other special moves(ultimate jutsus'). Unlike other games, button-mashing won't help you here. You have to be prepared and calculative. The game has no tutorials to make/help you learn so, you'll learn the hard way. But thats exactly what I loved. It will Encourage you to learn and be creative so that you dont get pum-melled. Believe me, the AI is not to joke around with. Yeah, there are difficulty levels but on lower settings, they are hardly a challenge. Hard is where it's at. It took me a couple of tries rather than hours as I'm a fan and then I started rampaging through the story mode. Speaking of which.....
- Game Modes:
Like the games in its series before it, this also has:
- Story mode
- Surivial mode
- Tournament mode
- Multiplayer/ Online mode.
The Story mode is a little different this time. It does not focus on a singular story aspect but opts to divide the story between the numerous characters. You’ll tackle both a young and teen Naruto tale that covers pretty familiar ground; check out the perspective from Sasuke’s end in his own story, run through Jiraiya’s confrontation with Pain, and handful of other stories. And for the most part, it succeeds.
The Survival mode like its name, is all about survival. It is divided up into ranks and features you fighting successive battles against enemies without a break. Your life bar wont replenish after a fight, but if you clear a certain objective(s) in a battle; you will get a little boost going into the next brawl. The survival rankings are also divided into a series of themed fights.
The Tournament mode is similar in setup to the Survival mode. You fight your competition one after another. Exception here being, there are varitety of themed tournaments to participate in. More than that of Survival. Well, both the Survival and Tournament modes net you unlocks, which Generations is absolutely packed with. You'll also earn in-game currency which can be used to shop and unlock a whole lot off stuff. That my friend, is absolute joy!
Then comes the ever-so-popular Online/Multiplayer Mode, which is the other side of the coin. This mode is the soul of the game. You can directly jump in and choose from the huge; 72 characters' roster. Each character with his own devastating special justsu, is fantastic to watch. The chakra and limited dodging system keeps things balanced and no character feels too strong, which is a good thing. You are armed with bombs and potions which come handy at critical moments. Online play also offers up Ranked and Player matches. Winning Ranked matches will earn you battle points, and you can even participate in Custom Ranked matches to wager your earned battle points. There’s a Ninja Card system in place that’s based off of a real world collectible card game for Naruto, which are used to represent your avatar in the online space. An awesome feature. These cards also function as boosters for your stats, offering up bonuses to defense, offense, chakra, Jutsu and more. You can see that this is the mode to go for. There's also an Endless mode and a Beginner mode which are kinda like a tag-along.. Me? I had an absolute blast with this and still am :)
- Absence of the QTE boss battle’s is a shame, as they were some of best examples of quick time events in any video game to date, and really drove home the epic feel of some of those magnificent fights. The biggest flaw in my opinion. Hope Cyberconnect2 implements them in the next game.
- Going through the menus can get a little tedious.
- Certain easy combos(if you aren't the creative type) can win you most matches. Not recommended of course.
- If continuous brawling and fighting ain't your thing, then you might feel it being repetitive.
- Final thoughts:
I defintely feel Generations is worth checking out, not only for the hardcore Naruto fans but for fighting game fans in general. It’s a really beautiful looking game, with a fun but easy to understand fighting system, and offers up a lot of variety with it's roster. It’s surely not the deepest fighting system out there, but if you want a beautiful, satisfying and an enthralling fighting game, Look no further... Me? "Never give in" , thats my Ninja-way, So you know what I'm gonna do next :D