Quirky beat em up with an anime twist
The second ps2 game based on the apparently popular manga and TV series naruto follows the same formula as the first, based around button bashing fights with a slight difference in the minigame-esque combos. Said combos involve tasks such as bashing a button more times than your opponent, swivelling the analogue stick more times than the opponent and getting button combinations in the right order. Aside from this, it’s a pretty standard beat em up in an anime style that should appeal mainly to children and young teenagers.
the game is well rounded, and will prove entertaining for children and teenagers who are fans of the series
The main ?ultimate mode? gametype takes the player through a story on a set path, which will lead them through events such as a tournament final, defending the village from invaders and avenging the death of the village leader. This involves fighting not only as Naruto but as a variety of different characters, with different attacks and attributes, all of which can be unlocked in the multiplayer versus mode. Some of the fights have different objectives thrown in with beating the opponent, such as winning in a certain amount of time, or beating the opponent with a certain type of combo move. This can become frustrating, because some of the moves are particularly hard to pull off. This brings me to my next point, chakra.
Chakra is basically another name for energy. It is used to perform most of the more powerful attacks, which are usually accompanied by the aforementioned mini games. Chakra will regenerate automatically if you hold the D pad but can also be gained from small in fight pickups. The problem comes when you don’t have a chance to hold the d-pad because the opponent is beating you sensless, I lost a good few fights because of this, and I had to replay them a couple of times before I managed to get the hang of reserving energy.
The game is created in a very anime style, which reflects the game’s manga roots. The graphics are reasonably good for a fighting game, and some of the super combo minigame graphics are quite interesting. In contrast to this, the voice acting is terrible. Naruto sounds like the kind of whiny, annoying, big headed kid that most normal people just cant stand. The scripting is no better and at times is frankly poor, but who buys a fighting game to listen to the voice acting really? I know I don’t! One more slightly annoying feature of the game is that after every line, you have to press X to continue to the next sentence. This can get slightly annoying but shouldn’t prove a major concern once you get used to it.
At the end of the day, Naruto is (or appears to be) designed and built from the ground up with children in mind. This begs the question of why then it received a 12 certificate, But the game is well rounded, and will prove entertaining for children and teenagers who are fans of the series. However, if you are not a fan of the series, much of the game will make absaloutley no sense (Hence I gave up on following the storyline after 10 minutes). If you are looking for a fun cartoony beat em up game, this is it, but if you want a serious, old fashioned, arcade style beat em up, you may want to skip this title.
The Bad: Terrible voice acting and scripting, storyline inpossible to follow if you are new to naruto, some of the minigames actually hurt to play!