Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution Review
4 Stars out of 5
Summary : With fast, fluid combat, stunning visuals and impressive amounts of content, 'Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution' packs a punch.
Although Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution isn’t part of the main numbered franchise, it’s certainly no less in terms of content. UNSR offers a wealth of game modes, over 100 characters, and most of all it oozes quality and content for fans of the Naruto anime and newcomers alike.
Whilst the title will most certainly sway towards fans, it is reasonably open to gamers who may never have heard of Naruto, let alone played a previous title, as UNSR bears no extension to the current storyline doing the rounds.
And that, really, is my biggest gripe. As a Naruto fan, I would have liked at least some story, and whilst there is a short story mode called Ninja Escapes, which is split up into three chapters following the history of Akatsuki, Shisui Uchiha and Kushina Uzumaki, the mode is extremely short and doesn’t tie in with the rest of the game, which is a shame.
Once you complete your first tournament mode, the Mecha Naruto story mode is unlocked, in which your aim is to gather the memory of Mecha Naruto, who, after being found by the original Naruto and Hinta, has no memories. The story itself is rather simple and lackluster, but the fact that Masashi Kishimoto (creator of Naruto) created the character just for UNSR is pretty neat, and even though Mecha Naruto has a similar move-set to Naruto, he still feels like a fresh addition to the roster.
The big draw of UNSR is the new Ninja Tournament Mode, which varies from a four-player battle royal to a one-on-one battle. The tournament showcases the new team mode, which works fantastically well. Whilst in the Ninja Tournament, the fighting system becomes a free-for-all royal (yourself and your team versus the computer team). As you fight your opponents, orbs will drop on the ground for you to pick up, with the player with the most orbs the winner. It’s a strange set-up at first, but it soon becomes wonderfully fun and engaging. UNSR adds guard breaks and a hugely improved counter-attack system and the combat has been tweaked, now allowing you a choice of three different ways to play each battle and use your support characters:
Drive allows your support characters to be used as shields, popping out to block enemy attacks; then when a support drive is used, they appear alongside you to add a boost on your combo.
Awakening allows you to enter an enhanced awakening state.
The Ultimate Jutsu option allows you and your two support characters to pull off Ultimate Combo Jutsu. As your fighting option can differ from your opponents’, the Ultimate Jutsu genuinely adds a big twist to battles.
Although you start the game with a relatively small roster, the open-world section you’re located in allows you to complete tasks for locals, which in turn unlock new characters and items for you to use in the tournament. Whilst there is plenty to do, the island feels a little dead. Though it’s reasonably large, with enough areas to explore, it’s also the most sparse section of the game, with next to no life in the NPCs until you interact with them.
The free roam also falls short in the graphics department, with some poor draw distances, and at times some characters don’t appear until you are standing right next to them, which is a massive shame, as the Storm franchise is always fantastic in its visuals. Luckily, the battles in UNSR do not disappoint. The cell-shaded graphics are gorgeous and at times even jaw-dropping considering this is a last-gen game. The animations for regular attacks, running, jumping and the like look as good as the power up animations; they all flow gracefully together and do not let up, even when the battles are at their most frantic. Characters resemble their anime counterparts perfectly, and once you’ve unlocked them all, your favourite (mine being Kakashi Hatake) is fully realised in the rather beautiful graphics.
Once you’ve had your fill of the main game, there’s the online mode, which offers the usual league and ranked fights, but a nifty feature added is a customisable AI partner, whom you can alter and customise from any character you’ve previously unlocked, changing their abilities and traits as you see fit. He/she can also jump into other players’ tournaments and providing they win, will level up.
Overall, whilst Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution isn’t a necessity to the series, with its lack of story and its somewhat meager open world section, it’s still a terrific game, with plenty of content, hundreds of characters, and gorgeous visuals. I just can’t wait to see what Bandai Namco deliver when they finally move the series to Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
+ Terrific Visuals
+ Fast Fluid combat
+ Lots of content
– Not much story
– Sparse open world