Developed by CyberConnect 2 and published by Bandai Namco games, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 takes its players on one final journey into the popular anime series Ultimate Ninja Storm.
Playable on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 sets itself up as an innovate and exciting catalyst into the world of Naruto but unfortunately fails to provide enough clear and concise game play to fully engage its narrative and story.
As a newbie into the world of anime, I was excited at the prospect of being introduced to the genre through the gaming. It’s no doubt that the gaming genre is the future for the art of storytelling. These days most players not only enjoy fast-paced multiplayer shooters but also games that emotionally engage us and draw us even closer to the characters. Because the Naruto series is already critically acclaimed, I was ready to devote myself to its world, story and characters, especially since its origin spawns from television. Instead, I found myself thrust into battle and feeling as though I was very late to the party. Surprisingly, these thoughts were not based off my unfamiliarity with series itself but the actual game play and skeleton of the game. Even if we don’t notice it, games and stories follow a strict set of rules to make them plausible. Many times, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 felt like a juxtaposition of various elements. A prime example of this would be fairly early on in the game. At one point I was watching a storyboard transition that explained parts of the story similar to cut scenes. As well as the captions on the bottom of the screen, the opening credits also flashed across the screen and even the game play controls were positioned in the bottom right hand corner; I didn’t know where to look first.
A part from story mode, the game also offers other modes such as adventure mode and multiplayer online elements. The combat in particular relies on strategy but a lack of appropriate information often does not allow its players to use it wisely and you may find yourself randomly hitting buttons in order to make your way to the next checkpoint. At the beginning of every battle you receive a list of battle conditions and goals such as winning the battle with over 50% health left, acquiring weapons or destroying others’. If you do happen to fail the battle, which I’m fairly certain you will at least in the first couple of rounds, you are reawakened and told that your time is not up yet. You must choose a path which grants you either a defence perk or an attack perk (both perks increase your health and keep the opponent’s health the same).
In spite of the tedious game play, the overall aesthetic takes its players by storm (see what I did there) and the bright and colourful graphics are pleasing to the eye. The world of Naruto offers a thrilling tale to be told and has established its roots to be one of the more memorable anime series to date.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 can’t help but have biased players. You’re either biased because you’re a fresh new addition to the Naruto series and may not understand the genre and story as well as others or you’re biased because you would go to the ends of the earth for any of the main characters and dress up as them at conventions. Assumptions may cloud more than half of its players but if you’re a dedicated fan you will no doubt enjoy this interactive, combat based conclusion to Ultimate Shippuden.
- Exciting to dedicated players
- Various modes to choose from
- Worthy graphics and aesthetic
- Lacking clear and concise game play
- Confusing combat and controls
- Biased attitudes