Review: NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM 3 Full Burst

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Do you like the Naruto anime? If so, skip this review and go buy this game. You can find it for 20$ or less on sale and it’s like purchasing 36 episodes of the anime. That’s a great deal.

For everyone else, let’s talk. This is a gorgeous game, with a diverse cast of ninja fighters from the manga/anime series. It’s a 3d fighter with a fun visual style and an interesting, engaging storyline (if you like that sort of thing.) It’s a lot of things, but it’s not perfect.

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There are plenty of fighters out there. Why would you choose this visual novel over a pure fighter like BlazBlue or Guilty Gear or King of Fighters? You probably wouldn’t, if it weren’t for the kaiju fights. This is where NS:UNS3FB (seriously ugh) sets itself apart from pure fighting games. There are a number of battles where you’re either a giant monster/human/demon or fighting one as a normal sized ninja. This allows for a fun amount of variation in the (brief) gameplay portion of the single player game.

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There are certainly some downsides to the game. The dialog ranges from corny to WTF. And there is a lot of dialog. I haven’t watched Naruto in years and I feel like I’m all caught up on the prolific anime series.

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There’s also some Dynasty-warrior esque portions where you’re fighting a group of ninja at once. This part especially can be a bit tedious. can be a bit tedious (especially on hard mode.) That doesn’t make it a bad game by any means, indeed I was transfixed at my computer 2 hours each night for over a week “playing” it. I say “playing” as I only spent about 2 full hours fighting, the other 10-12 hours were spent watching a combination of anime/cell shaded in-game cut scenes, and brief visual-novel style decision tree games.

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While I never really considered myself a visual-novel game player, this was a truly engaging experience. I couldn’t wait to advance the story line. Whenever there was a choice to be made between difficult and easy, I picked difficult for the additional cutscenes it would bestow. There’s also an additional “tools’ metagame element where you can save up/purchase ninja tools for use in battle. I found these to be mostly distractions compared to the actual moveset, but it does add a bit more variety to the already eclectic character set.

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Are cutscenes and kaiju fights enough? They are for me, but I’m an old fan. For everyone else, it’ll just depend on your love of 3d fighters with a heavy, heavy backstory. I give it a solid 91/100, and can’t wait for a sequel.

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