I have seen maybe three episodes of Naruto. I know it is a huge series both in Japan and in the West, much like how Dragon Ball Z took us all by storm in the late 90’s. Just because I haven’t watched the show or read the manga though, doesn’t mean I haven’t put many hours into multiple Naruto games. I have played every Ultimate Ninja Storm that has released so far, and now I’m playing an updated version of the third iteration. Let’s see exactly what is in store for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst.
Ninja Storm 3 was known for having a massive single player story. The Full Burst version is no exception. The cut scenes within the story hold true. Since I don’t know much about the overall plot, I can’t say if it is true to the show, but there is a massive amount of content here. The story mode features more than just fights like the proper fighting game that is presented. Here, players will take on multiple enemies as well as massive ones that offer up a very cinematic feel to the game play. There is also a special decision mode where, during parts of the story, the player can choose where to go and what to do. These decisions determine the way items and abilities unlock. They can either choose the way of the Hero or the way of the Legend. After completing the section, players are rewarded either hero points or legend points that go towards obtaining new levels.
The fighting game aspect of Full Burst is where the overhauls begin. The fights now have a more cinematic look to them with faster, more implemented scenes thrown in when pulling off some Jutsu. With a simple combo system in place, they play out easily, but with multiple mechanics to utilize, the bouts become a very complex balance of when to attack, guard, charge, or substitute. For those that don’t know, each fight can consist of only 1V1 or team matches where each player has two support characters they can bring into battle to help out. There is one simple attack button that when pressed numerous times will begin a combo. Players can charge up chakra for alternate attacks as well as special finisher moves called Jutsu. Players can block or substitute when getting hit, which allows them to disappear and then reappear behind the enemy. There are even multiple items players can use in battle that can boost stats, or attack the enemy.
Now, aside from the rather large story mode, players can also participate in a versus mode both against local players, online players and the AI. There are tournaments and standard modes to play, and a ton of online battle cards to unlock. It seemed like every thing I did unlocked something new.
The online mode allows players to take on their friends and random players with their very own dream team of Naruto characters. The online was a bit hit or miss for me. I had multiple matches where it was completely lag free and other matches that were so laggy, it was unplayable. In fact, most times during a laggy match I would lose connection to the session. It was random at times when I would experience it and when I wouldn’t. It seemed like there was no rhyme or reason to it. Although, when I did get into some matches that had a good connection, I had a blast. The fighting mechanics really go well when playing against others.
What has been added to the Full Burst version are a new chapter of the story mode, one new character and a good amount of costumes. Yes, only one new character, with a roster as large as this game has, it’s not really a big deal for me. There is still plenty to play and do, granted, players that own Ninja Storm 3 proper may find little to justify adding this version to their collection.
The visuals are what really stand out in Full Burst. This is by far the best looking Naruto game I have played, and with the updates to the fight cinematics, it really does look like I’m playing the anime itself. The voice talent is superb with well known actors like Troy Baker and Johnny Yong Bosch offering their voices. It really does have a great feel to it. The presentation is the best I have seen in a long time. The Naruto games have always done very well, but Full Burst adds a new layer to it.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm – Full Burst is a game that offers a great fighting game experience with simple controls and complex mechanics. The story mode is robust and any fan of Naruto will enjoy it. Visually, it looks amazing, and the overall presentation is one for the books. The only problems I could see potential players having is the occasional lag in the online and the fact that aside from some new costumes, one new character and a new story mode chapter, there isn’t much “new” to be had. The overhaul to the fight cut scenes and the more fluid special attacks add some, but not drastically. It all really depends on if you already own Ninja Storm 3 and really want this discounted update, or if you’re a newcomer and enjoy fighting games and Naruto. If you are, Full Bust is one you should pick up.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on PC.