Video games are about living within worlds. Some of these worlds are very much like our own, and some of them are spectacularly different. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is the newest video game entry into the internationally known Japanese Animated television series. This game was developed by CyberConnect 2, and they have come a long ways since the Dot Hack Playstation 2 era of gaming.
Storm 2’s story takes place during the Shippuden storyline in the Naruto universe, sort of like when a Z was added to the end of Dragon Ball. The stakes are much higher, death is prevalent, and the powers are even more incredible. The game begins with the arrival of Naruto and Jiraiya to the Hidden Leaf Village, after a three year period of training. However, with Naruto’s arrival, dark forces are also arriving and the fate of the Hidden Leaf Village and perhaps the whole world is at stake.
The first thing that will pop into your head when you start Storm 2 are the visuals. Storm 2 stands as the greatest tour de force in visual anime presentation. The world of Naruto comes to life like never before and likewise there has never been such attention to detail on a work that mimics traditional Japanese animation. Screenshots don’t do this game justice; you must see it in action in order to believe. The greatest use of the visuals emerges during the fighting sections of the game. Blistering assortments of colors slamming kinetic demonstrations of psychic energies at such an intensely short time that your eyes will be fighting in order to keep with the action. However, Storm 2 is an adventure game, and with that comes a nice action games with some light RPG elements.
Naruto Storm 2 has you living the life of the slightly more mature version of Naruto, as you witness and interact with his world during the darkest days of the Naruto narrative. The Hidden Leaf Village acts as your main central hub as you carry out missions. You will be spending most of your time searching the village and forests for items and food that can help you out during the battles and missions. Missions in Storm 2 will range from the mundane, such as MMO style fetch quests; to the spectacular, with dramatic fight scenes. I must admit, my main complaint about the game are the fetch quests, they seem to be there just to add time into the overall length of the game. However, the rest of the game is very awesome, indeed.
The battle system in Storm 2 is the bread and butter of the game. The fighting mechanics may seem very simple at first, but the complexity of the game will become much more evident as you complete more missions. The basic controls consist of a strike attack for close combat; or a shuriken throw for a distance attack. You can rapidly press the strike attack in order to pull off a basic combo. However, once you start adding in chakra powers and team attacks that can contain up to two other characters for a super powerful attack, Storm 2’s fighting system can become a juggernaut of strategy.
Along with the chakra powers and team attacks, you can also use many items in the middle of combat, ranging from healing food to explosive items that are use offensively. A lot of fighting game enthusiasts will be turned off by the game, dismissing it as just a bunch of bells and whistles. However, there is a high level of depth and strategy and can used both off and on-line.
As a testament to the overall awesomeness of Storm 2’s fighting system, you can face other players online. This is a very welcome mode that was not in the first Ninja Storm. Many skilled players can be found on Live or PSN to challenge you and enlightening you on how effectively to use all of the game’s tools and techniques.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja: Storm 2 is proof as to how far we have come when it comes to creating worlds of gaming. Even if you’re not verse in the ways of the ninja, but still enjoy Japanese animation, this game will amaze you. Just do yourself a favor and switch the audio to Japanese; otherwise the English audio will make you want to rip your ears off.
Review copy provided by publisher.