|Submitted by Cameron Amess |
(Aug 03, 2005)
As an avid Naruto fan, I was more than excited when my friend purchased a Japanese PS2 along with Narutimeto Hiro 2. I had high expectations for the game, and even with my initially poor knowledge of Japanese, i got straight into it. This game is fun for everyone. Even for those who haven't the slightest clue what Naruto is, the battle system is extremely fast paced and
The one-player RPG section is it's only minor downfall. I know it follows the story of the manga series, but still, it is rather short. I had it finished in no more than 3 hours. It could have used a lot more side-quests and different filler stories to stretch it out a little more. Although having said that, it still carries with it an addicting playability and (if you can understand it) the engaging tales of Naruto and co. as they fight against different opponents in different lands.
The customisation system is very good. The fact that you cannot obtain full stats for anybody means you can customise your character as you wish by, say, giving them full speed with reasonable attack, or vice-versa. It livens up the multiplayer system no end, and allows for even more intense gameplay. The skill (jutsu) customisation is also innovative. You can choose your favourite two jutsus and have any character use them, which can allow your characters to pull off unique combos. (Although gross over use of easy, powerful jutsus such as kagebunshin-sai (water clone), which allows you to hit your opponent WHEREVER they are, will gain you the hatred and wrath of your comrades.)
The battle system is without flaw. I haven't come across a single glitch. It is possibly the most enjoyable battle system of any game, simply because it is an elaborate, yet effective system. Use of items and summons can turn the tide of a battle, along with intense jutsus that can cause mayhem, often through hilarious means, such as Sakura's "Supercharge" jutsu. Along with these are extremely powerful special attacks, or "ugi's". These contain more of the renowned techniques that fans will recoginse, such as Naruto's Rasengan, or Sasuke's Chidori. The button-bashing power up system determines how much damage an opponent takes, and therin lies the thumb crippling.
The cell shaded graphics add to the whole anime feel of the game. Cell shaded generally makes any game more visually appealing, and I find it to suit this game very well. They really bring out the beauty and serenity of Konoha, and the haunting fragility of the ice environments. The music is well suited to the game, and improves the feeling of being one with Konoha and it's characters.
Other features are all over this game. Mini games hold appeal in both the amusing antics and the money reward. Such games include one handed press-ups with Rock Lee, shadow copying with Shikamaru, and vertical tree running with Sakura. My personal favourite, though, is racing around a track on your hands with Gai-sensei. Utter madness. There are also miscellaneous items to be unlocked and later appreciated in Naruto's House. Items such as figurines of characters, music and other things can be bought and enjoyed. Also, if you find yourself struggling to keep up with the pace of the game, you can stop and re-practice your moves in a sparring mode with Iruka-sensei. You can also take a load off in Jiraiya's shop and buy some impulse goods.
All in all, this game holds within it a mountain of playability and fun, and will be enjoyed by everybody. If you own a Japanese PS2, I urge you to buy this game. Unless, of course, you have a life. Because if you do, expect this game to take up a vast proportion of it!
Gameplay: 9/10 ----- Fast paced, intense and innovative. Will keep you hooked for ages.
Graphics: 9/10 ----- Can't go wrong with cel shaded. Beautiful.
Sound: 8/10 ----- Captures the feeling of the ninja spirit.
Overall:9/10 ----- Lovable characters, immense playability. One of the best anime fighters.