Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Review: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst (360)

It's important to get one thing up front and out of the way during this review: if you are a fan of Naruto Shippuden then you are going to want to read further. If not, you are welcome to keep reading but I'm not sure you should get this game.

The game name and packaging might be confusing and that's because Full Burst is a re-pack of the earlier game from March of 2013, with the extra DLC packed in. It's kind of hard to believe that more stuff has been added to the disc since overall this game contains almost all of the plot points from the Fourth Ninja War. If you haven't caught up what's happening in the series outside the gaming world, this game is going to be a major spoiler alert. In some cases, the cut scenes can actually last up to half an hour (longer than an entire episode) so be prepared.

There are four major sections of gameplay. Free battle can be fought either locally or online, and then there are the challenge missions which might have unusual conditions imposed on the match and finally there is the Ultimate Adventure which is the game's story mode. It will take you a long time to get through this but it's nice to see a game like this offer both an extensive story mode and online mode.

Full Burst has some improved visuals and it's clear that the polish in this game has been put on with care. You know you are in for a fun time when you encounter the first boss (Nine-Tails) and how you and other characters have to work together to take him down. These battles, and all of the battles you go through in the game, have a unique 2.5/3D perspective which switches part way through. It's rather refreshing in a game that is otherwise nothing particularly special. At times, it actually feels like you are watching anime rather than playing a game.

CyberConnect2 has a full decade under its belt of making these games and I personally feel that is their best one yet. With over 80 playable characters and a varied amount of modes, it feels like a love letter to those who love the series, and if you don't, you'll never understand what all the fuss is about.

Giving a game like Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst a score is difficult because if I'm scoring it on it's own merits as a game, it's mediocre at best. If I add in some extra points for the fact that fans of this universe (it's likely target audience) are going to absolutely love it, then it is what it is. That is definitely what I'm doing so keep in mind that your mileage may vary!

- Syd Bolton

The Good:
- An incredibly vast amount of content from the Naruto Shippuden universe
- Fun boss battles
- Varied game play modes

The Bad:
- A fighting game at its core that is not particular deep but at moments very frustrating
- While the boss battles are fun, they can be difficult and frustrating when it comes to the camera

Score: 7.0 / 10

Syd Bolton surrounds himself in thousands of classic video games as Canada's top video game collector at the Personal Computer Museum (http://www.pcmuseum.ca) in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.