Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Fighting
Developer: CyberConnect2
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS 4
Tested on: Xbox One

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Graphics, Action, Presentation of story
Bad: Actual anime snippets would have been nice
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

When in the late nineties Naruto saw the light, the manga series had such popularity that it was adapted to a very long running anime series, that is actually still running as we speak. It wasn’t long before actual movies and games followed and pretty much just like sport games, the Naruto franchise has its fair share of yearly iterations, that are very much alike, yet show enough originality and diversity to keep persuading longtime fans and newcomers alike. Even though Naruto has been a teenager well over ten years now, we were stoked to see him and a humongous cast of fighters once again. It almost felt like we were visiting the hidden leaf village and the world around it, making us call out ‘tadaima’ once more.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 - Banner

Story

As there have been many games in the past that handle story sections of the Naruto series, this one picks up in a very late stage of the Shippuden series. You’ll finally get to learn that one of the most influential ninjas of all time has resurrected and is actually the cause of the ongoing ninja war. Madara Uchiha wants to create a world and mold his to his very own image, albeit with the help of Obito, Kakashi’s old teammate, who was supposedly dead. While Obito is considered a hero for the Hidden Leaf Village, it seems he truly has lived long enough to become the villain instead. That being said, Madara’s world would not be a real one, as he would simply draw every inhabitant of the world into his Genjutsu (hallucination, dream world) and let everything in this world flow as he would see fit.

Of course, Naruto is fighting off Madara and Obito, as their enemies were originally after him and Bee, who each have one of the ‘Nine Tailed Beasts’ sealed away in their bodies. While Naruto thought he was the last of those who sealed one of the legendary beasts, seeing he hosts the Nine-Tails himself, Madara and Obito summoned the Ten-Tails, which is stronger than any of the other monsters. It seems he will truly need all the help he can get, from the ninja alliance he has formed.

For a fighting game, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 actually has a lot of story value, as you’ll be treated to many scenes which are pretty much the same as an actual anime series, albeit rendered in 3D with stills from the anime embedded into the mix. This game feels very authentic for fans of the series. It’s actually even accessible for those who only saw snippets of the series or haven’t caught up yet, as the game distributes enough information to make sure the player can keep up with all the events happening onscreen.

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Graphics

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 does a great job in adding another dimension to the already greatly animated series of Naruto. You’ll see very authentic characters from the series, rendered into perfect 3D models that look smooth and very crisp. When playing through the story mode, scenes from the anime will be thrown into the mix, albeit by the use of static images. Nonetheless, the usage of the anime scenes makes everything a rather beautiful whole. Especially special moves all of the characters are able to pull off are very impressive, as they are sometimes reminiscent to world exploding techniques the likes Dragon Ball Z characters can be jealous of. Add a whole lot of diversity to the mix, and you have yourself a very impressive arsenal of special skills.

A minor remark might be the fact that arenas are sometimes rather empty, making them a bit pale in comparison with the otherwise well worked out whole. That being said, this is only a minor mishap in an otherwise great 3D rendition of the anime series.

Sound

The sound quality of Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 does not shy away from the graphical prowess of the game. You’ll be treated to a lengthy fully voiced story both in the original Japanese voices, as well as the English dub. Both options are qualitative, adding another layer of immersion.

Music wise the game features well-known tracks from the series, making you feel right at home once again. Quiet music is used for more subtle events, while the music truly gets going in the heat of battle.

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Gameplay

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is a fighting game, ranging from solo fights to tag team battles, with fairly easy to learn mechanics. This means you’ll either be playing online, locally or plow yourself a way through the story missions of the game. It’s advisable that you complete the story mode first, before diving into the adventure mode. The adventure mode will offer more story content, but about events that happen after the fourth ninja war. Nonetheless, things will be presented in a free roam environment, rather than actual separate combat sequences. Controls in the free roam sections of the adventure mode feel a bit less responsive than those in the rest of the game, but it’s a nice addition to the normal fight modes the game has to offer.

In whichever mode you end up after booting up the game, combat feels pretty much the same. You’ll simply have to drain your foes health bars, in order to win the fight. To do so you’ll have to use your basic attacks, which is only one button, while tossing in some hefty dodges, substitution jutsu, special moves and to a lesser extent the consumables at your disposal. You’ll immediately notice  that the controls prove to be very easy, and commands like dodging and summoning decoys can all be done with the press of a single button, making this game very accessible for those who have no experience with fighting games. That being said, it doesn’t mean that the game isn’t hard to master, as timing and reflexes tend to be quite important in this game. Of course, it’s also useful to keep in mind that spawning substitutions to dodge can’t be done all the time, as it will consume energy from your separate dodge meter.

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The story mode offers a lot of diversity in its battles, as you’ll not only occupy yourself with conventional battles, but also fights in which you’ll have to kill loads of enemies at once, or even fight with boss characters or monsters, rather than the normal roster of characters. This spices things up, and makes it rather fun to journey through the entire story the game has to offer.

Throughout the matches, be it in the story mode or the free battles, you’ll earn Ryo (money), which you can spend on fun items to personalize your characters, finishing moves, and your battle card, which is shown to other players online. While most of these items don’t do that much, true completionists will find a lot of fun purchasing the hundreds of different unlockables from the store. You’ll also earn items after battles, which you can use in the adventure modes for quests.

Conclusion

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 proves to be one of the most action packed titles in the series, especially thanks to the plot and the hefty story that is intertwined with the gameplay. You’ll not only get a great looking game, but a ridiculous amount of characters to choose from, giving you hours of content having to test them alone. If you find the story a bit short, there are still sufficient modes to choose from and every battle will feel different. A great addition to your collection for Naruto enthusiasts and fighting fans alike.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 - 4

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Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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