Any fan of the Naruto series will usually have a biased opinion of this sort of game. The sort of game that has its own interpretation of the storyline and allows you to pay homage to the characters’ histories, all the awesome fights and transformations they went through. Thus, I went into this with an inflated expectation and inevitably I was disappointed and terribly bored.
The story sticks to the Manga and Anime versions of events fairly well, and the character voice-acting and animations do the series justice, but the game itself was lacking in so many ways.
First off and most noticeably was the extremely slow pace of the game. I found myself having to skip a lot of the cut scenes because they didn’t allow me to move on to the next part of the dialog, meaning you had to wait until the game had finished playing the audio file, even after having finished reading the on screen subtitle.
Secondly there were a lot of random meaningless parts to the game where you would have to run from one end of the screen to the other, and well, that’s it. This in turn meant that the loading time for those particular stages took longer than the actual gameplay.
On the graphics front there was absolutely no improvement or alteration in any way to the graphics of the previous instalment, and if there was it was so slight and consequently unnoticeable. This wouldn’t be a problem if they focused more on improving the gameplay than improving the graphics, but they didn’t even do that. I understand that there is only so much one can do to a game that is trying to emulate an anime series, but recycling fight styles and animations from the previous game, great display of the lack of effort.
There were a few aspects such as item shops and player determined storyline paths that spiced the game up, but in hindsight they did not make up for the general lack of distinction of this title from others in the genre.
It seems as though the game developers made the game purely for Naruto fans and gave them the bare minimum to actually enjoy and the term “enjoy” in this case being misused. This in turn made for an unenticing title that non-Naruto fans would have no reason to sink their teeth into or even nibble at.
It was a greatly disheartening to be brutally honest. I really struggled to find anything exciting or noteworthy in the game. It felt comparable to a soap opera in that the only reason they still make the series, beside more money, is for the diehard fans that have lowered standards based on their bias standpoint with regards to the game.
The game really doesn’t fuel the flame of Naruto fan-dom in anyway, if anything it does a fantastic job of extinguishing said flame. I do not recommend this game to anyone that is an avid follower of the series, let alone those that have no idea what the series is about. If you’re looking to get into the series, you’re better off watching the anime or reading the manga.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Rating: 4/10
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