Another year, another franchise or two that releases an annual game into the market. NarutoShippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst Edition is an example of this marketplace ethos, but to an extreme degree that targets fans with too much cash and a burning desire for anything hidden in the leaves.
I’m not regurgitating an entire review today. If you want to find out what the original game was like last year, then click this link and prepare to be disappointed. But I will give the basics a quick run down. At its core, the Naruto Ultimate Ninja games have always been about precise timing, over actual combo chains and movesets.
Every Shinobi gets a few basic combos which can be hammered out, two unique Jutsu attacks, a shared moveset with which to navigate through arenas and can be divided into long range, close range and companion fighters.
Characters can block attacks, evade them and perform a “substitution jutsu” where they instantly teleport out of harms way and behind their opponent. You only get a few of those each round, and will need to recharge your evasive jutsus once they run out.
Herein lies the style of the game, as players need to perfectly time each move in order to maximise damage. It’s a solid style, albeit one that has seen very little work done to it with each subsequent release. In fact, it’s pretty much the exact same gameplay that has been peddled out to gamers for the last five years at least.
The one advantage of this design however, is that the game throws a ridiculous amount of playable characters into the mix. At the last count, that’s over 80 ninjas, all rendered in a distinctive cell-shaded look courtesy of CyberConnect2.
The problem however, is that the majority of these shinobi have been hastily ported over from previous games, with no augmentations or differences between the sequels that the Sharingan can see. They truly are shadow clones
So what’s the biggest difference then between this Full Burst version of the game and the one that debuted last year? Well, it’s certainly prettier than the 2013 edition. Not by much mind you, but there is a difference to be seen.
Full Burst also packs in all the extra DLC from 2013, mostly cosmetic costumes for battle. The storyline also gets slightly amended towards the end, which isn’t saying much because the exact same battle is still raging on in the source material manga comics, with no end in sight after a year.
Other new additions include a bonus mission featuring the Uchiha brothers as they tackle the machinations of a sage-mode powered Kabuto, while the Challenge Mode missions offer a tad more variety.
There’s a hundred of these waiting for players, that will handicap you in any number of ways as you combat the foes before, but you’ll quickly lose interest in them. The Full Burst edition of the 2013 Naruto game is pure fan service at the end of the day.
It’s a quick cash grab for Bandai Namco, and something to keep diehard fans happy until the next instalment in the franchise, Ninja Storm Revolution, appears in a puff of smoke.
Honestly, the only way that I could recommend this game, would be if you happen to have just discovered the franchise or you’ve been practicing Sitting-Under-A-Rock-Jutsu for the last decade. Otherwise, save your cash for the upcoming Revolution.