This is the first Ultimate Ninja Storm game I've ever played, so I was new to the controls and haven't played previous ones. Therefore, my perspective is from that of one who's only played Naruto games like Naruto: Rise Of A Ninja
and Naruto: A Broken Bond
. If you're thinking about picking up this game and haven't played previous UNS games, keep on reading below!STORY
This Naruto game picks up from after Naruto's epic battle with Pain in the series as he is now the hero of the Hidden Leaf Village. As he hears about the Raikage (leader of the Hidden Cloud Village) and his plans to hunt down Sasuke, Naruto's friend and former teammate turned traitor, he sets out to ask the Raikage to stop his plans. Little does the world know that there is a sinister plot to set forth a new Ninja World War.
I've read the manga and knew how the story was going to play out, but to play it is a whole different adventure. The graphics in the game are stunning and perfectly captures the look of the Naruto universe. It flows nicely and the characters look amazing as they pull off their fighting styles and unique jutsus and ultimate jutsus. The cell-shading is just right and characters look their best in this game, matching how the characters look in the manga and show while not overplaying the hairstyles. Kakashi looked horrible in Naruto: Rise of a Ninja.
The roster in this game is simply enormous, with each ninja having their own set of skills, ninjutsu and special abilities. Some even have different move sets that you can choose from in character select such as Naruto or Sasuke at different points in the series. You have many different shinobi to choose from from different villages and organizations within the Naruto universe. When I saw all of the jinchuriki there I was stunned and excited at the same time.
If you're picking up this game and don't know much about the Naruto storyline, it's okay because at the beginning of the game (while it's installing for a really long time...) it'll give you an entire recap of the series. Not only that, but after beating the game you'll be able to relive past points in the series through the use of the Ninja World Timeline. By collecting Ninja World Timeline Scrolls throughout the maps, you'll be able to go through the menu and play some of the memorable battles using the various characters such as: Kakashi vs. Zabuza. So, if you're worried about playing this game without any prior knowledge or having not played any of the other games, don't fret.
Not only is this a fighting game, it's also a platforming game. You have the main story which follows Naruto and Sasuke's storylines as they confront various enemies and explore other areas of the world. Naruto can visit many different villages, especially his own, and different lands to confront various shinobi from the series. There's not much gameplay other than interacting and climbing in areas while on the maps during the story. However, once the story is complete Naruto will be able to explore the areas in depth, and complete various side quests and collections in order to unlock more trophies and additional in-game content!GAMEPLAYSingle Combat & General Gameplay
As someone jumping into the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, I've got to say that the combat in this game is impressive. It's really entertaining to play and when you start to get the hang of it you really feel like a powerful shinobi. Unlike Naruto: Rise Of A Ninja gameplay, which felt clunky and unrefined, while you control your character it feels smooth and flows. Using different combinations of special skills, blocking, ninja tools, substitution, powers and ultimate moves you're able to create a sort of art while playing and destroy your enemy.
The point-of-view you take against your opponent is that of behind your ninja's shoulder. On the battlefield you're able to move in all directions and take advantage of your surroundings. Some maps even have obstacles to navigate around while fighting (this could become annoying as you pull off a jutsu and then a box gets in the way). With the joystick you're able to quickly maneuver out of the way of enemy's projectiles or attacks, by tapping the joystick in whatever direction you wish to go to and pressing X (the dash button) you'll be able to efficiently move out the way of your opponent's advance or nicely position yourself behind them for an assault.
Speaking of assault, you have the Circle button to help you with that. This button allows you to make contact with your opponent and use your different fighting styles of characters to battle your opponent. This is the main attack button in this game and thus may make it seem like it is a simple game, but this button is used in conjunction with many others to perform chakra-based or other forms of attack.
By utilizing the Triangle button, you'll perform Chakra Charge. There are two levels to Chakra Charge, each having their own capabilities while facing your foe. With Chakra Charge 1, and holding it, you'll be charging your Chakra Meter, helping you maintain your fuel for your ninjutsu. While charging your Chakra Meter though you need to stand still, with your character focusing to gather energy and leaving you open to attack, so choosing your time to build chakra should be thought out. Next, you have Charka Charge 2, by double tapping Triangle, you'll power up a massive amount of chakra which, when used in conjunction with the Circle button, can perform your Ultimate Jutsu Finish. This is unique to each character and takes down a significant amount of the enemy's health.
Projectiles are thrown using the Square button and can be charged with a Chakra Charge in order to make them more powerful. These are good for preventing the enemy from preparing ninjutsu or charging up in general. Most of the time character's use kunai but some have unique projectiles like Utakata's bubbles. These can be used at any time during the match and are infinite; you can even throw them while moving.
You also have throws which are different among each character. Some are slower and need closer contact than others which allow you some freedom. Either way this is great when an opponent is blocking your physical attacks, or even to chain it with ninjutsu and combos. To block attacks you use R1 in order to block anything from physical attacks, ninjutsu, ultimate jutsu, and projectiles. Be careful though as your guard can break, leaving you vulnerable for attacks and unable to move for a short period. Another awesome feature, that even I remember from Rise Of A Ninja
, is substitution jutsu. By pressing the L1 button at the right moment, you will be able to appear directly behind your enemy. This is great in order to dodge big attacks from your opponent and then double tap X in order to get up close and pound on them. Careful though as your enemy can use this too, but each of you only have 4 to use at once and when completely used up will take time to recharge.
Another awesome feature is Awakenings. There are two different types of awakenings that a character can have only one of. The first is activated once your health is lowered below a certain point, the 'Awakening Lamp' will turn on, allowing you to charge it with chakra, activating your Awakening state which lasts for a certain amount of time. Once it runs out you'll have to wait some time for it to be accessible again. The other type of Awakening can be activated at any point in the match by pushing the R3 stick in any direction. Once active, it'll immediately start shrinking your chakra bar until you either deactivate it yourself or it stops after shrinking your chakra bar to almost nothing. Once this happens, it begins to slowly expand once again in which you can activate your Awakening again at any point.
The maps are well done and look exactly like they do in either the show or the manga; they also present much space to move around and as you play you'll find you barely reach the edge or hit an invisible wall. Some maps are like that though, with a clear, no barrier edge which you can knock your opponent into three times in the same area until it breaks and provides a ring-out win.
On top of all of this gameplay, you also have ranks at the end of each match. Whether it's in the story mode or facing someone in a battle, you will get a rank anywhere from S (being amazing) to D (being very poor). This rank all depends on how complex your fighting style was during the match, such as using substitution, ninjutsu and throws. This goes for other parts of the main story mode, as well, such as boss battles. Secret Actions and Secret Factors help to get a good rank in these instances, too; these Secrets help remind the player about past events. Team Combat
You're able to play with up to three characters at a time in this mode. The first character you choose is the main one you use to fight your opponent, with the other ninja or two acting as assists. You can assign each assist to either be an offensive, defensive or balanced type, changing the gameplay slightly depending on what you choose. By utilizing the L1 and R1 buttons you'll be able to call upon your allies to help in battle using their ninjutsu to either buy time for you to charge up chakra, or help out in damaging. This makes for some pretty unique matches against a friend's team or online. It's pretty cool to see what people's teams are too and how they work in conjunction with one another.
You will notice in team combat that there is an additional meter next to your name at the top of the screen. This meter is your team meter which builds the more you use them and call for them for help. When it reaches about half-way full one of your members will join and assist you in charging chakra, increasing the rate in which you build it. The more you use them, the more the meter fill until it's completely full. When that is happening and you see your name on fire, you'll be able to perform a Team Ultimate Jutsu; these are extremely powerful and can bring down an enemy's health significantly, if not indefinitely. Multiplayer
You're able to face foes online through PSN, or face someone on your own screen with a second controller. Multiplayer is done really well and is fun to see who's stronger with what characters. You also have a tournament mode in which you can play anywhere from 8 to 16 players in an all tournament to see who comes out on top. This can be done online as well, collecting titles and collectible in-game cards while showcasing your profile to the world. TROPHIES & COLLECTIBLES
There are many trophies for this game and many are based off of simply completing the game's main missions and getting good ranks in them. Some of these are pretty difficult and take many replays to try to get the ranks you need but are actually quite fun.
There are many trophies based on collectibles as well, such as collecting the Ninja World Timeline. The Ninja World Timeline, in the game, is a record of past Naruto events. It's a great way to relive past events' battles and review some stuff you already knew. You have to also collect Chakra Shards throughout the maps during your exploration. You're able to see them after talking to a toad from Mount Myoboku. You collect them in order to transform a Frog Stone into it's past rainbow colours. This will also earn you a trophy in order to get to that coveted Platinum.
Other trophies include actions to be performed during battle, which way to end a battles, which Secret Factors and Secret Actions to perform, winning a tournament, and visiting all villages within the story. I found many of these mostly grindey but still enjoyed them.SUMMARYNaruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
is a fantastic game to play and really gets me looking forward to playing the DLC, "Full Burst", and also the upcoming release of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution
. The amalgamation of well-thought gameplay, remarkable storytelling, and optimal visual prowess makes this game into one of those games I've invested more time into than others.