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Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution

by Karl Castaneda - November 18, 2007, 11:04 pm EST
Total comments: 5


Ninjas may indeed clash, but this is hardly a revolution.

It's a bit strange that the Clash of Ninja series reminds me more of Madden NFL than Smash Bros. Annual iterations, roster updates, and minimal improvements over its predecessor? I'm surprised '08 wasn't slapped on the cover, to be honest. Figuring out if it's worth your money essentially comes down to whether or not you've already bought one of the previous games, or if you're satisfied with tacked-on motion controls and a few new faces in the Character Select Screen.

The game's development is a little tricky to explain, because unlike previous releases, this isn't a simple localization. It's the third iteration of the Clash of Ninja series in the United States, but it's not Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3. It's also the first Naruto fighter on Wii, but it's not Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX. Instead, it's a North American exclusive that is a mix of the two. It uses the characters and story pacing of the former but the fighting engine of the latter.

You'll probably want to start with the Story Mode, since it begins with a controls tutorial. If you've opted for the GameCube/Classic Controller layout, you'll find that most things have stayed the same. The only change here is that characters can now transform in mid-battle rather than choosing transformed states beforehand. By holding down on the analog stick and pressing X, a character will ascend to a more powerful state. For example, Naruto will bring out his demon fox chakra, and Sasuke will use his Sharingan Eye. Pressing X alone, however, still acts as the special move button.

On the other hand, if you're playing with a Wii Remote and nunchuck, you'll find that a few changes have been made to accommodate the lack of buttons. Strong attacks are use the A button, but weak attacks are executed by flicking the remote (waggle for the win!). Dodging/countering is assigned to the B and Z triggers, and specials/transformations are assigned to down and right on the D-Pad. Also, during special attacks, you'll be asked to perform certain motions to increase their potency. While this setup isn't necessarily inferior, I happen to prefer the old layout, since it's what I'm comfortable with. New players probably won't find it obtrusive.

It's also worth noting that if you're playing with the Wii Remote you'll be able to play the seemingly obligatory mini-game. By aiming the pointer on the screen and flicking your wrist, you'll fire out tiny kunai knives at moving targets. It's a simple diversion that probably won't eat up tons of your time, but it might satisfy the Duck Hunt enthusiast in you if you're craving such distractions.

While it might seem like I'm down on this game, that isn't wholly true. Clash of Ninja's simple-but-effective fighting system has always been its bread and butter, and that's still the case. Multiplayer is a ton of fun, and the game now supports four players simultaneously, so if you've got three friends and controllers, there's definitely legitimate replay value to be had.

Having played this series since it began, I've seen it grow from a promising licensed fighting series with aspirations of greatness to, well, a promising licensed fighting series with aspirations of greatness… with some motion controls. Everything from the visual presentation to the core fighting system has stayed stagnant since the original GameCube game. How about some online play? How about some animated cut scenes instead of endless text boxes? How about some real progression in the fighting system? There's sure to be a new Clash of Ninja game by this time next year, so here's hoping. Series rookies will undoubtedly love the game's easy-to-learn-impossible-to-master gameplay, but until the franchise becomes more than yearly roster updates, it's hard to recommend to people who own Clash of Ninja 2.


Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 6 8 7 7 7

The visuals present aren't necessarily bad, it's just that they're the same as they were in the original Clash of Ninja, which was released in Japan in 2002.


The cast from the anime provides the samples, so whether or not you'll enjoy the voice acting depends on how you feel about the show's localization. The music itself is mostly forgettable, but it gets the job done.


For me, there's no better control option than the GameCube/Classic Controller, but the Wii Remote + Nunchuck option is mostly the same aside from the addition of some minor motion control. It inevitably comes down to preference.


The core system in the Clash of the Ninja series is definitely solid, but it's become a bit stagnant since the franchise debuted. Some serious gameplay additions and refinements need to be made.


If you intend on using the multiplayer, Clash of Ninja Revolution definitely has the potential to become a party-game staple. Just about anyone can pick it up, and high-level play is intensely gratifying.


Clash of Ninja is one of the only licensed fighters that has the potential to stand with the big boys of the genre. It just needs to evolve a bit. Here's hoping that next year's iteration will bring more to the table.


  • Four player simultaneous multiplayer
  • GameCube and Classic Controller support
  • Text-box cut cenes can be skipped
  • Wii Remote and Nunchuck controls aren't useless
  • Endless text boxes
  • Extremely similar to Clash of Ninja 2
  • Visuals haven't been upgraded since the first game
Review Page 2: Conclusion


Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusNovember 19, 2007

Hey Karl, I only own the first Clash of Ninja, would I be best off importing Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4 or grabbing up this version on the Wii? I've been looking forward to getting one of the 4 player Naruto games, but I'd like to buy the best one since I've gotten the impression (like you said) that each new game is just a roster update.

Karl Castaneda #2November 19, 2007

It's a shame there aren't any easy importing options for Wii games, because Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX 2 is coming out next week, and that's sure to have the most up-to-date roster. Since you'd have to import one of the GameCube games, yeah, I'd go with GNT 4. It's got more characters than Clash of Ninja Revolution, and looks to be better received from what I've read. Unfortunately, it looks like it's on back-order at Play-Asia. face-icon-small-frown.gif


But yeah, I'd go with GNT 4 if I had to choose.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusNovember 19, 2007

Thanks Karl, I'll hold off on this one for now then and look to grab up GNT4.

Jan-SuNovember 20, 2007

The Clash of Ninja video game series in the U.S. ... ... A bittersweet story...

It started out well. Clash of Ninja and Clash of Ninja 2 were released on March 7, 2006 and September 26, 2006 respectively, following up the U.S. Naruto anime to where they were at those times. The first Clash, although quite simple and only containing 10 playable characters, was a still good overall introduction this games series and to the world of Naruto. The boring and repetetive six-month gap was finally broken with Clash of Ninja 2, which felt exponentially better than the first, containing 23 playable characters and the first 4-player mode in the series, just to name a few.

But all of it was suddenly cut short with the appearance of Nintendo's Wii console in November 2006. It seemed to have come from nowhere, as it was not very outwardly advertised all year, or the year before. Few would be able to accurately predict what dark times would befall the Clash of Ninja series next...

In February 2007, Japan released its Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX for the Wii in tribute to the premiere of the anime of Naruto Shippuden. D3 Publisher, the company that distributes the Clash of Ninja and Ninja Council series in the U.S., came up with the "revolutionary" *cough, cough* idea to take EX and rebuild it into the next Clash of Ninja game. Sure enough, later in the month, and a second time in mid-March, the news appeared on this very website announcing that there would be a third Clash of Ninja game, but it would not be for the GameCube and would be for the Wii instead...

This immediately sparked controversial outcries from many fans, hoping that Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3 and 4 would also be released in the U.S. . Several wrote to D3 Publisher trying to express their opinion and asking whether they would still be released in North America, but of to no avail. D3 only replied in subtle responses, cliffhangers, and cryptic messages, giving a sense of false hope and insincerity...

The months of 2007 dragged on, and more media and information was only appearing for the proposed game, Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution (formerly known earlier in the year by the working title, Naruto: Clash of Ninja MVZ). No public word from official sources ever came out concerning possibly bringing Clash of Ninja 3 to the U.S. . It was final when on October 23, 2007, only Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution was released.

This issue could very well be deemed as the worst anomaly of all the Naruto video games ever released in the U.S. . The entire Naruto fan community has both gained, and lost something this Autumn of 2007...

KDR_11kNovember 20, 2007


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Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution Box Art

Genre Fighting
Developer Eighting
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution
Release Oct 23, 2007
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