Otherwise known as Naruto 2008.
The Naruto: Clash of Ninja series, first brought to America on the GameCube, has been going strong for almost three years now. Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 marks the fourth entry here in the U.S., but little seems to have changed since 2006's Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2.
As with the previous iterations, players are placed in a 3D arena and pitted against as many as three other opponents. The game's simple control scheme is easy to use, but it also possesses a level of mastery similar to that of the Wii's other standout fighter, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Players can make use of weak attacks, strong attacks, special techniques, throws, and dodges to dispense with their enemies. Controlling this variety of moves is quite simple regardless of which scheme you decide to use; whether it is the GameCube controller (with D-Pad support), Classic Controller, or the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, players will likely be able to jump right into the action and perform competently in battle. Of course, the GameCube Controller/Classic Controller is suggested for more serious play, though in a party situation, the Wii Remote and Nunchuk can be subbed in thanks to the improved motion controls .
As with many four-player fighting titles, players are able to battle in a variety of different ways, including every possible team combination with players up to four or a free-for-all in the same fashion. Additionally, Revolution 2 has added the option for two-on-two tag team battles, during which players tag in and out of the ongoing one-on-one match.
As with all of the previous iterations, the core mechanics hold up well and prove fun in both a single-player and party environment. Naturally, mastery of the game diminishes enjoyment of the single-player offering, but the Story mode of Revolution 2 is much more fleshed-out than in prior games; it's also totally unique and original since it has never been released in America or Japan. Fans of the anime will likely want to play through the game just for the original encounters and experiences told via light in-game cutscenes and comic book panel scenes.
The expanded roster and stage selection are also nice additions, but they're also the only two real additions to the game. Players holding out for some interesting new improvements (myself included) will likely be disappointed that the game does not include anything notable. Thankfully, the expanded roster feels mostly balanced with a few of the unlockable characters being slightly overpowered in comparison to the rest, but nothing game-breaking.
Surprisingly enough, the summarization written by staff alumni Karl Castaneda in his Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution review still rings true today. None of the called-for improvements on the series have been made. Online play is still missing, the visuals are still rough around the edges (even with the newly-added 480p support), and the core engine has been only tweaked slightly from past iterations. There is no doubt that Revolution 2 is the best of the series, but it's hard to recommend to owners of any of the previous games dating back to Clash of Ninja 2.
Players who have yet to experience the Clash of Ninja series and die-hard fans of the anime should without question grab Revolution 2. However, anyone who owns either Clash of Ninja 2, Gekitou Ninja Taisen 3/4, or Clash of Ninja Revolution should probably hold off on a purchase as the game has not changed significantly enough to warrant one.