Author Topic: REVIEWS: Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2  (Read 3773 times)

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Offline Dragona Akehi

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REVIEWS: Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2
« on: February 14, 2004, 04:27:28 PM »
One day I saw a ninja totally flip out and kill this kid! He was holding a spoon and the ninja totally flipped out and killed him!!! Ninjas are so cool.

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One should feel sorry for the people that bought the original Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! for the GameCube. It’s like shelling out for a full priced game and getting a demo disc. That much is rather obvious after seeing what Naruto 2 has to offer.    


Naruto: Gekitou Taisen 2 features quite a bit of Japanese. However, since it’s a fighting game, menus are easily figured out. Other than understanding the plot to Story Mode, this game is pretty import friendly. If you are interested in this game or another import VideoGameDepot has everything you need.    


Essentially, Naruto 2 is everything that the original should have been. Offering over twice as many playable characters, plus a plethora of modes, it’s clear that the original was very much lacking.    


As Naruto 2 boots up we’re greeted with an opening comprised of FMV taken straight from the show. Presentation is great. There is art everywhere, and Naruto himself tells you all about the game’s different modes through a voice-over. Everything has a distinct ninja “feel" and certainly adds significantly to the atmosphere.    


The original title featured some incredible cel-shaded graphics, but they certainly don’t compare to Naruto 2. Models are incredibly clean, shadows work perfectly, and animations are that much more impressive. Many of the signature moves from Naruto 1 have been completely redone. The flashy special effects are back and then some. Lighting, transparencies, and all sorts of effects make the anime come to life. Backgrounds have been spruced up considerably, but still are not cel-shaded which is a shame.    


Naruto 2 still doesn’t offer surround sound in any capacity, but things have improved overall. There are a greater amount of tracks, and they are much better compositionally than the original’s. Voice acting is used frequently, from characters’ battle cries to the fully voiced cut scenes in Story mode.    


Of course, the biggest complaint of the original Naruto was the button-mash friendly fighting engine. Unfortunately, it remains basically the same: B is for martial arts (punching, kicking etc.), A is for weapons (whether used as projectiles or for slashing), Y is throw, and X is the one-button-super move. However, there have been tweaks here and there. Characters can still “Ninja Teleport" by pressing the L or R trigger while being hit, (leaving a log where they were and attacking the assailant from behind,) and while the Chakra (super meter) cost is the same, the counter damage is no longer overpowering.    


Characters all have unique movesets but are closer to Smash Bros. than Street Fighter in complexity. The most effective combinations use just B and A attacks, and the game could literally be beaten with one hand. Things are rather bad, balance-wise. Some characters are simply too overpowered, while other characters are nigh useless. The biggest offender is Rock Lee, who has an attack that could be comboed infinitely if it weren’t for the physics engine and the ability to Ninja Teleport. Remember B B B B A A and you’ll never lose a battle.    


As with all fighting games, Naruto 2 features the old standbys of Arcade and Survival. In addition to these modes there is an all-new Story mode which regales the adventures of Naruto and his friends via voice-acted cut scenes. Usually, you play as Naruto within Story mode, but occasionally there will be chapters where another character becomes available. The biggest improvement is the addition of four-player multiplayer. Now four people can bash ninjas to their heart’s content within the game. The camera will zoom out when characters are too far apart, sometimes making it difficult to see who is actually attacking whom.    


The game features plenty of extras for fans to unlock. With characters, biographies and artwork, and extra modes, there is much to do. After beating any of the modes outside of multiplayer, you will be awarded money depending on your performance. By taking your newfound wealth to the shop, you can buy different items that unlock different things. Unlike the original, Naruto 2 has twenty characters to choose from, and each has a unique look and fighting style.    


Naruto: Gekitou Taisen 2 is a definite must for fans of the series. However, if you’re looking for a serious 3D fighting game, this game won’t be for you. While the game is beautiful and features abundant fanservice (the clean type), the unbalanced game mechanics make for little more than a party game to be enjoyed with friends.

Pros:
       

  • Beautiful, detailed character models, and a smooth framerate  
  • Twenty characters to choose from  
  • Lots of extras for fans  
  • Great presentation

           Cons:
           
  • Still a button mash fest  
  • Though much more detailed than before, the non cel-shaded backgrounds are distracting  
  • Some characters (cough Rock Lee cough) are incredibly cheap  
  • Camera in four-player mode can get a little difficult to see  
  • This is the game Naruto 1 should have been

                   Graphics:  9.0
           It’s apparent that Eighting knows their GC hardware. Even with upwards of eight detailed models fighting onscreen, the game doesn’t stutter until it begins one of its over-the-top special effects. Incredibly smooth cel-shaded models ooze style, and animations are top-notch.

                   Sound:  7.5
           Featuring a much better track selection and variety than its predecessor, Naruto 2 has some good tunes. Pair this with voice actors straight from the show, and you’ve got a winner.

                   Control:  8.0
           Simple and tight.

                          Gameplay:  7.5
           Yes, it’s still the same button-mashing friendly fighting engine. However there’ve been some much needed tweaks. That and the addition of four-player multiplayer certainly bring the score up.

     


           Lastability:  8.5
           There are a tonne of things to unlock. With twenty characters to discover, different modes and the sheer amount of unlockables, Naruto 2 will probably be in any Naruto fan’s GC for some time.

     


           Final:  8.0
           This makes the original game look like a demo disc. With so many things to do and tonnes of extras, fans will love it. In essence: if you are a fan of the series, Naruto: Gekitou Taisen 2 is the game for you. If you’re in the market for a serious 3D brawler, it would be best to look elsewhere.      


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