Fans of the hit anime Naruto will surely get the newest game Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 from CyberConnect2. The Japanese developer was already developing previous Naruto games since the PlayStation 2, and this is their 3rd Naruto fighting game for the PlayStation Portable. But will this fighting game deserves to be the on the blockbuster list, or should it be cloak into the shadows and be ignored, let’s find out…
The story in the game takes place during the beginning of the Shippuden series, where Naruto returns to their village after two years of training. Some parts of the storyline was slightly changed to fit in the game and to avoid newcomers to the Naruto series to get confused with some plots from the previous series.
There are several game modes in Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, aside from the traditional free battle and multiplayer battle, there’s the Master Road. It’s more of a story mode where you progresses through the story by completing missions, this composed of conditioned battles against 1 or more opponents to side-scroll adventure where you need to reach the goal or defeat a number of opponents within the time limit. As you progress through the Master Road, you get to unlock characters, jutsu attacks and bonus materials. There are tons to unlock, but with missions that are really repetitive makes it annoying to complete the story mode, but the good part here is that 1 to 3 players can join your mission via Ad-Hoc.
The game has simple controls: Circle for the regular attacks (you can also make combos with the Circle attack), Square for the weapon attack, Triangle for the special jutsu attack (you can combine Triangle with the Circle attack) and X for the dash, you can also perform Awakening attacks and every character have different Awakening attacks that grant special conditions. Despite having customizable jutsu attacks in every characters, the controls rather feel stiff, and it’s very easy to perform combo attacks by just button mashing, and the controls doesn’t feel right during the side-scroll adventure missions.
Graphics in the game are just average, although the Ultimate jutsu attack scenes are still fun to watch. Cutscenes in the Master Road involved conversations with still portraits with some simple animated effects to flesh out the story. As for the audio, you can get to choose between the Japanese dub and the American dub, but I’m pretty sure that most of you will opt for the Japanese dub.
Multiplayer is the major plus in Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 as now you can duke it out with 3 other players in Ad-Hoc either in a tag team of free for all, yet sadly, the control issues can drag the multiplayer funfactor down, but still playable.
Overall Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 could have been better if they improve the controls and added some unique gameplay features. The multiplayer is still fun, you just have to bear the stiff controls. Naruto fans will still enjoy the game, but if you are looking for a good multiplayer fighting game, you might opt to find somewhere else.
Game Rating: 6 out of 10
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 was developed by CyberConnect2 and was published by Namco Bandai Games.