Whenever you tell me there’s a Naruto game coming up I tend to think about the versus games that came before it which basically focus on 1v1 battles with some new elements mixed in like map positioning and item management. So here comes Bandai Namco Entertainment’s newest Naruto game that not only transitions in title but also in the type of gameplay it advertises. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is coming this 2018 to finally put the argument of which generation is better away from keyboards and into controllers. Recently we were allowed to play what they had available on the beta so let me tell you all about it.
Once you get to the end of the very long EULAs and other legal material you have to burn through you finally get to first step of the actual game, which is character creation. It gets pretty easy to blend into the world of naruto specially since most of your customization options are pretty much the presets of already existing characters in the universe. Hopefully there’ll be more variety to have by the official version. Another thing I noticed while creating the character I wanted was the fact that there’s no JP voice option, while the EN voices are pretty good those who have a much more specific experience in mind for this title may be in for a bit of a disappointment on that end. But really, the difference between the two types of voice overs are pretty much down to preference at this point.
After deciding which virtual diva I want to have my character take form of, we’re then quickly instructed to go through the basic tutorial for combat in the game. I really appreciate this part since I’ve gone into other betas before with very little to go on in terms of knowing what to do. After some obligatory ‘do this – do that’ we are then brought to line up for a PVP lobby. After waiting I finally get enough people in my lobby and off we go into the action.
Unfortunately the internet gods weren’t pleased with me during the time I was playing so the experience for combat netcode isn’t something I’d be praising the game for at this point. However there’s more to see with this title than just its possible issues with latency. First of all, there appears to be several game modes planned for PVP but the only one they had us play was Capture the Flag. We would spawn on opposite sides of the map and attempt to steal each-other’s flags by dragging it to our respective sides. We can take each other out with either regular attacks or with special abilities or even ultimates. It’s also possible to switch between your own custom settings or even take on preset game characters while waiting to respawn. In a way the game mode is a lot like what I have experienced playing Team Fortress 2, only this time with anime ninjas.
I can’t really say much about the beta after that aside from the fact that they’re promising fighting bosses with coop features and perhaps other types of coop missions as advertised on the trailer. There also appears to be more functions for socializing which you normally find in MMOs such as organizing for parties and lounging around spamming emotes. Hopefully there’s a lot more to the MMO side of Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker as it may be quite fun to really explore this shinobi universe. This hub style kind of presentation while efficient would be a shame if that’s really all there is to it.
In conclusion, I’m quite hopeful about Shinobi Striker as a brawling arena is so far pretty fun and the potential fun to be had will certainly be boosted by having more customization options available as well as being able to group up with friends is an expected function to be had. I would only advise caution to its publishers and developers to be wary of the pitfalls that our latest MMOs had walked themselves into toward the end of 2017. It would certainly be a great addition to this game would be releasing campaign content or perhaps seasonal game events. In other words, so long as they don’t focus solely on PVP content and produce enough variety in ways to play Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker on PS4, it’s likely to be a healthy game release.