Naruto: Ninja Destiny Review

Somehow, the DS has become the go-to place for anime-inspired fighters. Bleach, Jump, and now Naruto, all of the major worldwide anime properties are representing on Nintendo’s monster handheld.

Of course, a Naruto fighting game is nothing new in the videogame world; hell, it’s almost become a regular staple in the game release schedule. While the games have found their home on multiple consoles, this is the first time Naruto’s found his way on the DS in the form of a fighting game.

The fighting game itself is a 2.5D fighter, and it looks pretty impressive on the tiny handheld. Obviously it doesn’t compare to the console versions of Naruto, but it’s more than decent. Fortunately for us, the US version of Ninja Destiny doesn’t suffer the same framerate issues as the original, and all of the actions are nice and smooth with very rare instances of chug. With the character models and animations, Ninja Destiny almost looks like a portable version of Clash of Ninja. Unfortunately, the gameplay erases that notion.

Ninja Destiny isn’t an awful game-it just seems more like a demonstration of a Naruto fighting engine on the DS than a finished product. There are 16 characters in total, but other than widely varying special attacks, they don’t play very different. It’s not hard to move from Naruto to any of the other characters, or vice versa. What makes them different (other than the aforementioned different specials) is the fact that they control a little differently. Some characters move slower than others, some seem to hit harder, etc.; but in terms of attacks and moves, the variation isn’t that great.

Ninja Destiny is also heavily favored towards attacking. If you’re playing a skilled opponent (which means anything but the computer) once they start landing combos it’s hard to break free and fight back. Your only options on defense outside of just taking the damage can be used by the offense as well, meaning they can dodge your counter attacks and keep pummeling away.

The lack of variety and onesidedness of Ninja Destiny makes it hard to keep playing, especially with how idiotic the AI is. Once you find a way to exploit and beat the AI opponents, you may as well just write it down, because it will work again and again and again. The AI almost never adapts to what you’re doing, and it rarely puts up a decent fight even on the hardest difficulties. Playing against human opponents is a much different case, but for some reason there’s no online play for Ninja Destiny, making your multiplayer options greatly limited.

As the first Naruto fighter on the DS, Ninja Destiny does do some things right. The engine is solid, the performance is great and the animations are good. With a little more balancing between characters-and between offense and defense-I have no doubt that Ninja Destiny 2 can make a run at being the best anime-inspired fighter on the DS. For now, though, it’s something only the most diehard Naruto fans will enjoy.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.