Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 Hands-On Preview

Naruto combos with support character Sakura to take on Kakashi.

Ready your Rasengans, Chidoris, Byakugans, and Sharingans! Namco Bandai is back with the sequel to its PS3-exclusive Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm with Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. The second installment in the anime’s fighting series was on hand at E3, and it stays mostly the same as the original with a few interesting changes.

The first change about Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is that the series is no longer a PS3 exclusive. It has now expanded so that the sequel will also be available for the Xbox 360. Another big change with the sequel is that online play will now be supported. No details were given on what kind of game types will be playable online, but it still should be a pleasure to beat up on friends and fellow players alike through Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network.

The play mechanics for Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is pretty much the exact same as in Ultimate Ninja Storm. Players will face off in open 3-D areas while throwing punches, kicks, weapons, and casting justus. All the controls are the same here, and support characters make a return to the series as well. One change, however, is that although ultimate jutsus and the game’s berserk-like mode are back, the button-mashing minigames that came with the ultimate jutsus will not be returning. However, the single-player mode will have interactive QTE cutscenes after important battles.

The demo that was played at E3 had Naruto and Kakashi fighting it out in the Leaf Village training grounds with Sakura as a support character. Playing as Naruto and whittling down Kakashi’s health in a straight-up fight, a QTE cutscene began that had me hitting buttons in rapid succession. Whenever I failed, I would return to the beginning of the cutscene to try again instead of having to fight the battle all over. They were quick and easy to understand and are not at all a hindrance to the gameplay.

After the cutscene ended, the battle entered a second phase. Kakashi stood above of the edges of a water-filled crater created by Sakura as Naruto remained within. In this phase, Kakashi would summon water dragons from the crater and launch fireballs to attack me with. In order to damage Kakashi further, I had to knock him into the crater by either hitting him with explosive weapons, which I had run out of, or calling Sakura for support.

After beating on Kakashi time and time again by knocking him into the arena, another cutscene ensued and the demo was over. It brought about a good taste for what’s in store for the game’s boss battles in the single-player story mode.

This epic fight from the series will be played out as an epic boss battle in the game.

As the title suggests, the story mode will run through the Naruto Shippuuden storyline, which takes place three years after the final arc of Naruto. The campaign will run from the beginning of Shippuuden all the way up to the Pain arc, which is where the anime itself is currently airing in Japan.

Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 will feature a massive roster of over 40 characters. The playable demo proved that Naruto, Kakashi, and Sakura were confirmed, but there will surely be plenty more of the main cast, including the show’s villainous Akatsuki organization.

With a new online mode, huge roster of characters, completely up-to-date story mode, and the same fun gameplay, fans of the anime and fighting game fans alike should get a kick out of Naruto Shippuuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. The game will be available sometime this fall for both the PS3 and Xbox 360.


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Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

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