Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 Preview

One of the hottest anime and manga properties in Japan, Naruto has been rapidly taking over the United States with translated comics, a freshly dubbed cartoon, and multiple lines of toys and video games. You knew it was going to happen, but the sequel to the surprisingly decent Naruto Ultimate Ninja has finally been announced for a June 12th release on the Playstation 2. I got the chance to speak with a localization specialist at Namco about the process of bringing the game to the US.

For those who aren’t familiar with the original, Naruto Ultimate Ninja is a cartoony fighting game, somewhat in the vein of Super Smash Bros. Players can expect to play out a series of battles taken directly from comic and tv show using their favorite heroes and villains and many of their signature special moves. The original boasted cel-shaded graphics that managed to pull off the look of the series surprisingly well on the PS2. With the sequel, players can expect all of this and more. All of the characters from the previous entry will be returning, but this time around Namco has boosted the roster to a full 32 characters, more than twice that of the previous game. However, some of these playable characters will be different versions of the same ones, and one character, Dotou, who was present in the Japanese release of Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 will be removed from the American release because of continuity issues.

Since the American episodes of Naruto are still far behind the progress of the Japanese show, all material in Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 that dealt with storylines which haven’t happened in the US yet have been removed. Instead, the story of the game has been revamped to include two entirely original storylines in addition to covering the story from the Chuunin Exam and Orochimaru’s attack on the village up until the end of the Tsunade story arc. For the enormous community who’ve been keeping up with the Japanese series via fan translations online, this may be a bit disappointing, but there are some new aspects of that game that promise to make it compelling.

Chief of these is the single-player RPG game-mode. New to the series, Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 is going to have a full-blown 3-D world for players to explore, allowing them to navigate areas such as the Leaf Village, the Sand Village, and an original village called the Tanvaku Village. Players will be able to take on missions from the cast of Naruto characters, upgrade and train their characters to learn some of the moves of other characters they meet, and purchase collectibles and movies on the market. There will also be six mini-games for players to occupy themselves with, including such tasks as beating Rock Lee at push-ups.

With a graphics engine that really does the series justice, a whole range of new additions to make the game fresh, and upgradeable and secret characters, Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2 looks as if it will have a lot to offer both fans and non-fans alike this summer.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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