The GameCube may be slowing down in preparation for Nintendo’s upcoming Revolution, but there are a few companies out there making sure you have something entertaining to play in the interim. IGNcube has made a point to show off Eighting studio’s Japanese hit Naruto: Clash of Ninja as much as possible since the game’s confirmed US release. Some may assume we’ve been covering the game this much because it’s the only news around. Others believe it is because Matt and I just can’t get enough of the little blonde-haired ramen-eating ninja-boy. No matter which view you take, “believe it!” True, there isn’t a ton left on the Cube plate until E3, but that makes Naruto: Clash of Ninja all the more enjoyable. Offering all the major characters from the show, and a solid yet simple play mechanic, Naruto: Clash of Ninja isn’t perfect, but it’s entertaining nonetheless.
For those not familiar with the Naruto franchise up until this point, it’s really quite simple. Take the average anime storyline (young boy proves his worth, faces rival, falls down because he oogles the ladies too much…) and add a load of fighting. For obvious reasons, Eighting studios, responsible for the Bloody Roar franchise, found Naruto as a great license to expand the fighting genre. Right it was. Not only because Naruto: Clash of Ninja plays well, which we’ll get to in a moment, but because Naruto: Clash of Ninja feels right at home on the Cube. The presentation is amazing, offering the full intro of the anime, impressive visuals that honestly don’t have too many areas of improvement, and the complete feel of the franchise. Huge pieces of story art are included everywhere, whether it is menu selections, character select, loading screens or in-battle. The sense of style is really impressive.
The package consists of a few main game modes, such as Story, Arcade, Survival, and Two-Player Vs. There isn’t a ton to experience aside from the main Story mode, which is actually pretty short. Much like any other fighting game, the replay value will have to come from enjoying fight after fight, rather than exploring a vast world with endless objectives. The Story mode follows only Naruto, and offers snippets of story in two different ways. The narration of the story is done with scrolling text on a background image, which isn’t too impressive, though it offers quick info that is needed to keep up with the storyline (especially if you’re new to the series and don’t know the actual plot). However, before and after each main battle the characters show up in huge portraits, and deliver short skits using the actual voice-actors from the show. Aside from the plot elements, Story mode is essentially the same length as the single player arcade mode. A far more in-depth adventure would have been nice, though as mentioned, players will either love or hate this game based on the fighting.
Aside from Story mode, there are a few other ways to play Clash of Ninja. Arcade mode offers a fair amount of replay to Naruto: Clash of Ninja game, since completing the adventure will unlock gallery art and other extras based on which character is used. Survival mode works just like every other fighting game, testing players to see how many consecutive fights can be won in sudden death bouts. No continues allowed. Depending on the speed of a battle, the player is rewarded with additional health, and adversaries get harder and harder after each successful win. Beating survival mode will unlock extras as well, though it gets a bit repetitive fighting the same nine characters over and over again.
|Naruto: Clash of Ninja|
|Release date(s)||March 07, 2006|
|Rating(s)||ESRB : T|
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