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Thursday, November 4, 2010

The gaming experience (Naruto): Button mashing and epic battles

From what I've gathered the opinion regarding anime games seems to be that their quality ranges from mediocre to crappy, so I haven't really bothered trying to find one to play. But recently I've seen lots of impressive looking in-game videos, positive reviews and good forum buzz regarding an anime game so I decided to try it out with my casual gamer skills. Luckily it also happens to be one of my favourite animes series that's represented in the game. And so far I'm having fun with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, henceforth just refered to as Naruto.

The game follows the second part of the manga/anime series starting after a two-three year time-skip where the titular character has undergone some training. Training which most fans seem to agree yeilded some fairly unspectacular results. But that isn't a problem here. In fact it seems to be the opposite.

As with the other titles this game franchise, which previously consisted of only fighting games, every character seems to have had their abilities and special moves amped up by a degree of 5-10, resulting in some almost hilariously over the top moments of awesomeness. But hey it's a good way to give the player some epic boss battles so I'm not complaining.

So far I've played two of these boss battles that seriously rival the God of War franchise in terms of cinematic scale. The first one was against Naruto's instructor Kakashi, who claims that he was just testing the kid while throwing fire balls, water dragons and assassination moves at him. It was a fun fight and I didn't really have any problems with it.

Then came one of my favourite battles from the original series. The air duel between the sand village leader Gaara, my favourite character in the series, and the artistic and explosive terrorist Deidara. This fight was quite a bit more difficult as I got my ass kicked a few times and a groan-inducig number of misstakes during the quick-time events. It certainly showed that I'm still a beginner at this game and would've revealed my button mashing tendencies to anybody watching. Nevertheless I had loads of fun playing this boss fight as well. The developers managed to make an already epic battle even more epic while still keeping the events in order.

So the boss battles are great fun but I'm wondering about the other gameplay elements. So far it just seems to be running around a lot and buying stuff and talking to people on the streets. Less exciting but that's ok. I'm here for the story anyway and so far the game is doing a good job of faithfully retelling it. I've decided to stick with the english voice cast just out of interest and they're pretty damn good. And the graphics are breath-takingly beautiful.

I think that I'll have much fun with this game and once I'm done with the story mode I can hopefully try out the Vs. mode with some of my friends.

Until next time.

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