How we rate the games?
All those who liked the anime series, will definitively like the game too. Naruto game is actually the final Shippuden series and it clearly brings the player to an interesting and fantasy story about ninjas. From what I could recall, the game started exactly at where I left of the anime series, so you will actually have the anime story inside the game. It will deviate a little though and some screens will be removed but there are also unique screens and storylines which are probably not part of the anime itself.
To tell the truth, I expect some kind of a Fable game where you had complete control to where you were going. Unfortunately, it is not like that since the game is based on fighting and moving around cities. This is probably very disappointing since we all have seen the players move around so freely that they even use to climb and run on trees. Now it turns out that you just move somehow in a very predictable way, especially if you play the story mode. You had to go to some places and you barely could find any secret or move around, making the gameplay truly boring for what the game could truly give. The fighting were fun though and especially difficult if you don't know how to play or make moves. There were all kind of fighting, even against the nine tails beast. There is also a moment where all beasts have to be defeated two by two and finally the nine tails. The game had the split between legendary and hero. Depending on what you choose first, you will see that legendary is more difficult, but whatever you do, you will have to do both of the paths. If those paths lead to the exact same place, there is no need to worry since you won't be doing the whole thing again.
The graphics in the game were just like those in the anime series and it makes total logic to use such graphics for an anime game. The game itself didn't run smoothly enough, even with a quad core cpu which makes it somehow weird to port it to the computer. Some say that it is an excellent port, but with such graphics, those of a PS2 being handled by a PC so bad, it doesn't seem so great. It also depends of you have the latest drivers and other stuff required to play the game. Otherwise, the game was not a big deal when it comes to graphics.
Optimization is what the game truly lacked. The controls were very difficult, especially because you had to assign Xbox controls. There were so many of them and the keyboard was too big for such controls, leading to a very difficult combat system. It even mentions the buttons as A or B, not with what you assign them. The gameplay slowed down without apparent reason, especially at the storyline. The combat system as a whole, leaving out controls and slow downs, had amazingly good AI and all buttons pressed reacted at the same time, leading to a good control.
Finally, the idea is what the storyline strikes through. The story of Naruto Uzumaki is clearly amazing and it shows the player every aspect and puts him inside the story by defeating the enemies. On top of this, those who have not seen the current part of the Shippuden series (like me) will have the chance to see it and play it at the same time. Splitting the game into hero and legendary is a good and unique idea. If not unique, it does not come so often into video gaming world. Giving you even more powerful abilities, like the nine tails chakra makes it even more interesting for the player. You can even walk around the leaf village and buy stuff whenever you want, or start going to objectives. The game is fully playable even after completing the story mode and you might even start to unlock stuff which were locked before. The idea went bad at some sections though. Moving around was like in 2.5D and in some cases you were forced to go to a certain place without going back anymore. I completed the game in like 13 hours, but that was not the whole game, since I just completed the story mode.
The sound was very interesting and the ninja arts created some sounds truly unique to only this game. Overall the game is a masterpiece for those who love Naruto series and they will truly enjoy it. If you are more of a FPS type of gamers, I would say that you might need to reconsider this game and watching gameplay will truly help you make your definitive choice.
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