By Sam Coles:
Anime and Japanese games have never got on with me; maybe it’s the pure weirdness of the stories and the absurdness of the fighting which I don’t mind because I like the spectacle of the fights. Naruto Shippuden hasn’t swayed me in favour due to its repetitive gameplay and lacklustre content, but it’s not all bad.
There is a story of sorts in the “Ninja Escapades” mode where you play through three scenarios which are accompanied with cutscenes which are beautifully animated and are well directed with decent voice acting and nice cinematography are a nice addition to the usual fighting game formula.
The first episode is fairly lengthy but unfortunately the other two are ridiculously short and the final episode is just a cutscene there is no gameplay at all. You’ll go through one on one fights which has a similar feeling to the recent version of Jo Jo’s Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle on the PS3, that it’s on a weird camera angle which slants to side, it’s not a problem it’s just a bit of an odd design decision.
You also get the Super Ninja Tournament mode which entails you going through several fights where you can be pitted against three other people in an arena fight which can get crazy with the ridiculous special moves, but the animations do get boring after a while accompanied with the same line every time. Fight is not determined how much health is depleted, but is determined of how many orbs you have stolen from your enemies and that will make you win and you can then use those orbs in the island hub area where you can upgrade your moves and you buy different ninja gadgets.
So in this mode you can also go into two on two fights and you have free movement in each fight so it gives you freedom and flexibility in the arena but it does cause confusion because the camera will go nuts sometimes. The main problem I have with this mode is that the A.I. is not very smart because they’ll constantly spam the same attack or they don’t move at all they’ll just stand there waiting for you to hit them.
Overall this game is entertaining in parts, but unfortunately it’s marred with A.I. problems, stiff animation and a lack of content it’s fun with friends, but on your own it’s a frustrating romp.