Review by horror_spooky
"I'd rather take a kunai to the eye than play this game"
Only one game has received the worst possible score you can receive from me and that game is 10-Yard Fight. The other game is, unfortunately, Naruto: Ninja Council 3 which is not only one of the most excruciatingly awful games I have ever had the displeasure of playing, but it also holds the title of the only game I have ever wanted all of the copies to be destroyed for being so awful. They buried E.T. in a landfill, so why not that this terrible cartridge posing as a video game?
Naruto and company (there are quite a few characters you can choose from which is about the only good thing about the game) have to fight snakes. No, I am not even kidding, they fight snakes and other animals in missions. These missions are based on the ranking system found in the show and since the game is really, really hard, the frustration is almost unbearable. These damn snakes can destroy you with ease and if you end up battling an actual character from the show you'll be even more screwed as they will devour you.
These missions aren't really missions, but just stipulations for how you fight the battles. Basically, the developers created a bad 2D fighting game with Naruto characters and made it worse by making them fight snakes instead of them focusing on each other. What were they thinking?
Of course, the game does utilize the unique features of the DS touch-screen to some amusing affects. You have to make symbols in order to perform some moves and other times you have to blow into the microphone to nail some moves if, for example, you are Sasuke using fire style and blowing a big ball of fire out of your mouth. These are the good parts about this game and the only parts that are actually imaginative and fun the rest is absolute garbage.
Multiplayer is available, and it's actually good, but the only problem is the fact that it is only multi-card multiplayer. This game is definitely not worth buying two copies to enjoy one of its better features and because of that it's hard for me to take it into count while composing this review. However, these multiplayer matches can be pretty intense, but they get boring way too quickly and the lack of online multiplayer kills the decent game mode to being practically irrelevant.
Despite the fact that the DS is fully capable of providing great cut-scenes and has the potential to deliver emotionally-powering stories, Ninja Council 3 provides a story that attempts to kind of be about the show, but doesn't focus on it at all. You wouldn't be able to tell there even is a story in the game, and that makes the game even worse. What's a game without a story at all? Well, if it isn't a sports game, then it's a video game that just helps people who argue that video games aren't art.
Even though the game is essentially a sprite-based fighter, I do know that sprites can still provide breath-taking visuals. I mean, have you ever played Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow? That game was made up entirely of sprites and provided such an eye-pleasing gameplay experience that it is by far the prettiest game on the DS that I have played so far. So, it makes me wonder why Ninja Council 3 can't provide those kinds of visuals as well. Environments are repetitive and bland, with the only feature of the graphics that is slightly impressive is the amount of characters that can appear on the screen all at once.
Another terrible part of this game is the soundtrack. The background music is unmemorable and any sounds the characters make throughout the god-awful gameplay become extremely repetitive to the point that you'll feel compelled to turn the volume down on your DS. Why didn't the developers just take some of the better tunes from the show and stuff them into the game? Honestly, that would have done wonders and maybe have bumped the game up from a one to a two score.
This game will last you twenty minutes if you play for fun. At first, you'll find the interesting gameplay mechanics to be fun, but after that you will be absolutely horrified at the missions the developers have created for you to play. After you force yourself through the missions found in the campaign, you might want to try to unlock some of the extra characters and concept art, but that's no fun as you have to perform certain tasks, meaning you'll have to play the single-player mode again. If you manage to find someone with this game as well, you could play the somewhat decent multiplayer, but that will get boring after a day and lack of online play leaves no real compelling reason to play this game ever again.
I have never been this disappointed in a video game ever. When I read the previews before it was released, I was uber-psyched because of the way it took advantage of the DS's unique features, but the final product is so terribly mundane and repetitive that these awesome gameplay mechanics are overshadowed by how terrible the rest of the game is. There is a decent game buried under the mountain of boring gameplay and terrible combat, but that game is nigh impossible to find. The only conceivable way you will enjoy this absolute mess of a game is if you are so into Naruto that you plan to name your children Naruto and Sakura, but if that doesn't describe you, then, please, for the love of god, listen to this review and save your hard-earned money. Buy a better game. I beg it of you.
Reviewer's Rating: 0.5 - Unplayable
Originally Posted: 06/26/08
Game Release: Naruto: Ninja Council 3 (US, 05/22/07)
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