Review by Tien25
"Absolutely devoid of fun."
This is the third installment in the Naruto Ninja Council series. The first two were standard platformers. Nothing incredible but decent fun for fans of the series. Ninja Council three takes the game in more of a fighting direction. And it doesn't work at all.
The bulk of the game takes place in mission mode. In this mode you are placed in a fairly large arena stage and are challeged to complete a task. These tasks range from as exciting as fighting wolves and spiders to finding scrolls hidden in barrels. Really boring.
The game could have been bad. But they went the extra mile to really make the game terrible. Its almost as if they thought "What could we do to make this game even worse?" For example every mission has a pretty stringent time limit which makes many missions far more frustrating than they have to be. Many levels are populated with small animals (for some reason Ninja training involves fighting bats and spiders) who are impossible to hit. Random junk sometimes flies across the screen to make things more annoying. The missions which involve one on one combat with a boss character are better, in the way that being stung by a bee is better than being stung by a wasp.
The mission mode takes up the bulk of the game. Missions are mainly dull and involve you beating up on animals and cpu enemies with just about zero intelligence. Unfortunately there is almost no story involved in the mode and no logical progression. A large part of the draw of games based on anime is a chance to play throught the story so this is inexcusable.
Another important aspect of an anime game is a large roster of characters. And Ninja council does feature an insane amount of characters from the major players to the auxilary characters. It would be hard for any Naruto fan to fault the lineup of characters here. Only problem is that all the characters play exactly the same. They all have the same basic moves. Before a match starts you can select special moves. Any move is available regardless of which character you choose. If for instance you play as Sasuke you can choose Naruto's toad summoning jutsu as one of your special moves. When you use that move Naruto will pop in to do his move then leave. Being able to use any characters jutsu takes away any individuality the characters might have had. The character you choose does not influence any aspect of the game other than your sprite.
Speaking of jutsu's this is one of the games few good points. The animations for each of the jutsus are pretty cool. The only problem is you'll rarely get to see many of them. Most of the games jutsus are ineffective against the normal enemies and only work against boss characters. So for most missions you'll only have access to the massive screen clearing jutsus. You can activate jutsus by pressing one of four buttons on the touch screen (one for each jutsu) and performing a simple task on the touch screen. The totally tacked on touch screen usage adds nothing to the game.
The one good thing I can say about this game is the sound. All of the characters have voices from the show which is nice. Graphics on the other hand are barely avove what you'd expect on the GBA with bland backgrounds and poorly detailed sprites.
If you can get another player to join in with you the game becomes somewhat more entertaining. But a bad game is a bad game no matter how many players you have. The game has a few different vs modes, one where you compete to kill the most enemies, one where you compete to collect scrolls and one where you just plain battle. Whichever you choose you'll be bored soon.
And there you have it. This game really has about nothing going for it. I was generous in giving it a point for the character voices/jutsu animations and one for multiplayer but thats all the game has going for it. The game just isn't fun and thats all there is to it.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 06/01/07
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