Review by Sange
"I am Uzumaki Naruto (actually I'm not)!! Review of Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! 2 contained within..."
Tomy's Naruto: Gekito Ninja Taisen 2 (to be referred to in this review simply as Naruto 2) is one of the most enjoyable and energetic I've ever played. I don't like the TV show or manga as much as others do, but I indeed enjoyed (and still do) this game. Well, I really don't have much else to say--except for the following review.
Naruto 2's visuals are rather impressive. The character models are cel-shaded (nicely too), to match the designs from the anime. The backgrounds are 3-D and sometimes animated (ex: Chouji eating at a ramen stand, Gamabuta the giant frog lounging about, etc.). Character and combat animation are also great, with very fluid motions and all. I did not notice any jerky movements at all. The opening video is simply made up of clips from the TV show with random rock music playing, disappointing since I expected an opening animated especially for the game. All in all, Naruto 2 is a great-looking game.
The controls may take a while to get used to and once you do, then it gets real fun. As expected, tons of evading, blocking, countering and timing is involved in the fighting, as well as using special moves and all-out assault attacks. Button mashers need not apply since the game truly require concise button inputs. Each character has advantages, disadvantages and different fighting styles (ex: Zabuza has great power with his oversized meat cleaver but is pretty slow, Kakashi requires good timing if to be used effectively and such). Characters have personalized chakra moves (Tap x), cinematic attacks that deal heavy damage if connected. Some are very amusing (ex: Sakura's, Gai's and Shikamaru's especially). Sometimes when chakra moves are done on certain characters, that character may say something only that character can say (ex: try Maito Gai's special on Rock Lee). Several modes are contained within the game. There's story, time-attack, versus, practice and a few others. There is also an in-game shop where you can cash in points you receive after playing and that shop adds quite a few hours of replay. From the store you can purchase new characters, stages, sound bytes, new modes of play and other neat stuff. But honestly, the true fun of Naruto 2 lies in versus mode when you can duke it out with up to three of your friends in manic matches of flying kicks, knife flinging and galore. I tell you you will lose track of time once you engage versus mode with your friends, it's just simply that fun!
The game's sound effects are clear and nice (ex: buzzing lighting, footsteps, physical impact, etc.). I have nothing to complain about the sound effects at all. Music isn't much but it's catchy at times, a mix of modern rock with Japanese flutes and drums for most of the time but no music from the anime however. The characters have the same voice actors as they did in the show, so if you're a fan, youll enjoy. A lot of the characters in the game are children, so their voices can get loud and annoying at times (especially if you're not accustomed to listening to Japanese AND when a lot of characters are fighting at once). Since I watched some of the show beforehand and frequently watch anime, it was a bonus to hear my favorite characters speak.
If you're a Naruto fan, this is a game you KNOW you have to get. If you're not a fan, well you'll enjoy the game's quick-paced and fun gameplay anyhow. If you hate Naruto why are you reading this review? There's a big possibility this game may come to the US once the anime gets licensed in the states (and trust me, the Naruto anime will achieve rather high popularity here), but until that time, the only way to get this game is to import it with a Freeloader disk (otherwise you can't play, unless you have a Japanese GameCube). Renting it is pretty much out of the question, unless you have a friend that owns the game or if you live near a game shop that rents out import games
Overall Game Rating: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/27/04
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