Review by Mykas0

"Naruto returns in a not so good (or is it "not so bad?") way."

And that turns out being the big reason on why it is so hard to evaluate this same game. While big fans of the series may simply love it more than anything in their life, any other player will simply be disappointed and probably want to stick away from the game. It's surely Naruto, but not the kind of game that you are probably expecting to find.

First, while the game makes some very slight use of this console's tactile screen, most of things can also be performed by simply using the usual arrows, with the stylus only being absolutely required in order to use the character's powers in the middle of the battles. Those may also require you to blow on the microphone, but apart from that there doesn't seem to exist any place where you MUST use it.

An interesting detail turns out being that, besides picking your current character at the start of each level, you can also choose up to 3 special attacks, which may not only include your character's native attacks from the series but also moves from other characters. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only interesting thing added up to this game, with all the other features already having appeared in previous games of the "Saikyou Ninja Daikesshuu" series.

Now, the up to 64 missions consist basically of completing a certain scenario by performing a certain task, which may range from collecting a certain amount of items, protecting a character or even defeating a certain enemy, a task that turns out being more common as the player advances further in the game. This could eventually sound like Jump Superstars, but the final result turns out being worst than in the Jump game, as you will be confronted with several odd tasks, most of which depend not on your skills to play this game but in your own luck.This lack of connection with your skills may be sometimes frustrating, as you may even be the best player in the world BUT lose a level, due to some extremely unlucky moments.

The battles may sound like fun, as you will be facing several characters taken directly from the series, but usually they seem to roam around the same experience, making you run from your enemy as you try to fill your specials bar, which allows you to unleash one of your powerful special attacks (most of which strike not only everyone in the screen but everyone in the area) and making you avoid any type of direct combat.

There are literally tons of characters from the series for you to unlock (some which are fully playable, and others which you can only summon to use attacks in the middle of battles), but the total absence of a real story mode will probably keep those who are not fully familiar with the series from this product. Don't get me wrong, while there are 64 missions, you will hardly see any text (or even any visual sequences) that would try to familiarize you with the characters and their story. Eventually, you will learn this game to be played in the usual "pick a level and complete it" way, no questions asked and no replies given.

When it comes to replay value, the only important thing is probably the amount of characters to be unlock, as stated before. While there are some unusual characters in the game, unlocking them turns out not being an hard task at all, as you can simply play the many missions (and try to get good ratings in all of them) and you will do it.

As for sound and graphics, there is a simple phrase to describe it all: if you've played "Saikyou Ninja Daikesshuu 3", you've seen it all. Even the battle sprites in this game seem to have been taken from the previous game (and even the 2 RPGs previously released), making me wonder what the producers have been creating all this time. In case you didn't played those, I can state that the music fits the game but its quality is below the one usually seen in most games for the console, while the graphics are... well old, as they were probably taken from previous games, even if they were GBA ones.

As an important note, I must say that the game is probably playable by someone without any knowledge of the Japanese language, but those may have some trouble figuring out what to do in some of the less usual missions of the game. Apart from that small detail, everyone can play it.

However, should they? I mean, this is one of those games created solely for the fans of the series, as you are not even given introduction to the characters, their attacks, their identity or anything. Therefore, if you are a big fan of the series, you can get this. Otherwise, you should stay away from this or, for example, play Jump Superstars instead.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 05/08/06

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