Review by megasean3000

"Best fights ever and very addictive, but is dragged down by horrible voice syncing."

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is the sequel to the awesome Storm 1. The first one had awesome graphics, breathtaking fights and includes the deep story of the first part of the Naruto series. Can Storm 2 build on this? You better believe it can! Storm 2 has way more fights involving quick-reaction button movements, lots of fun mini-games, plus all the characters of the series is included too, including Pain, Konan, Tobi, heck, there's even an option for Naruto to wear Hokage clothing! I loved it, and still playing it; but there was one problem I could not stand about it. I'll discuss with this in-depth analysis:

Graphics: 10/10 - Just like before, Storm 2 has cel-shading CGI, with everything looking as real to the anime as possibe, from characters to environments. The graphics are turned to it's fullest when the battles come into play. The way certain moves (Such as Wind-Style - Rasenshuriken) clearly shows the level of detail in Chakra is amazing to watch. Apart from the amazing graphics, there really isn't much to report that's bad, so Storm 2 really has achieved perfection with graphics.

Characters: 8/10 - As this is a Naruto game, it is kinda obvious that the game will centre around the Naruto characters: Naruto Uzumaki, the loud-mouth, Sakura Haruno, Naruto's teammate and the sensible one, Sasuke Uchiha, Naruto's rival who betrayed him and Kakashi Hatake, Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke's teacher. If you've already seen the series, you should know the character development of the characters pretty well, but for all those who didn't see the series, here's a recap: Naruto grows from being the brat who cares nothing more than to cause mischief to the proud ninja who wants nothing more than to protect his friends. Sakura grows from being the love-struck useless teammate to a resourceful kunoichi who has buried her love feelings for Sasuke (judging from my perspective of the game). Sasuke grows from being cold and dark to colder and darker as the game goes on. And Kakashi just stays as he is; I'm pretty sure he'll have character development if they included his past. But overall, I find the characters lovable, except for Sasuke, because playing his side of the game was kinda dire.

Story 8/10 - Storm 2 takes the story of the Shippuuden series. For all the people oblivious to the series, the story follows up from the first game, when Naruto leaves with his Godfather, Jiraiya, to train in order to arm himself against the Akatsuki, an evil organization that wants Naruto's power for themselves. Naruto returns to the village three years later, and after getting used to his comrades once more, finds himself whisked on an adventure to save his friend Sasuke from the dark forces and defeat the mighty Akatsuki. Seems simple in a nutshell, but on some occasions, I feel that the story was altered just for the sake of battles and gameplay. For example, Sakura never fought Kabuto in Chapter 2, Naruto barely puts up a fight against Sasuke in the same chapter, Suigetsu never fights Sasuke in chapter 4, and Tsunade never fights Pain in the final chapter (Nor does she witness Shizune being mind-warped....come to think of it, none of the people who did witness it were there). And I'm a little disgruntled that Naruto's team and Hinata's team never played any part when Sasuke was seeking out Itachi; it would've made Hinata's team a little more playable. But, apart from that, all's good.

Gameplay 9/10 - Storm 2 is a 3D fighting game (Not like Soul Caliber where characters walk like they're drunk), but is fast-paced and really intense. The difficulty of some fights can get a little tedious, especially when certain fights spam their upgrades and use their supports every two minutes. But I like it, anyway, because of one extra factor: on certain occasions, players can engage in boss fights, which involve fast hand-eye coordination and press certain buttons when needed. On top of that, the fight scenes played during it are a work of genius. Gameplay is near perfect, along with graphics, so there isn't much more to discuss.

Sound 3/10 - Alas, all games have their weakest points. The sound of this game is just that, particularly the voice acting. The character's voice actors show no, if not little, emotion during their talking. And the ridiculously hilarious thing about it is: their body posture and facial expressions tell otherwise: I'm seeing Tsunade yell at the top of her voice to Pain in the last chapter, yet I'm hearing her talk as calmly as can be. I just had to shake my head in disgust with this. On top of that, their voices don't marry up to the Japanese voices, which I thought was absolutely laughable. The only thing stopping me from giving it a 0/10 was all the other sounds, such as SFX. Plus I thought Madara and Pain's english voices was well done. (I liked Madara's because he has no face, therefore can't show emotion and doesnt have a mouth to voice sync to). But the voice-syncing was the only thing I detested about this game, and I hope that if they release a third Storm, that they'll build on this mishap.

Overall: 8/10 - Overall, I thought the game was magnificent, the battle system is worth getting used to, plus the characters are their old lovable selves. The head of the sound department needs to be dragged out and shot, but apart from that, I really, really recommend this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/24/11

Game Release: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (EU, 10/15/10)

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