Written By: Eduardo Zacarias, Editor-in-Chief
Just as Naruto Uzumaki has grown up and moved up in the shinobi world in the manga series and the anime, so too has our favorite orange ninja in the world of video games. We have seen excellent, passable and just plain awful Naruto games in the past and now as the series moved on to its Naruto Shippuden phase, you can bet a bowl of ramen that the same applies to the Shippuden games.
You see, earlier Naruto games featured adventures when a much younger Naruto in a team that consisted of Sakura and Sasuke and some have eventually led up to the moment where Naruto and Sasuke part ways in a battle between these two characters. Now, the Naruto Shippuden games finds Naruto a bit older, somewhat wiser and a lot more powerful than before. It also finds Naruto with new threats to face and a new determination that goes beyond his desire to become the Leaf Village’s Hokage.
So allow me to take you through the Naruto Shippuden games so far as we not only look at the good games but also the Shippuden games you really should avoid even if you’re a hardcore fan.
Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution III (Nintendo Wii)
A surprisingly well-executed fighting game with all the things we wanted to see in a fighter with Naruto-themed backgrounds, characters and Chakra-filled abilities. Each character brought something to the table and, on top of the fun fast-paced action, the game made good use of the Nintendo Wii controllers well enough that we just can’t stop playing this around our office.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
We really enjoyed the first Ultimate Ninja Storm game but this sequel is even more enjoyable than the first in almost every way without coming off as just another rehash. Don’t you hate it when games bring the same ideas to the table with just an updated roster? Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 tries and scores big to the point that this outshines the original.
Ultimate Ninja 4: Naruto Shippuden (PlayStation 2)
Who said nothing good comes out for the PlayStation 2 now that the PS3 is available? This fourth game in the Ultimate Ninja series offers more bang for your buck but falls short in a few things including the main mode that just goes through the motions by copying games like Naruto: Rise of a Ninja. Still, you can’t go wrong with this Naruto title.
Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Destiny 2 (Nintendo DS)
Ninja Destiny 2 runs circles around the Ninja Council games in just about every way and Destiny 2 is just simply a fun game that Naruto fans will enjoy. Sure, it’s not an amazing handheld game but it is still fun enough for those who have lost hope that no good Naruto games appear on the DS.
Naruto Shippuden: Naruto Vs. Sasuke (Nintendo DS)
What’s better than showing that no good traitor Sasuke who is the better ninja than taking him on in a handheld game that pits Naruto against his former friend? This game basically makes us live out our fantasy of finally seeing a no-holds barred battle against these two powerful forces once and for all.
Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising (PSP)
One of the most disappointing handheld games was one that was promising in just about every way considering the fact that this game pits Naruto and other Leaf ninja against the Akatsuki threat. This game just falls flat in every department, most importantly the combat so avoid this one if you could.
Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles (Nintendo Wii)
This one is almost just as disappointing as Akatsuki Rising because it was meant to be an original Naruto Shippuden game good enough to shake your Wii Remote around. It’s just so upsetting to see good idea implemented so weakly for a game that doesn’t feature the same scenarios we already played in past Naruto games to do something different.
Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Council 4 (Nintendo DS)
The Ninja Council series has a sketchy track record that has seen many bad Naruto games and only has a limited number of really good ones. It’s not that they didn’t try to bring Naruto fans a good game but too much emphasis was placed on making use of the handheld’s touch screen capabilities than concentrating on level design. This fourth addition falls flat because of this same issue but there is hope for this series yet since there are some good things about the game … mainly the action.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 (PSP)
I really loved the first Ultimate Ninja Heroes game and the second one was not bad at all but Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is like the first two games had a baby … a very bland baby that disappoints its two talented and very likeable parents. Sure, it looks and feels like mom and dad but junior offers nothing new that make it stand out in anyway.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN GAMES WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO FOR 2011
You can expect more Naruto games for 2011 and we will bring you more news and review for the new games when we get them. Of course, there’s a game we are certainly looking forward to and that is:
Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble! (Nintendo DS)
Covering a very serious and intense chapter in the Naruto Shippuden series, Shinobi Rumble is but the beginning of what might look to be the beginning of a war in the shinobi world. The gloves are off and if this game plays its cards right it will be a game you will not want to miss.