Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is a direct sequel to Ultimate Ninja Storm 2. The story picks up from where Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 leaves off. If you haven’t seen Naruto Shippuden or played Ninja Storm 2 you will be lost and not know what is going on. The Ninja Storm series follows the storyline of Shippuden exactly. Each one picking up from where the previous one left off. Ninja Storm 3 takes place after the fight Naruto has with Pain who is the leader of the Akatsuki. The people of the village are reconstructing the village after Pain decimated it. You won’t have to wait long for the story to begin either. As soon as you click on the start button you are entered right into the middle of a huge battle.
Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 back peddles a bit with the story and starts with the nine-tails fox wrecking havoc on the Hidden Leaf village the night Naruto was born. If you watch the anime you already know that this battle is what causes Naruto to lose both of his parents. This time though we see that night from the Fourth Hokage’s point of view. What is also revealed is that the Fourth was fighting a mysterious masked man. His identity is revealed a lot later during the Fourth Great Ninja War. That night made the Fourth more than a hero. It made him a legend. Throughout the entire game whenever you start a fight you have to make a choice between hero and legend. You have to make this choice right away because you start playing as the Fourth. Your first battle is against the masked man.
This introduces the hero/legend battle system. There are a few functions of this new system. Choosing the hero path at key points in the story means you are choosing the easier path. Who you fight will be different and the items you get to use will be as well. If you choose the path of the legend your battles will be harder but you get to use more powerful items. When you complete story battles you are rewarded with both hero points and legend points. These points allow you to gain ranks for both paths. Ranks unlocks support item slots. At first choosing between the two doesn’t seem like a big deal. When you get to the important parts of the story the path you choose for a particular fight matters. It can drastically alter the results.
Which brings us to our next new feature the Ninja World Timeline. This new feature allows you to replay any boss fight you want. If you choose the hero path for one boss fight you can go to the Ninja World Timeline and see how it will turn out with the legend path. What makes the Ultimate Ninja Storm series great is that not only do you get an amazing story but you get to fight as you see fit in each battle you play. There have been a few things modified to the fighting system that I found to be very helpful. The first is that you can use Awakeing mode at will for certain characters. The next helped me a lot when fighting the Nine-Tails is that assist characters can aid you while you are in the middle of fighting.
If that isn’t incentive enough to play Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 then maybe an alternate ending to the war will be. It isn’t canon but still worth seeing now that the actual ending has already been released. Another feature worth noting is the open world exploration. When you aren’t doing a story mission you are free to explore the Hidden Leaf village, take on side-quests, collect items, and strengthen your relationships. There are about 80 playable characters as well. You can also play online and fight with other ninjas as well. Personally the multiplayer feature didn’t really interest me all that much. As a die-hard fan of the anime I was much more interested in getting to play all my favorite parts from the war.
Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 has one of the best visuals I ever seen in any anime game. The entire game from the opening to the end felt like I was watching the anime. Many times I forgot I was playing the game. The entire opening scene blew my mind. The visuals are bright, colorful, fluid, and in my opinion even better than in the anime. Playing the game on my PC instead of on a console had its benefits. Playing on a PC your screen is up close and it makes you feel like you are right in the middle of the action. My only complaint about the game is the complicated controls. If you are playing the PC version the game automatically thinks you are using a Xbox controller. As such all the controls are based on an Xbox controller. If you go into your settings when you first launch the game you can change this though. If you play on a keyboard you have to use at least 10 keys on your keyboard to play the game if not more. After awhile it is challenging to remember them all.
Aside from that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is one of the best Naruto games I have ever played. If you are a fan of the anime you must get your hands on it and play. The story scenes are more cinematic than they were in the series. You get to explore the world, do side-quests, engage in more fights, and relive your favorite battles from the Fourth Great Ninja World. To top it all off you get an alternate ending. This game has everything die-hard Naruto fans could ever want. If you aren’t a fan this game might not appeal to you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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