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Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

I’m a huge fan of the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden Anime, as well as all of the games that have been released for the most part. Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 takes the cake however blowing past entries away. The best part of this game is the fact that even without being a fan of the series people can easily pick this up and greatly enjoy it. Ninja Storm 2 has a deep and intriguing story that will suck you in and make you care what happens to the characters within. Combined with a deceptively easy to learn battle system, even novice’s to fighting games can jump right in. Don’t get me wrong though, with an easy to learn system, its still a long process to master it and become truly adept at the fighting especially online.

The story mode takes up the vast bulk of the game, easily containing up to 10 hours of game play. Following the two main characters of the series Naruto Uzimake and Sasuke Uchiha, the story takes place during the initial Shippuden story arc and ending with the Pain Story arc. As you progress through the game, you will unlock new characters and titles to use for online and single player battle modes (both incredibly fun). The boss battles are by far the true highlight here, bringing insane fights that are both beautiful to watch and intense to play through. Usually over the top and displaying unique cut scenes and powers only seen in the game, and blending seamless fast action fighting with real time button sequences, this is truly where the game shines.

During the story you will have gigantic boss battles, as well as other important but toned down fights and a few fun but otherwise irrelevant skirmishes. You will have up to two support type characters in your party that you can call in for a quick assist with the press of the button. These are designated by either an attack type, defensive type, or balanced type depending on your individual play style and combining these support characters to your normal attack routine leads you to figure out new combos and fighting styles. Also you have a chakra gauge, much like a rechargeable energy source. Combining chakra into your attacks will give another layer of depth to fighting, turning your simple striking combo into a supercharged super attack. It will also upgrade your normally insignificant long ranged shuriken attack, boost your speed, and let you perform better jumps and dodges as well as your ultimate finishing moves. The last gem among many for the fighting system is the “Awakening Mode.” This will be available when the player has taken enough damage and needs a boost. You will be allowed to overcharge your chakra and transform into your specific characters ultimate form, giving you a massive increase in speed and power. While in this transformed state you will be immune to ultimate justsu and grab attacks, although only for a limited time.

The adventure/story mode is huge and will provide the player with many hours of entertainment. First off to completely unlock your full roster of characters, you will have to beat the entirety of adventure mode. But it also has tons of side quests, funny dialogue with lots of loveable characters, and a good amount of collectibles within it. You can get a lot of the back-story simply by listening to all of the dialogue, even without being a fan of the series, so understanding what’s going on isn’t really that difficult. With a limited open roam world the game isn’t as large as the two past entries for Xbox 360 (Rise of a Ninja and Broken Bond), which fans of the games might be disappointed at.

The online modes are where you can truly test your mettle. There is a free battle mode where less dedicated players can have fun with lots of people more of there beginners level, or you can jump right into ranked fighting where you can get your name on the leader boards. But beware, ranked fighting is a challenge. Starting with the lowly status of ninja academy recruit, and slowly working your way up to the upper echelon of kage and hero is a huge task. Although if your dedicated enough to undertake this goal, it’s truly a rewarding task to fight someone who is a higher rank and smash him into the ground. As an example, I was able to get into a match against an opponent literally 20 thousand ranks higher than me. Believing I had no chance against such a person (which is usually the case in 90 percent of fighting games), it was a great surprise when I beat said fighter and increased my own rank by almost 5 thousand. Just goes to prove anyone stands a chance with this great fighting game.

All in all, I would highly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of the fighting genre or adventure genre. With a deep story, lovable characters to get attached to, and an incredible fighting system Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is well worth the money.

Dedicated fans to the series or newbie’s that have never had any interaction with Naruto will both be pleased with this game. 8.5 Out of 10

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