One of the longest standing and most popular anime to date, fans around the world have grown up right alongside Naruto Uzumaki. With the recent ending of the manga, and the anime right behind it, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is set to be the fifth and final entry to the series by developer CyberConnect2. Will this last hurrah go out with a standing ovation? Read on to find out!
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: February 9th, 2016
Platform: Xbox One
As a fan of the anime and a gamer that hasn’t played a Naruto game since Rise of a Ninja, UNS4 is an utter masterpiece. The game features so much content it’s almost too overwhelming. First the story. The Story Mode in UNS4 feels incredible. Every chapter feels like you’re playing out an episode of the anime. Fans of the series and newcomers alike will get the full details on the life of Naruto and Sasuke with the games Yin and Yang paths. The story primarily revolves around the Fourth Great Ninja War arc, focusing on Madara and Obito Uchiha’s world ending plan.
The Story Mode includes 40 fights in total. The fights include everything from simple one-on-one battles to the full-scale epic summon battles as played out in the anime. There are even multiple scenario battles that place you in a particular instance of the story. One such is the battle between Guy and Madara in which Guy opens the final inner-gate. Another is when Obito learns of Rin’s demise and goes crazy killing hundreds of enemies. These fights not only mirror their anime counterpart, they look and feel amazing as well.
The ranking system of each fight begs players to come back and attempt to perfect each battle. To receive an elusive S-rank, you have to win with hardly any health lost. You also have to complete a majority of the quick time events (QTE). UNS4 is one of those rare instances in which I did not mind the QTE’s. Each and every scene is so over the top it’s just fun to watch and feel like you’re apart of the action.
The adventure mode, surprisingly enough, is a fairly big addition to the game. Don’t expect anything like Rise of a Ninja, but the playable area is fairly expansive. Most of the gameplay revolves around completing miscellaneous tasks for people around the village. It also allows players to visit iconic areas such as the Uchiha hideout, Turtle Island, and various villages. Other modes include Versus Battle, Tournament, Survival, League, and Practice.
A huge portion of the game is the Online Battle mode. Here you have nearly all the options listed above but with an online component. Tournaments, for instance, are played against other players instead of AI. There are also tons of customization options for your ninja info card, but the overall effect isn’t big enough.
Battles in the Online Mode can be intense. Whereas the story mode utilizes huge set pieces and mixing in cutscenes, online battles get their flair from the skill of the players alone. Battles can be fought solo or in teams. If you choose teams, you can have either one or two teammates. The benefit of having only one teammate is that your tag attack charges much faster. But obviously with two teammates you have two different tag attacks. The sheer number of characters to choose from along with the 16 battle arenas makes the online mode a never ending source of entertainment.
Not only is Naruto UNS4 one of the best anime to video game adaptations I’ve ever played, it’s also one of the best fighters. The game features an amazing story mode thanks to the backbone of the anime/manga, along with multiple varying modes to for fans of different types. The amount of content this game offers is second to none. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the last entry of the series for developers Cyber Connect, and what a final hurrah it is.
+ Amazing visuals
+ Great story mode
+ Number of characters
+ Various game modes
– Adventure mode isn’t up to par