Publisher: D3Publisher of America, Inc. (D3PA)
N Amer - Fall 2007
The NARUTO franchise is getting bigger and bigger in the North American market, with the hit cartoon series and associated merchandise setting it on the same tier as Dragon Ball Z or Pokemon. The series has also seen its fair share of video games hitting the market. Now, the series will make its way onto the Wii with the upcoming launch of NARUTO: Clash of Ninja Revolution. Clash of Ninja Revolution will be in many ways quite similar to the Clash of Ninja games that have come before it on the GameCube, but D3Publisher states that the game will offer elements that haven’t been in previous NARUTO games, at least not in the US. Plus, the game makes good use of the Wii’s motion controls, making for a title that NARUTO fans with a Wii should want to give a look.
For those not in the know, the Clash of Ninja series is a one-on-one fighting game approach to the NARUTO franchise, letting you pit characters from the series in combat. The game lets you use the character’s abilities as presented in the series, like Naruto’s ability to clone himself and attack his opponents with multiples or Gaara’s various sand attacks and so on.
The gameplay feels very similar to previous Clash of Ninja games, with the exception of the Wii’s unique controlling scheme. You can perform special moves with a wave of the controller while moving your character around with the nunchuck dongle. When performing a super attack, the game breaks into a time-based attack mode similar to the event combos in God of War, where you have to press certain buttons at the right time in order to perform the right move. This lets you do significantly more damage during your attack, but is a bit tough to get used to.
The game also lets you knock your enemies off of ledges a la Dead of Alive. These are particularly fun to engage in, as you can attack your opponent in mid-air by performing more time-based combos. However, they also have the opportunity to put the kibosh on those plans, as they can perform blocks and reversals by doing the same motions that you do.
If you’re more of a traditional gamer and the Wii’s default controls aren’t your bag, then NARUTO: Clash of the Ninja lets you use either a GameCube controller or the Classic Controller in lieu of the Wii-mote/Nunchuck combo.
Graphically the game has a very clean look to it, with the character models sporting a cel-shaded look that mirrors the cartoon very well. The special attacks also look great, as do the engaging cutscenes when you knock someone off of the ledge in the environment.
NARUTO: Clash of Ninja is turning out be a solid fighting game that could do fans of the show justice, and may appeal to players that aren’t necessarily hardcore about the NARUTO franchise. Look for it this fall.
NARUTO hits the Wii with intuitive Wii-mote controls.
Reviewer: Steven Hopper
Review Date: 06/25/2007