GAMING: Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations is a neat little fighting game that does its licence proud - a rare feat.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM GENERATIONS
SYSTEM: XBOX 360
AGE RESTRICTION: 12
Main character Naruto is a child ninja raised in the Hidden Leaf Village, which is like Hogwarts, except its curriculum is more focused on murder.
I can't comment much here on how the story is expanded on as I have not watched the anime on which it is based. What I can say, though, is that the developers really like the show and it shines through in their work.
This is a loving adaption, and it manages to be extremely fun. Instead of a single-story mode, the game follows short vignettes that are woven together to bring the whole saga to you, giving you the impression of seeing the game and the characters from a different angle.
The game is an inversion of the usual fighter model. Normally in a fighting game you have one character on the left, another on the right, and you fight more or less on a two-dimensional plain that hasn't changed much in decades, except nowadays the fighters are rendered to look three-dimensional.
In the Ultimate Ninja Storm series this is inverted - you move in three dimensions with characters rendered to look two-dimensional. This makes the games fresh in a genre that tends to get stale after a while.
The fighting controls are simplified, which does away with the need to learn the long combination chains that normally characterise fighting games.
How you position yourself matters more than your ability to button mash. This is not a negative - it strikes that balance of simple mechanics and challenging gameplay.
The substitution bar is a great little addition to the game - while it does slow you down a bit waiting for it to recharge, it also prevents people from simply substituting repeatedly.
The game's major weakness is that, with so many characters (as it covers both part one and two of the TV series), it is difficult to keep their move-sets from overlapping - and the developers do not fully achieve that.
Great cartoon aesthetics, and the developers' love of the series translates into a game made with passion.
The character roster a bit too large to keep the characters varied.