Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations User Review
This is obviously a game for fans of the series. It's made with love and encompasses just about anyone you could possibly want from the popular series to fight with. The main appeal of this game will obviously be clashing with friends in ninja battles with your most beloved characters from the series' past and present. Generations is the 3rd game in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. The first game told the story of the Naruto series, while the second game told the story of the Shippuden series (which is a few years after the events of Naruto). Generations however doesn't go much further than where Storm 2 left off, because during the process of development, the Manga hadn't gotten much further either. This left them in a spot where Cyber Connect 2 couldn't make another numbered entry because there was so little new content to work with, yet they wanted a new game out sooner rather than later.
Generations is simply a mash-up of both Storm 1 and Storm 2 characters, as well as adding a few newer ones from recent entries into the story's Manga. You'll be able to play as someone from early in the series such as young Naruto, or someone as late in the series as the Masked Man from the battle with the Fourth Hokage. The roster is huge, make no mistake about it. There are 70+ playable characters, and even more options to use as your support. As you might imagine however, most of these characters are rather similar when using them. Most of the Shippuden characters have the same specials and attacks from Storm 2, so not much new there. However the newer characters and Storm 1 seem to have some new moves. There were very few characters left out of this game, and that's what makes it the definitive edition if you're looking to have some great battles with friends either online or offline.
Battling is fast paced and fun as it's always been, though Generations has made a few tweaks to combat since Storm 2. There is now a substitution meter, which will be used up for each attack you dodge using a substitution. However do not fear, this is a welcomed edition as it keeps people from spamming it continuously. The meter will refill over time, so it's not a limited number you have at your disposal. Dodge attack wisely, and you'll come out on top. Along with the new substitution meter, there is also a combo break. So if you're in the middle of a combo, you can stop it automatically with a button press in order to do something else, or simply continue attacking for a longer combo. This makes aerial combos quite formidable and is a very useful tool in taking down opponents. Online play is here again, and it seems to have improved slightly over Storm 2. However I will say I have experienced lag in several matches, the majority have been fine. The only problem with online is that you'll find people who have learned to cheat their characters. Meaning you'll be spammed non-stop with moves that are really hard to get around. I'd say 80% of the time you'll have fun, but watch out for spammers and lag once in a while.
Now onto the story mode of the game. It's divided into different characters. So when you pick a character, you'll go through their story leading up to the current point in the Manga (at that time). There are a good amount of playable stories you'll find yourself going through, and there are even unique anime openings and endings to each one. It's a real treat, as these are brand new and were never shown in the series. However with that said, Storm 2 definitely had the better story mode. In Generations you'll basically be going through a colored and voiced Manga. There is no moving around, simply voiced cutscenes with still pictures. This is definitely a step down from Storm 2, in which you could explore quite a bit of the world of Naruto. Going into this game however, I did not expect the same type of quality when you're trying to cover so much content. To put it into perspective the original Naruto series aired 220 episodes, and currently the Shippuden series is well over that on its own. That's around 500+ episodes and still going. There was simply no way to fit all that into a game. However they tried, and key battles were left out. Though they did a good job with what they had, that's for sure. I'd say Haku and Zabuza's story was the best done, as their arc in the Anime was rather short. It allowed the developers to really capture the spirit of their tragic tale. The story mode IS good, but you might be feeling as if they could have done more by the end.
Graphically the game doesn't improve much on the visuals, though Storm 2 was amazingly close to actual Anime visuals, this doesn't bother me at all. The game looks and plays wonderfully, offering really fast paced ninja action that is really easy to pick up and play, but quite hard to master all the nuances and timings to be called a real pro. If you're already a Naruto fan and know all about the series, by all means pick this up and you'll really enjoy yourself. If you're just starting and want to get into the series, you should probably watch through the Anime first, or go play Storm 1 and Storm 2 before Generations. The game does offer those moments from previous games, but doesn't cover them well enough to justify playing it before knowing what happens.
Graphics - 92/100: The Anime inspired visuals are really something to marvel at. It's really colorful, holds up well during intense moments of combat and really oozes that Naruto feeling with each and every character. You won't be disappointed by the look of this game, that's for sure.
Gameplay - 80/100: The game plays just about the same as Storm 2, however there are two very welcome additions to the combat system. Having the substitution bar is nice, and being able to break combos is even better. However I wish they'd made a significant step up in combat from the previous games. This one felt a little underwhelming compared to the advance in combat from Storm 1 to Storm 2.
Sound - 91/100: The sounds are spot on, and the fact that you can choose either the English or the Japanese voice acting with subtitles is wonderful for those who prefer the series a certain way! The only problem I have is with lip synching, specifically during the scenes after winning a battle. The mouths usually don't match the speech.
Control - 84/100: Ninja battles are really fast paced, and sometimes you'll find yourself unable to get a grip on what's happening. The controls are solid enough, though I've found myself frustrated from time to time, yelling at the screen that I "blocked that", or "dodged that".
Replay Value - 81/100: This one's a bit tricky... If you have friends with the game, the replay value is up there. You'll find a lot of entertainment in playing with friends, especially if they're into the series as well. However, if you just buy this for singleplayer, you won't find too much to keep you playing past the story mode and tournaments. Sure there are some other side things you can do, but it's not enough to keep you around for long without others.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.