Loading...

September 5, 2019
Jamie Galea
New Game Plus / Features

Chances are if you speak to someone around my age, they’ll have…opinions on Naruto. With the manga and anime done, and continuing in spinoff and crossover forms, what better time than now to get into it for the first time?

I’m not even kidding when I say this. Naruto was something I never got into when it was popular, somehow passing me by. I don’t know if it not being on free to air TV helped (which was how I got into Dragonball & One Piece) or just not really caring about anime at the time,  but it completely passed me by. Everything I know about the series and where it goes through has been picked up via osmosis, and it’s been enough that I made a decision to actually see what the hell this story is all about.

Which is why I decided to take the punt on buying the four Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm games as a means to check it out and see what I missed. Aside from wanting to check out more of developer CyberConnect2’s catalogue, it was something that’s been recommended by a bunch of friends who’ve gone through the entire story.

And yet playing the first game is questioning my quest to discover more about this.

Not that it’s necessarily a bad game. I’m keeping my expectations for a 10 year old game pretty reasonable, but it’s not a particularly welcoming adaptation for newer fans. The game expects you to have actually read or seen the source material to understand or really appreciate what CC2 are attempting to do.

Character introductions and motivations or story details are either explained in a sentence or not mentioned at all, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It’s giving you the gist, which is handy if you’re knowledgeable about the story, so you don’t have to slog through any parts that are endlessly recreated.  If you’re like me though? It’s almost enough to completely stop playing.

It’s the opposite problem to virtually every Dragonball game, which will go out of its way to retell the exact same story in every single adaptation. There’s only so many times you can fight Raditz and see Goku die before you yearn for something, nay, anything else.

Yet despite all this, I’m enjoying my time enough with the game. It’s an arena fighter the way every anime/manga tends to be nowadays, and it works well enough. But the real winner here is the world – the setting of the Hidden Leaf Village, where most of the action takes place, is kinda really appealing to me.

Most of the story mode in that first game is running around doing tasks, and while it’s a small environment, the look is striking enough. It being set in a (mostly) contemporary city is kind of appealing to me, and it’s striking enough. It’s also still so great when CC2 go all out with cutscenes, you can tell there’s people there who love the source material enough to put their passion into it.

There is one other thing that Ultimate Ninja Storm got me to do. After being so frustrated with only being given the gist of the story and not being the replacement for the source material that I was expecting it to be, I decided to start reading the manga. I’ve only just started, but I’m enjoying my time with it enough that I want to see it through, same with the Ultimate Ninja Storm series. I’m very interested to see how the games adapt the source material, where the story goes from here, and how both can work in concert to make the story worth going through.

Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter.

When he’s not running like an idiot, Jamie can be reached at @jamiemgalea on Twitter and most other social platforms.



September 12, 2019

I love exploring Japan. It’s a country that’s absolutely perfect for tourism – the people are friendly, food and drink is affordable, public transport is amazing and so much more. But it’s also an amazing country if you like video games, not just because it’s the spiritual home of the medium, but because it’s one of the few places in the world where arcades (or Game Centres) are still common place. There’s always been something about arcade games that fascinates me. Not just in terms of designing a game that is meant to eat your money, but because you’re designing around hardw...

September 5, 2019

It’s been nearly three months since the last time Nintendo picked up and subsequently dropped the mic with its E3 Direct, perfect timing to do it again! Nintendo’s direct for September 2019 just finished airing, and quite a lot was announced. Overwatch Coming To Switch Perennial salt simulator Overwatch, after many a leak, is coming to the Nintendo Switch on October 15th. If you’ve ever wanted to play Overwatch on the go, your dreams have finally come true. ARE YOU OKAY? Terry Bogard comes to Super Smash Bros Ultimate The next challenger has been described in the past as a F...

August 29, 2019

It’s been a long time since Sega announced the future of the Yakuza series and how it’ll be lead by a brand new protagonist. After a few well received spinoffs and remakes, Sega are finally read to return to the world of Yakuza proper with the announcement of Yakuza 7: The Whereabouts of Light & Darkness, formerly known as Shin Yakuza. The game, releasing in 2020 on PS4 (first in Japan in January, later in the West) stars Ichiban Kasuga, and won’t be taking place in Kamuorocho, the virtual recreation of Tokyo’s Kabukicho district. Instead, it’ll be set in a ficti...

August 29, 2019

It’s been an especially weird and bizarre time to be a fan of Disney. They own several of the biggest IPs in the media world, recently adding the 20th Century Fox lineup to their list. They’re gunning for streaming dominance with the impending release of Disney+, and will end 2019 with more than half of the 10 highest grossing movies in the world. Yet despite this dominance, one area they’ve never really been dominant in is games. It’s something I’ve been thinking about since the announcement of a compilation of Disney’s Aladdin & The Lion King games hittin...

August 26, 2019

A comment on behalf of the EGAA following the match-fixing & gambling investigation of esports players announced on Friday 23 August 2019 by the Victorian Police, in response to questions received fro...

August 22, 2019

I can’t think of a game in recent memory that’s genuinely surprised me quite like Fire Emblem: Three Houses. It’s gone from a game that was the furthest thing from my radar when it was announced, to being a real contender for my personal game of the year. It’s also a game that I may need to apologize for a bit, because after years of dunking on Fire Emblem and its horny AF fandom, I think I may have finally come around to see what makes this series somewhat special. I should be clear; this is not my first Fire Emblem. I got into it when Nintendo started releasing the GBA titles in the...

August 14, 2019

The popularity of streaming music cannot be understated, and it’s done well to bolster the popularity of video game music. Spotify has had a gaming hub for years, and the service has embraced by publishers, developers and composers. However, it hasn’t been until this year where several beloved Japanese publishers finally released parts of their backcatalogue onto streaming, embracing the future and finally making their music legally available and easily accessible. Yet with more publishers making their music backcatalogue more accessible, it’s becoming apparent that one particular publi...

Black Cap $12

You can support New Game Plus AND look good by wearing our awesome merchandise.

Protect your delicate head from the sun's damaging rays while showing the world you have excellent taste in videogame TV shows.

August 13, 2019

It’s been a good year for video game soundtracks coming to streaming platforms. Capcom kicked things off with a great selection of music, and adding their most recent works as the year went on. Konami also got in on this, re-releasing a heap of Castlevania tunes. Square-Enix properly joined up around E3 time with a glut of Final Fantasy soundtracks, so it’s great to see the next publisher joining the streaming music revolution is Bandai Namco! Earlier today, eagle-eyed Spotify users noticed official pages for the company, with several Tekken soundtracks avaialble for streaming. We...

August 6, 2019

I have been playing videogames for a long time so I am old enough to remember the bad old days when videogames were blamed for society’s problems. Which was last weekend. Donald Trump today called for the regulation of violent videogames: “[…] we must stop the glorification of violence in our society, this includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this and it has to begin immediately.” Trump has a his...

Show More Blogs
Latest Videos
Latest Photos & Events
Site by GMAC Internet Solutions