I will admit I have never particularly followed the Naruto series. I don’t watch a ton of TV, and when it comes to Anime I’m pretty limited outside of old Dragon Ball Z episodes. My kids however, enjoy the Naruto series. They have lots of the manga books that all three have at least browsed through, and in most cases read from cover to cover.
On top of that, this title is pretty old. It came out in 2007 and it has been bouncing around our house for some time. My son had played this game the most, but I was looking for something the play the other day and sat down with this game to kill a few hours and found myself playing it again for several more days.
It is a fighting game, usually one-on-one but there are quite a few different modes and variations you will have available to you as well.
It’s true to the source material. I have seen enough of the cartoon and books due to my kids to know that the graphics found here are a pretty good representation of the series. I didn’t see any real slowdown, even when the fighting got hectic, which is good. While the characters animate well, the backgrounds were a bit bland in my opinion. Almost none of them stood out in my mind once I had left the stage and there did not often seem to be a ‘lot going on’ either.
Sound & Music – 7:
According to my kids, the voices and sound effects are pretty authentic to the TV show. The music may have been as well, but I’m not sure and it was seldom memorable. Definitely not a bad outing by any means, but not really spectacular on any single front of the audio presentation either.
Gameplay – 7:
I am a fan of one-on-one fighting games, but the controls here took a bit of getting used to. I tried to make use of the tutorials every chance I got, but they did not fully explain certain things and there was a ton of trial and effor. Menus were easy to get around and there were plenty of cool modes.
Intangibles – 7:
There’s a pretty good stable of combatants to be found here, with some creatively designed levels and what looks like a ton of content true to the show. Fans of the series will probably appreciate these things a bit more than I could, but the story mode was actually a good deal of fun as it kept changing the pace on what I was supposed to do – though there were times where a specific condition had to be met (like a move to end a fight) that did sometimes annoy me if I couldn’t pull that precise sequence off – especially if it was a move on a character I was not yet particularly familiar with. One glaring hole for me is the lack of online play. Obviously online is seldom a strong point for the Wii, but with so many other fighting games on the market that provide this, it does hurt not seeing it here.
Overall – 7:
Not a bad game at all. A few years ago, I’m sure it would have been even more impressive, but it shows its age currently. It can be found pretty cheaply now, and if you like Naruto there may be a little extra incentive to give this game a go. That being said, it made for a nice diversion for a few days for me, but there are other fighting games like Street Fighter, Tekken and Mortal Kombat that I would recommend over this one.