Naruto, the ever-popular Teenage Japanese Ninja Cat-like thing is back yet again to bring his unique brand of gaming to the home consoles. It seems like only yesterday that Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles was gracing our screens, and now Naruto is plying his trade on the Xbox 360, can a change in technology life the game to reach the heights of the massively popular anime?
The change to the Xbox 360 is immediate when entering the stunningly cell-shaded world of Konoha and its environments; characters are realised brilliantly and, like the recent The Simpsons Game, show just how close the powerful new systems can get to the animated series.
Ubisoft Montreal has done a wonderful job of compressing 80 episodes of the anime down into the running time of the game, taking Naruto down memory lane that is imminently familiar for Otaku fans, while still being accessible to more casual gamers.
But a storyline only works when placed upon some good controls and accurate fighting systems, and this time, with Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, they’ve managed to get the balance almost completely right. The fighting is so good that it has its own isolated mode. Taking control of Naruto and learning his ever more complex combos, not to mention supers in the form of Jutsu, is a blast and shows a great degree of thought by the developers.
This Naruto is by far and away the best videogame adaptation of the beloved ninja anime yet; it may even take the title of flat out best anime adaptation ever, showing Dragonball Z titles that anime in the right hands can be golden.