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Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Package Art
 GENRE
  Fighting
 DEVELOPER
  8ing
 PUBLISHER
  TOMY Corporation
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-4
 CONNECTIVITY
  no
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Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2

During a time when the Naruto anime series is reaching a higher level of popularity with each passing episode, one might think a game based on the series could easily be rushed and produced with little replayability. Thankfully, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 stands tall enough to withstand abusive generalizations, and at the same time provides the bundle of an enjoyable fighting experience as well as a rich and amusing storyline. Despite the obvious connection to the Naruto anime itself, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 offers both anime and non-anime fans alike an engaging fighting experience.

visuals

Just like many other of today’s anime-to-game adaptations, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 is presented in a cel-shaded format. That being said, this format is able to represent Naruto in the most ideal way possible, allowing for near perfect character appearances. Naruto’s movements, for example, are represented in ways he actually appears in the anime, whether it is through a “Clone Jutsu” or “Sexy Jutsu.” Naruto and his fellow fighters animate smoothly and accurately when compared to their anime counterparts. Additionally, all special moves are presented with a particular flair unique to the character attacking. For example, Sakura’s “Inner Sakura” assists by madly punching her opponent in all of her outlined fury.

The backgrounds of the battle arenas are also an attractive asset to Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2. Whether it be small details, such as Hinata attempting to catch a glimpse of her beloved Naruto behind a tree or a massive snake slithering around towering trees, each arena has life breathed into it. Despite the obvious fact that arenas typically only provide a generic ring, the ambience is what truly makes the anime-inspired environment come to life.

audio

Much like its predecessor, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 makes use of all the voices viewers of the anime have become familiar with. If a set of characters have a rivalry or unique connection of some sort, their association will become apparent with how they regard each other before and after each fight. All of this familiarity is combined with a musical score which both fits the Naruto anime series as well as each stage it represents.

gameplay

Finding itself following in the footsteps of its prequel once again, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 uses two basic attack methods with an auto-defense function. By utilizing the four directions of the D-pad, a Ninjutsu/Ninja Tool Attack can be directed at the opponent with the A button. In most cases, fighters have one or two unique abilities accessible via their Ninjutsu attack. Everything that isn’t unique is typically using a weapon of some sort. In addition, a Taijutsu attack can be used by using the B button. Taijutsu attacks are primarily carried out through the communication of a fighter’s fists and feet to the opponent’s body. In addition to physical attacks, a throw is also available for each character. Lastly, by backing away and/or pressing no buttons at all, a fighter will automatically defend against most attacks.

During battles, fighters can string together basic combinations of the A and B buttons to create combos. In essence, this system isn’t overly complex. Some combos are more effective than others, some leave your fighter wide open and others are just plain pretty. In other words, each character possesses combos with different strengths and weaknesses. Upon entering the pause menu, a listing of the current fighter’s combos is conveniently available.

Each character also possesses one Special Jutsu, with the exception of Rock Lee, who has two. Just like combos, each character’s Special Jutsu has a different degree of power and aesthetic charm. Each Special Jutsu has varying range, so failing to complete a Special Jutsu isn’t uncommon and can often result in a beat down.

Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 also offers several options to increase replayability. As points are amassed, additional characters, stages and features can be unlocked. Since this particular game only covers a certain part of the anime, don’t expect any real surprises in hidden characters. With all the unlockables, it can be easily said that quite a few hours are necessary to gather every feature.

multiplayer

Thankfully, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 slightly improved its multiplayer modes from its previous incarnation. Boasting a roster of 23 total characters, players have multiple options for beating up their buddies. Whether it be basic one-on-one, four player simultaneous brawls, one player versus three other players or two versus two battles, it’s truly good to see improvement was possible.

overall

In a world full of rehashes and rush-jobs, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 stands up and lets people know its possible to make a rich fighting game from an anime based on… fighting. Despite the fact that it’s a little too easy to have an opponent attack your backside, controls are typically quick responding and attacks are relatively devastating. Fans of the anime series will enjoy Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 as an attractive bonus. Fighter fans can also enjoy a responsive and attractive experience. Whether it be through the Story mode or multiplayer modes, Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 has the potential to provide many hours of enjoyment.



final score 8.6/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Aaron Steinfeld
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"Losers quit when they are tired; winners quit when they have won."


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