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Platform

PSP

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Namco Bandai

 

Developer

CyberConnect2

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

May, 2010

 

 

- Lots to unlock

- 4 player mode

 

 

- Same story again

- The overall experience is kinda boring

 

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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3

Score: 6/10

 

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I'm sure that plenty of people who do not care for anime has at one point or another heard of Naruto. Naruto is a very popular manga and anime from Shonen Jump and its vast popularity resulted in an array of merchandise including toys, plush dolls, etc. With that much popularity, it's no surprise plenty of naruto games were also produced. Here we have Naruto Ultimate Ninja Hero 3 for the Playstation Portable.

 

The game includes Story Mode (aka Master Road), Free Battle mode, Co-op Play and, of course, Practice. As to be expected, the story from the anime is a watered down version of the manga and anime. However, there is a new story added for this game and to be honest, it is nothing for fans to get their hopes up over. Having seen and played the Gaara Rescue Arc from previous games over and over again, it would have been nice if we could have skipped that part of the story and went right to introducing Sai and Yamato. Aside from characters, there are a lot of extras to unlock. As you progress through story mode, you will be able to purchase different Sets for each character, which includes the characters figure, ultimate jutsu, and music for that character. 

 

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As with all games of the Naruto Ultimate Ninja series, players can fight either on the foreground or background. Something else the game series is known for is simple inputs for attacks, rather than somewhat more complicated command inputs that you'll find in games such as Street Fighter, King of Fighters, etc. Different combos are pulled of through directional inputs. From 

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what I have seen, there is not much difference between UNH3 from its previous offerings, other than some ad-hoc multiplayer additions including up to 4 players. As with Ultimate Ninja Storm for the PS3, this game also features Awakening mode which allows the characters to become faster, stronger, or use a unique ability depending on the character. Naruto, for example, will have red chakra around him increasing his strength and speed. Neji and Hinata will use byakugan mode allowing them to see the enemies weak points. Some characters such as Sasuke, Guy, and Lee will actually transform their bodies into another state.

 

Unlocking characters is done through story mode and through clearing various battle challenges. It is unfortunate since story mode can be pretty boring, and to make things worse, CyberConnect2 decided it would be a good idea to add side scrolling platform missions in between fights. These missions require the player to reach to the goal before the time runs out. While racing for the goal, you are able to collect food items, chakra items, as well as NP (Ninja Points). However, be prepared to repeatedly listen to the same voice clips such as Finders Keepers and Chakra Recovery. There are also side scrolling fights included which can be ridiculously difficult, and the A.I. is of no help as they will take the recovery items before you can reach it no matter how much health/chakra they have left, therefore you end up losing the match. Regardless of the well known character Pain being on the cover, be assured he is not part of story mode. This game does not include the Pain vs Jiraiya or Sasuke vs Itachi arc, but rather only goes up to the Sasuke vs Deidara fight. Regardless, Pain is still a playable character, but must be unlocked through a series of challenges. Other unlockable characters which can only be unlocked through these challenges are Konan, Obito, Young Kakashi, etc. These challenges are neither fun nor interesting.

 

The game is nice to look at with some good visuals such as character models, backgrounds and even little details provide a very nice look to the game. The sound effects, music and voice acting (for the most part) are pretty good as well.

 

Naruto Shippuden: UNH3 isn't a bad game, but it does at times feel more of a chore playing than it is actually having fun. If CyberConnect2 could bring more to the inevitable sequel, it would be a welcome change.

 

Jason Tonello

August 15, 2010

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