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NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm LEGACY (Xbox One) Review

September 18, 2017 | Posted by Liam Morrow
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm LEGACY
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NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja Storm LEGACY (Xbox One) Review  

If you’re not familiar with the story of Naruto, here’s the gist. It centres around an adolescent but immature ninja called Naruto Uzumaki who has the dream of becoming Hokage, the leader of his village. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of the series or anime as a whole though, Ultimate Ninja LEGACY is still accessible as a game, with most things being explained in pop-up tutorials. Some of the terms used are japanese, but make sense in the context, so don’t worry about that. Ultimate Ninja LEGACY is actually a collection of 4 games, Ninja Storm, Ninja Storm 2, Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst and Ninja Storm 4: Road to Boruto, including all previously released DLC, unlocked and ready to go.

Beautifully detailed and graphically stunning, it’s one of the most awe inspiring games I’ve ever played. Every face is properly rendered and the backgrounds are just as detailed as the foreground. The voice acting is pretty good too, although some of the English voices can sound a bit monotone. This isn’t just a lazy port of a popular show like so many others, it’s a proper tie-in. And being like the show, the battles are just plain ridiculous in the best way. All 4 games are mainly fight based, with each one having slight differences to how these are approached. All of them are 3D open battles in a large area, with you being able to jump, dodge and even throw shurikens. The main moves are all done using the B button, with slight flourishes using the analogue stick changing up the moves slightly. The big moves however use up your chakra, which gives you access to your Jutsu- supernatural abilities which can manifest in a number of different ways depending on who you’re using and what style they’re equipped with. They take a few seconds to charge though, so you have to pick your moment, which when the battles are so chaotic you can’t even keep up with what’s happening, isn’t easy. Each character can also use an Awakening, which morphs them in to giant creatures or constructs capable of incredible damage. Naruto’s is called the Nine Tailed Demon Fox, which is exactly as it sounds. Although not immune to damage, once you’ve learned how to guard and evade, they are near enough unstoppable, although they last just for a short time. There’s also a few mini games to do, such as racing up the side of a giant tree avoiding branches and other racers, point to point races

How you get to these battles slightly differs in each title. The first in the series finds you in the open-world view of Hidden Leaf Village, Naruto’s home. This acts as a sort of hub, with you interacting with different NPC’s to get side missions and earn RYO, the currency you will need to buy items you will eventually need for battles. This is where it gets a tad complicated. A couple of missions are available straight away, requiring you to find someone to start. Some are unlocked by basic actions such as taking a certain amount of steps or breaking pots. Others are acquired via EXP, which you get by completing other missions. It all seems a bit absurd and unnecessary, and honestly a bit frustrating. There didn’t seem to be a structure to it. Thankfully, in the second part this is cleared up a bit. You star out in Hidden Leaf Village once again, but missions are more straight forward. You’re given a mission, and are directed to the mission area. It’s more Final Fantasy like in this regard, with the village split into smaller areas. There’s no different grades of missions to worry about, you simply get a request from a villager and a direction to go in, and off you go. I much, much preferred this approach, it simplified things and let me enjoy the battle elements a lot more. The battles are more or less the same as the first game, with the added dynamic of interactive videos which show a massive Jutsu taking place, with you pressing certain buttons to either attack or defend against the opponent. And they are ultra massive and quite enjoyable. The fact that smashing one opponent into the ground with force enough to make a giant crater is really quite satisfying. I know overdoing the action is par for the course in anime, but they’ve found a way to bring this action into the game and, more importantly, make it enjoyable. I actually forgot a couple of times I was playing a game, so intense was the action. The third game, Full Burst, is pretty much a direct follow on of the second, employing the same formula in the layout of the game. This was absolutely fine by me, as the second was such an improvement over the first. However, the story get a little bit more serious as Naruto has grown up a bit now and saved the Village from being wiped out. The second and third instalments could have been the same game in all honesty, but that is just a minor niggle in what is otherwise an enjoyable series. Now, Road to Boruto is a bit different. You start off by completing linear segments, which branch off into separate stories. You can then go back and take different routes to expand the story more. Battles are once again keeping with the same formula, with Jutsus and Awakenings, ridiculous combos and brilliant graphics galore.

Outside of the main story mode, there a few different options available throughout all 4 games. The other main mode is free battle, where you can use different characters in a roster similar to more traditional fighting games. Choose your fighter, opponent, and back-up, and just have a battle. This is true of all 4, but the forth has adventure battle, story mode and Road to Boruto, which is based on the movie and the ending of the whole saga. The game itself is already available, with the physical release getting an artbook, and anime disc, all packaged in a rather stunning steelbook. Each title is also available separately, but honestly it’s better value getting all 4 at once with a bunch of collectibles with it too. I’ve had an absolute blast playing this, and even if it wasn’t based on an anime, its still great to play through.

8
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
An excellent port of an existing property, this is so much fun you can get lost just watching. The one and only con is the first part, where the mission layout can be a bit odd. Once you get past that though, it's just delightful.
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