Its actually an annoying story how I stumbled onto this one. I went to Blockbuster's to rent a game, and lo and behold they don't have Assassin's Creed, which i wanted. Or DMC4, CoD4, Eternal Sonata, Dynasty Warriors 6, or even Warriors Orochi. So, I chose between Lost Odyssey and Naruto Rise of a Ninja, Guess who won.
Anyway, N:R of a N is a little hard to classify. Its an RPG, adventure, action, fighting game. So, ahem....
The presentation is good, and not so good. Half the menus look great and are easily navigated, the other half are kinda glitchy. The symbols attribute to this, as half the time, I can't tell what they even mean. For a long time I thought a bowl of ramen was some kinda of blotch, just artistic license. Despite this, it detracts very little from the games smooth presentation. Story is...well, the show. So really, if you've seen the show, this game is all about gameplay. But if you haven't, this is a very good storyline, if not a little butchered.
The graphics are easily the best looking Naruto game out there. Cell shaded characters models with very smooth animations. Backgrounds too look quite nice, although the shading is a little...interesting at times. As far as I have seen, little to no slowdown occurs. Ever. Jutsus and effects too are amazingly done. Though when in the overworld, you can usually find as least 4 of the same people within a mile radius (a bit of length) of the villages. Speaking of which, the overworld looks great, if not a little repetitive. But then again, the whole village is supposed to be of one architectural type, and it works pretty well. I could live without the skippy anime cutscenes.
Sound is hit and miss. The voice overs for most characters are great, while a good many characters have totally new voices that are either weird or creepily done.Grunts, explosions, punches, all the sound effects are well done. Repetitive voices get annoying after a while.
Gameplay is a wide variety ranging from great to average. The overworld was a very nice addition, as its quite large (this is no San Andreas though.), even if a lot of areas are just the same. Its kind of like a kid GTA. Still, quests are plentiful, and all around theres a lot to do here. The more jutsus you learn, the more places you can reach, too. But jutsus aren't just overworld. These jutsus(like artes in tales, magic in final fantasy, and in just about every other game too.) can all be use in combat too. Speaking of which, each time you encounter an enemy, It turns into a classic fighting. The fighting system works too; its fairly well balanced. the way jutsus work, too, is very well implemented. Not all the action takes place in the combat system, though. There are also small races you have to accomplish, where you have to get to a certain point in a certain amount of time, and tree hopping, and hide and seek....theres alot bit more then just fighting. mini versions of dungeons exist, where you avoid traps while having occasional fights. Plus, you can be more then just Naruto in story mode too, at least, thats what I can tell from achievements.
Theres plenty to do after you've finished story mode, like playing other peoples story's and doing side quests. If thats not enough for you, you've also got an online mode where you can battle your friends in ninja tournaments. Upgrading your attacks and skills are another way to continue playing.
Now down to the score.
Menus, good, story, good, just about all the presentation is good. Not great, not bad, but good.
Does get repetitive, but sound effects and "most" voice acting is spot on.
Great cell shaded character models and well-drawn backgrounds. Naruto made a great transition into the next-gen.
The free roam, the combat system and the leveling system all work nicely. A bit of annoying things and glitches here and there, but not many. Free roam isn't huge like San Andreas, but its fair sized. Unfortunately, you can't throw people out of their cars. Sad.
Replay Value: 4/5
If you like this game, theres a ton to do, between online play and other story modes. If you don't, well....your a really tough crowd.
Deciding between an 8 and 8.5, I reached a climax. Everything works in the game, although nothing is really all too inspired.
Last edited by bandit; December 15th, 2008 at 00:29.
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