Monday, 10 September 2018 10:42

REVIEW: Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker (Xbox One)

Written by Anarchyxrisen
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Bandai Namco Entertainment Incorporated is a Japanese video game development company and publisher who have released numerous games for anime franchise's such as One Piece, Digimon, Naruto, and my personal favourite, Dragon Ball Z.

Now I’ll be first to admit I don't know much about any anime games other than Dragon Ball Z, but I’ve always wanted to venture out expanding my knowledge on this universe (Also ninjas are cool). So point your arms out the back, lean forward, and run like a chicken with me into my third review.

I load it up; title screen appears press, start and then BAM, greeted by typical license agreement followed by a privacy policy done out of the way. Now for the game; you appear at the character creation with 5 elemental villagers as templates for your base character; customising the look of hair, eyes, mouth and clothes. Once choosing a name for the monstrosity/ninja, the game loads you into the world where your kindly greeted by Konohamaru, a faithful guide who runs you through the smallish feeling camp, reminiscent of the hub from Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse, just not as big. I'm greeted by some blocked areas which are hopefully unlocked as the game progresses.

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Story Mode

Hmm... There isn’t really a story mode however there is the virtual reality ninjutsu arena. Here is where the controls, moves and abilities are taught to you in what I feel was an extremely short tutorial to become a ninja. The choice is given for solo missions or co-op missions to play with your friends. I had no issues joining or finding other ninja masters, seasoned veterans of the Naruto series.

Your character has four classes/slots; attack, ranged or defence, and heal. All can be customised to your needs if you want to set up 3 Attack slots filled out with different ninja skills or weapon outfits. More or less the game gives you the ability to load out your character for the mission at hand.

The Hub & Masters.

As you're greeted by Konohamaru; who for some reason really annoys me with the constant talking. Unfortunately, you don’t have much of an option to skip though the dialog like Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse. Y, you may become a pupil of the main characters and others randomly appearing around the hub. They each have their own class healer or attacker etc. You can drop and change masters on a whim without losing anything, picking up where you left off with the previous master. After leveling up with the same master you can unlock new moves items and skills.

Within the hub you can also find the Ninjutsu library, which hosts all the masters you've unlocked, showing your training rank with each one changing to a different one. Within there you can also buy or sell weapons, clothing, avatar parts, scrolls and consumables that you have collected. The hub also serves as the mission centre where you can accept quests to undertake. There is a ninja tool shop featuring the adorable TenTen where you can purchase goods to assist you in your missions. Want to change appearance? Customise class slots by paying Sakura Haruno who is located at the local inn. Lastly is Hokage's estate; where the multiplayer battles are formed 
in a 4 vs 4 battle, quick match or ninja world league format.

Missions.

Missions are broken up in different goals; one had me jumping and wall running all over the place, entering numerous buildings in order to collect pages which are scattered all over. Another had me protecting a gate from waves of enemies that increased in difficulty. It was a great variety of play modes, especially the boss battles that got extremely intense at times. One of my gripe from fully enjoying this was the length of the load times in and out which totally took the excitement of passing the missions away from me.

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Gameplay/Controls/Graphics

Gameplay is fluid with wall running, dodging which didn’t feel slow or laggy. One of the many things that impressed me was while mixing well with strong controls for such a fast paced battle you only manage to get a breather. Once all enemies have been taking care of, a move from checkpoint to checkpoint to advance picking up health potions money and scrolls dropped from defeated enemies button layout is quite simple to pick up.

I managed to pull off some decent combos but still found myself reverting back to button smashing for the fun of it. The graphics were bright, vivid and colourful, just as one would expect from a game based on an anime. It just all blends well together. Characters look great but it’s not until you enter the hub with a few other players where the colours clash. Not in a bad way more like oh my god this guy had the same idea as me making vividly bright ninjas.

Conclusion

All in all, it's a nice little game. I may give it a few more tries. Naruto fans will be sure to love it. Judging by how many player creations I've seen running round in the hub already hitting level 30-40's, I'd say it is a good game or even great except for the exceptionally long load screens that'd kill my enjoyment not just the loading but the constant running back and forth you’ll also experience in the hub.

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 2.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, PS4, XBOX ONE
  • Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
  • Genre: Action