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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: D3 Publisher / Tomy Corporation
Developed by: Eighting
Genre: Fighting
Players: 2
Rated: T (Teen)
Release Date: March 7, 2006
Written By: Matthew Prunty

It is a known fact that the Gamecube is reaching a stopping point soon, in preparation for the upcoming release of the anticipated Nintendo Revolution console. And as that point is getting closer and closer, many gamers are wondering what titles are left on the roster to play. Well look no further than Eightingís Naruto: Clash of Ninja. How well does this title stack up against a genre full of highly potential fighters, lets find out.

For those of you who are wondering what is the developer Eighting known for, itís quite simple, the Bloody Roar franchise. With that franchise, they sat out to ďchange the face of the gameĒ, which they did, and now they are looking to do the same with this highly popular Japanese anime. But why do this title, let alone the franchise, work so well with the Gamecube? Well there are several reasons why this title suits the console (which will be explained throughout the review), but the most obvious one is the fact that the console is known for its fair share of cartoon-like titles (One Piece, Tales of Symphonia, Scaler, etc).

Once you pop in the game, you will notice that you get the entire intro from the anime show before the game actually starts. Once you get to the main menu, you will notice a few options you can take part in (Story, Arcade, Survival, and Two Player Vs.). Gamers that are new to the series will most likely spend most of their time within the Story mode. Here, you can follow the exploits of Naruto and get a good presentation of the plot that the game is based on. Within this mode, the plot is told through two different methods. One is via text displayed on the screen. No not something new or worth talking about, itís a good way to keep up with whatís going on within the game, let alone the anime. The other method takes place before and after each fight. The characters will show up in giant size portraits and will present short skits.

As far as the other modes, they are pretty much strait forward. If you play through Arcade mode, you can unlock various artworks and other items (depending on the character you are playing with). As far as the Survival mode, itís pretty straightforward. The object of this mode is to survive as long as you possibly can base don sudden death rules. With each victory, the next match becomes harder and harder. But what takes away from this mode is the fact that there are only nine characters, and because of that, you most gamers will get tired of battling the same Joes over and over again. Depending on how quick you can defeat your opponent, you can be rewarded with some health. But when itís all said and done, this mode is just your basic mode. Nothing is really gained out of playing through this mode, unless you want to test your skills.

As far as how this game plays out, it would be placed into the same category as Soul Calibur and Tekken. Though an emphasis isnít placed on counters, they are a good measure to get out of the way of a devastating attack, or simply to get the upper hand in a tight situation (with a little humor involved). Like in the case where you are suing Zabura, and initiate your counter-attack. He will disappear into a splash of water, only to reappear right behind you and geared up fro an attack. Another example would be you using Kakashi. Right before you initiateís his counter, he will stand there reading a copy of Make-Out Paradise.

Clash of Ninja boast some of the most impressive and visually stunning graphics you can find on the console. Though not very detail and stylized as other fighters, it holds true to the franchise and its avid followers. Eighting did a wonderful job blending the various special effects with the cell shading, to create some interesting and visually entertainment moments and situations. If you look at each outfit (including the second outfit), you will notice to extreme detail that was put into place to make it match the likes of the anime. Not to mention for those gamers who want the best out of their Gamecube, you have the option to play Clash of Ninja in Progressive Scan, which shows off the fluid body movements each character poses.

For the followers of Naruto, they will be pleased to know that the original score form the anime show is inputted directly into the game. This is a good thing and a bad thing, depending on your taste in music. You may run across a song that you didnít like within the cartoon that you will actually here within the game. Vise versa. Each character has their very own set of voice samples, thus adding to the depth of the fighter, and at the same time, keeping sayings and actions from being repeated one too many times. But there are a few phrases you will here over and over that may drive you nuts. One example would be the main character Naruto, who would shout out phrases like ďBelieve it!!" and it would be heard several times over, which after awhile, can get on anyoneís nerves.

When it comes to fighting games, controllers created by Nintendo havenít been very popular. This is part of the reason why you donít see that many fighting titles on the console in the first place. But unlike most fighters, this game is actually designed with the Gamecube controller in mind.

  • B button (punches and kicks)
  • A button (ranged attacks)
  • Y button (throw your opponent)
  • X button (over-the-top chakra moves)

With a simple control scheme, Clash of Ninja has quite the depth when it comes to maneuvers and special attacks. Simple combo strings can be put together simply by mashing the B button rapidly, but you can also spice things up with various button combinations and techniques.

Thereís not much really to discuss when it comes to the replay value of this title. This game doesnít fall along the lines of Mortal Kombat or Soul Calibur where you have tons of items and characters that you can unlock through the various missions and modes within the game. There is one character for which you can unlock, to go along with various artworks and bios.

This is definitely not your go to fighter if you are looking for depth, but a very enjoyable experience if you are into anime based fighters, the anime itself, or are just looking for a simple, yet intriguing title to buy you some time until another title makes its debut on the market. More characters could have been included within the first installment of franchise, but then again, it leaves things open for new characters and additions in later series. But I know this may not sit to well with avid Gamecube owners and followers, but this is one of the best, if not the best, 3D fighters to grace the Nintendo Gamecube since its release back in 2001. If you havenít picked up your copy of Naruto: Clash of Ninja, I suggest you run to your local gaming store. This title is definitely worth a good play, if not owning the title.


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