D3 Publisher / Tomy Corporation Developed by:
T (Teen)Release Date:
September 26, 2006 Written by:
Noel Del Pilar
This year has been pretty dismal for teh Gamecube in the terms of content, but that didn't stop D3 and Tomy from releasing two titles from the Naruto franchise. A few months ago, the released Naruto Clash of Ninja, which was by surprise and so-so success. The game provided a decnt amount of fighters and several gameplay mechanics. The developers did a nice job adapting the anime to action-fighter without taking anything away from the essence of the series. With their second installment, Naruto Clash of Ninja 2, they added more characters, more action, and a new multiplayer battle mode.
The story behind Clash of Ninja 2 covers the beginnings of the anime series, but only giving you the high points. Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura team up to advance within their training, and take on various ninja missions in th ehopes of becomming the greatest fighters around. Naruto dreams on becoming the Homokage (master ninja) of his city, but battles somethign within that will hurt and help him along the way. What comprises the rest of the story are fighting enemies, making friends, love, etc.
The story within the game only covers the basics, and doesn't go in-depth like the anime. In between battles, the dialogue within the various interactions are carried via multiple screenshots of various emotions (a la Tales of Symphonia). This idea isn't all that bad, but considering the detail that went into the character designs and layouts, it would of been nice to see those same graphics and details within the interactions instead of mere images.
The character selection within the first installment was fairly nice, with popular anime characters like Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Rock Lee, and even Zabura. Within Clash of Ninja 2, the decided to almost doublt the amount of fighters, now totally 20 in all. Another nice addition the this amazing cast of fighters is the uniqueness they each carry. Each fighter will have his/her own set of abilities and fighting techniques. There are a few fighters that simply puch and/or kick all day, whereas other fighters have various martial arts attacks and combinations. And seeing how each fighter is unique, you would have to play with just about everyone before you can find your nitch fighter. This definitely also adds lots of variety to the gameplay.
Unlike other fighting games, this title has complex moves and combinations, which utilize a simple control scheme. The A button would be used for kicks and punches, the B button would be used for throwin knives and othe robjects, the Y button to grab and throw your opponents in the air and the X button for your special attacks (when your special meter is full). But when your special meter bar is green, you can utilize it to teleport and surprise your opponent from behind. Each character has his/her own combos, which can be performed by simply alternating the A and B button.
The first installment focused on one-on-one fighter, whereas Clash of Ninja 2 takes it to the next level, putting you against up to three other fighters at once. So when you play through the story mode, you will have your individual battles, 2 vs. 2, and evenr 3 vs. 1 encounters. The downside to this is that the game will decide which fighter you will utilize, though for the most part, they give you someone who is capable of delivering some damage. Another issue you will find with the game is that when you are performing a special move, the time will still tick down, so if you ar ein the middle of your attack and time runs out, they can be saved from your finishing move.
In terms of the visuals, Clash of Ninja 2 does an excellent job adapting all the characters fromt he anime to highly detailed cel-shaded replicas. The backdrops are nicely stylized, depicting forests, bridges, and leaf villages. But seeing how this title is suppose to imrpove on what was within the first installment, you feel kind of cheated. Stages where you should be able to throw your opponent off the platform, you arne't able to because of a stupid invisible wall. Another small issue is not being able to move about the stages freely, considering the advancements within gameplay. This issue also makes it harder to attack a particular fighter when you are taking part within the 3-on-1 battles.
The audio within this game follows the same feel and excitemnet of the Japanese anime. Nice soundtrack from the anime series and voices from the English version of the anime as well. Most sound effects have also their Japanese touch. Yet, the voices in the game can get annoying to hear. For example not only in the dialogue, but also when talking, Naruto canít stop mentioning he wants to be a Homokage which can get annoying at times. Still those are minor issues that are common in fighting games but should always be keep notice about.
When it comes to the replay is where Naruto Clash of Ninja 2 truly shines. The story mode isnít all that long but on singleplayer it also features a non story mode where you just fight 10 battles with different characters, plus there is also survival and time attack modes that should keep you interested. Not only that but the amount of unlockables you can buy on the store like character profiles, art galleries, voice tests, new characters to unlock, etc. Yet the biggest addition of the game that makes it even more replayable is the 4 player multiplayer battles. Up to 4 characters can battle in teams or all against each other. That is truly be a blast even tough each character represents each character and you change who you are attacking by changing color very similar to Custom Robo, it can be confusing at first but you can get the hang of it.
Overall Naruto Clash of Ninja 2 delivers a surprisingly fun, easy fighting game that has tons of unlockables, great amount of characters, easy fighting system and doesnít offer a story hard to understand. This is definitely one of the last solid titles coming for the Gamecube and one of the better fighting games on the Gamecube. This might not be a Smash Brothers but it truly offers an easy to pick up gameplay that everyone can easily understand, enjoy and have a great time. 8.5/10
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