Multiplayer doesn't run as smoothly as it should. This system is basically the same gameplay we've all seen in the previous CyberConnect2 offerings. In the world of Naruto, ninja are about as common as McDonalds in the United States -- and that's saying something. The main difference here is that players can now participate in four-player battles as well as work cooperatively during some of the story-based missions. .
I would recommend looking elsewhere if you want a legitimate fighting game experience. It feels more like an old-school brawler than an actual fighting game, which is a problem. Perhaps I'm in a unique position, having played so many Naruto games for review, but I'm totally done with the Naruto story arcs. Even special moves can be executed by hitting Triangle first, then Circle. This might not be a problem for gamers that haven't played many Naruto games in the past, but this was a stumbling block for me.
The stiffness of combat is exacerbated when playing with someone over ad-hoc, and having clunky multiplayer in a fighting game is a heavy blow to the experience. In Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, players select one of their favorite characters out of the Naruto Shippuden story arc and battle on a series of dual-stage arenas. I'm glad that CyberConnect2 implemented four-player options in Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, but this game feels clumsy and nowhere near as precise as its fighting game peers. For those of you that haven't had much Naruto in the past, this is a fine, simple fighting game with plenty of characters and some cool special moves. Besides basic movement, jumps and wall runs, players can perform all their attacks simply by pressing the Circle button.
But there are much better, smoother-running fighting games on Sony's portable -- just look at BlazBlue and Tekken 6. Although there are new arcs to be found in Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3, having to watch Naruto and Co. The battles just aren't doing it for me anymore. However, this doesn't mean that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is bad -- it's totally playable, and having such a huge roster with so many special moves at the ready is fun. Interface is the most attractive part of this game. I highly doubt you need a refresher course on the Naruto franchise, but I'll give you one just to be safe: Naruto is a long-running, well-known manga and anime that has made the jump into the videogame landscape more times than I can count. It's also a shame that the ad-hoc multiplayer isn't as smooth as it could be.
The Ultimate Ninja Heroes games have been solid offerings on Sony's portable over the past few years, but feels clumsy. This mode also tells some of the Naruto Shippuden stories, including the Gaara abduction arc. When I originally reviewed the first Ultimate Ninja Heroes, I was impressed by the approachable fighting system and the amount of unlockables that enticed players to keep on playing. The Verdict is another example of a solid effort by CyberConnect2 that suffers from some stiff gameplay. Although the game takes place on a 2D plane, players can teleport between the foreground and background at their leisure. Slowly accumulating Ninja Points which are rewarded for completing missions in order to purchase character art, movies and more is just another reason to keep playing. It's no wonder the Naruto license is so popular, considering how all the characters have awesome ninja powers and can run along walls like it's their job.
These missions go down in the Master Road mode, which features a variety of traditional battles as well as side-scrolling platforming with a bit of brawling mixed in. Again, it's still playable, but it's not ideal. That story, however, is just more of the same Shippuden content we've all seen before. I also appreciate just how many unlockables CyberConnect2 gives players, which is great for those that are in it for the long haul. But there have been some fantastic fighting games that have launched since then including some notable portable ones , and Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 just doesn't seem to cut it. The large amount of unlockables is a welcome feature and the four-player battles are fun but still clumsy. .
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