Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst

Namco Bandai Games’ Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm series has been consistently successful for six years whilst managing to evade the pitfalls of annual releases. The newest title in the series, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst, walks a fine line here, […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageNamco Bandai Games’ Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm series has been consistently successful for six years whilst managing to evade the pitfalls of annual releases. The newest title in the series, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst, walks a fine line here, coming less than a year after the original Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 but adding to it substantially with an improved visual quality and new story chapters, amongst other features. Ultimately Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst is only likely to appeal to fans of Naruto Shippuden, but whether it’s worth a second purchase after Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is a different matter entirely.

Owners of the original Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can purchase the additional content via the Xbox Games Store or PlayStation Store respectively, but those who have sold or misplaced the original title – or bypassed it altogether – will surely relish the chance to experience the Electronic Theatre Imagevideogame once again. And an experience it is; unlike most Naruto Shippuden videogames, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst is an adrenaline rush variety of action-based gameplay that changes tact regular to keep it’s audience entertained.

There are three main components to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst’s gameplay: the familiar arena based combat, story-led action sequences and ‘free movement’ maps. The traditional Naruto Shippuden combat arenas return almost untouched, with the player able to move freely within the environment and use items to enhance their abilities or extend their life bar. The free movement sections allow Electronic Theatre Imagethe player to explore, gather items and interact with other characters in a similar fashion to the towns seen in the latter entries in the Warriors Orochi series, though much more expansive. Most interesting however, are the asides dictated by the story.

These sequences vary greatly, but are rarely less than impressive. Using the exact same animation style as is used for the cutscenes, the player will engage in a variety of different combat styles with various different characters, taking on formidable screen-filling beasts or huge armies. The combat here does resemble the traditional structure, allowing players to drop into the action with very little in the way of a training barrier, however the freedom of movement is typically much greater and the camera more responsive. It’s aElectronic Theatre Image wonderful change of pace when these sequences occur, so much so that the Electronic Theatre team was wishing for more of them.

In addition to the key campaign Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst offers online gameplay. Open for up to eight players, the competitive mode allows for competition between those who purchased the retail package and those who own the original Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 plus the Full Burst downloadable content, resulting in a welcoming audience ready and waiting. The online gameplay does demand that the player is already skilled – there is no room for learning on the job – but the fact that Electronic Theatre Imagethere’s very little in the way of technical issues means that it remains an attractive prospect after the campaign has bee completed.

From a technical standpoint Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst is by far the best presentation any Naruto Shippuden videogame has yet offered. The characters and environments are bright and colourful and the animation is impressively fluid. The hand drawn sequences are just as impressive as the anime at its best and the fact that the whole videogame is presented in stereoscopic 3D sets it on a plateau above many of its peers. Sadly, the sound quality isn’t Electronic Theatre Imagequite to the same standard, with lip synching that has been given very little attention during the localisation phase of the videogame’s development.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 – Full Burst is one of the finest adaptations of the anime to videogames that has yet been offered to fans, but this will already be known by many as it is effectively a remodelling of last year’s Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. With this second edition Namco Bandai Games have basically made it so that fans of the anime have no excuse to have missed this interactive outing, but it may only be the most ardent aficionados who wish to play through the campaign for a second time.

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