Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution

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The Bottom Line

Naruto fans hoping for an involved story will be sorely disappointed by Revolution's simple scenarios and lack of continuity. The excessive padding and repetitive single-player mode detract from the improvements that Revolution brings to the table.

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Fun brawling combat. Fluid, over-the-top animations. Fantastic visuals. New four-player battles are hectic and fun.
I enjoy a good brawler, and the Naruto games by developer CyberConnect2 have delivered plenty of anime-inspired action since the PlayStation 2 days. Unfortunately, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution ($49.99) is something of a filler game when compared to the previous Naruto Shippuden title, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (UNS3). The game makes improvements and refinements to its combat system, but there isn"t much meaningful content beyond the fighting, which makes for a repetitive and overall bland experience. I reviewed the Xbox 360($118.99 at Amazon)(Opens in a new window) version, but the game"s also available on PC and PlayStation 3.

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Crazy Ninja ActionThe single-player campaign in the previous title, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, was very story-focused, going so far as to include unique boss battles and monsters in its campaign. Rather than continuing UNS3"s storyline, however, Revolution throws Naruto"s ninjas onto a remote island to compete in the Ninja World Tournament. There are high-quality anime-like scenes to accompany the story, but those sections contained too much exposition and not enough gameplay to keep me engaged.

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The Ninja World Tournament is the meat and potatoes of the single-player experience. The tournament introduces four-way battles alongside the standard one-on-one battles. The concept of four-way battles is not new, as Naruto: Clash Of Ninja 2 for the Gamecube had a similar mode. Still, it is interesting to see CyberConnect2 reintroduce the option, and I suspect that they are testing the waters for a potential four-way battle system in future games.