Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Review

- Though they don't impress as much now that we're at the third game, the graphics are still incredible and among the best in the business.
- Revised combat mechanics work very well and add some great balance and tension to battles.
- Though not as great as Storm 2's boss battles overall, Storm 3 has some boss battles that really impress and satisfy.
- Chiyako Fukuda, once again, provides an incredible soundtrack.
- Story mode is extensive, of high quality, and covers much of the anime.
- A huge amount of voice work.
- While seldom, there are incredible moments where story and gameplay fuse and are truly satisfying.
- With 80 characters, 40 stages, a long story mode, and many side-quests to partake in after initially finishing the story mode, there is a lot of content to this game.

- some minor elements of slow-down occur; though its rare.

- while the story mode is much longer than Storm 2, the amount of boss battles is about the same (or less depending on what you count as a boss battle); as a result, about 75% of the story mode is spent watching cutscenes.
- the amount of QTEs and interactive segments within the story mode have been cut down drastically from previous games; as a result, boss battles feel much less satisfying than in Storm 2.
- No way to adjust the difficulty of the CPU opponents in Versus mode.

Overall - With a huge amount of content, Storm 3 is a great game overall; it's story mode (arguably its most important aspect) simply doesn't satisfy. What ultimately hurts Storm 3's level of satisfaction is that Storm 2 was such an incredible experience, and Storm 3 had to live up to that. If Storm 3 had taken Storm 2's foundation of incredible boss battles and interactive story elements, and improved upon it, the resulting game could have been better than Storm 2. Instead, CC2 decided to focus on the story cutscenes and roster of Storm 3, rather than the boss battles and QTE segments. The end result is a Naruto game that's more for the fans rather than those looking for a visual feast of gameplay and interactive story elements. Or, to put it more politely, Storm 3 is more about the Versus and Online modes rather than the story mode. Overall, a great game, though it may disappoint you in some ways, especially if you enjoyed Storm 2 as much as I did.

Score - 7/10 

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