Naruto:Rise of the Ninja = 30 hours of TV in 6 hours of Gaming
Naruto:Rise of the Ninja was my greatest hope of being able to catch up on all my anime in 1/5 of the time. The game follows the first 80 or so episodes of the Naruto animated TV series, so if the game tells the complete story of those episodes, then i can have the entire story without the hassle of actually watching the show. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way that I had hoped.
Even though the game touched on the story elements, it didn’t really explain anything or even gave a vague picture of what was going on. It would just take a single story element, turns it into a platformer or a single fight, and then moves on to the next plotpoint. The game does have clips from tv show, but those are slightly jarring since the animation is in standard def and the game engine isn’t as detailed as the animation. The clips don’t really help tell the story present of the show, only help give slight glimpses of what you need to watch to be able to play this game.
So, my dream of being able to replace tv with gaming met with a tragic end. But the game itself is actually pretty good. The fights are a simple matter of using a counter button when you’re about to be attacked. You have a few special attacks, but all the fights can be won with just kicks and punches. And even after you lose all your health, you are given “memories” which will bring you back to life and recharge part of your lifebar. All in all, the fights are easy.
I would recommend this game to anybody who have seen the show and they wanted a simple, short game. It won’t tell you of the story, but may give you a refresher on the plot.