I finally beat: Naruto – Rise of a Ninja


It crashed a lot.  A ton.  So much that I skipped a few of the side missions near the end just to bring the game to a close.  It was incredibly frustrating.  Imagine a game filled with obsticles and traps, but instead of killing you they would hard freeze your system.  Then you would have to stand up, walk over, hit the power button and reset the console, wait for it to load, log back in, wait for it to load, boot up the game, wait for it to load, pick a storage device, wait for it to load, load your save game, wait for it to load.

Then, and only then, could you attempt to move past that single trap again, save, and then try to move past the next.  It wouldn’t even freeze on failure.  Sometimes I would clear the trap but it would still freeze as I jumped over it.  Very, very odd.

Tree running was actually a pretty fun little minigame, and I could see that becoming something similar to a kart racer with some multiplayer components and a dash of Road Rash thrown in.  You would time button presses as you hopped forward between trees, picking your left to right direction, but automatically making it to the next branch as far as forward motion was concerned.  Traps and the speed at which you had to pick kept the game fun the few times it came up.

Also, I couldn’t find the last love-lorn villager.  I am beginning to really hate “gotta collect them all” type achievements and game incentives.  Crackdown’s orbs, Assassin Creed’s flags, Naruto’s various coins and villagers: they all are fun for awhile, but hunting down the last couple never is.  They should increase the audible queue or radar ping as you narrow down the total number of collectables left.  As it stands, it is hard to complete these quests even when you have the damn map in front of you.

Overall, I’m not *that* excited for the sequel.  There are too many other AAA games coming out and it should be easy to pick it up for $20 in a year.  The PS3 game may also be giving it a run for it’s money, as it’s developed by some of the PS2 game devs (they made good games) and looks amazing (both graphically and gameplay-wise).

That’s not to say Naruto 1 for the 360 was bad.  Running around the village was pretty fun, though the running on water and walls could have been done in a more free-flowing way.  As it is, you run up to pre-designated points on the wall (or limited areas of water), do a minigame, and then get to transverse the area instead of Hulk: Ultimate Destruction’s or Assassin Creed’s more flowing power-ups and transportation abilities.

Overall, I’d recommend trying out the demo or borrowing it.  It’s a great steal at $20 for fans of platforming who can handle the simple street fighting combat, but certainly wasn’t worth the $60 it was initially.

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