akonnick's Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PlayStation 3) review

Definitive Naruto Game with a Terrible Story Mode

If you ignore the story mode of this game and simply focus on the Vs. battles, this game is incredible. The visuals are stunning, the character roster is deep and varied, and the fighting system is flashy and fun. By going through the Vs. mode, you can still unlock all the characters and see much of the best content in the game. If you are ready to subject yourself to a lot of boredom, you may consider giving the Story mode the chance. Compared to the first Ultimate Storm, this game's core mode takes a huge step back by getting rid of the open world exploration in favor of trudging back on forth on fetch quests through pre-rendered areas. It is truly boring and blemishes an otherwise stellar game. On top of this, the game brings back all of the excessive load times from the first game and then some. There are also some odd departures from the manga storyline that seemed needless and confusing given how minor the differences were. You may be asking yourself "Why would anyone play this then?" The signature story battles are incredibly well done and are honestly more enjoyable than watching the anime. While the actual game play in 90% of the story mode is awful, the 10% that comprises the battles like Sasuke vs. Itachi, Naruto vs. Pain, and Gaara vs. Deidara are nothing short of amazing. Luckily, the developers had enough sense to let you replay these battles whenever you want after going through the story mode for the first time. I loved this game enough to labor through the story mode and am now enjoying the goodness of the vs. mode with a full character roster and a backlog of signature battles that are fun to replay. For any Naruto fan out there, this is simply a must own. I can only hope that the next game in the series will feature better load times and a compelling story mode so that the game is great from start to finish.

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