ruig87's Naruto: Narutimate Hero (PlayStation 2) review

A must for beat-em-up and Naruto fans

In February 2007 one of the most wanted games of the year was released in the UK, as a huge Naruto fan I have to say that I was very happy with the release unfortunately the game is being poorly judged because it was released three years ago in Japan and it is being treated as an oldie here.
The game is a beat-'em-up based on a popular Manga & Anime which are running for five years and are still ongoing, it features 14 characters most of which are unlocked during the completion of story mode and two during mission mode, the game also features many areas taken from the show and which are beautifully replicated.
During matches you are able to restore your characters Chakra which you will need in order to perform certain moves and to walk on water, you're also able to use the substitution jutso which will leave your enemy open to attacks, you can also pick up weapons and items that will give some advantages over your opponent. Two things that are quite unique in this game is the presence of support characters that randomly appear to give your character weapons, chakra or health; and the ability to switch stages mid-combat, this is activated when a character is knocked down and has low health, if a character manages to switch to a different stage some of its health will be replenished this is a good strategy if you find yourself in a tight situation. One of the problems with the game is the limited amount of moves that the characters have which can make the game a bit repetitive because you will find yourself using the same combos many times during the game but this is compensated by a great Story Mode that is quite faithful to the anime, but the main part of the game is Mission Mode, you will find yourself spending many hours in this mode in order to win money to buy items, it starts off with some easy missions like defeating your enemy in a certain amount of time and ends with hard missions like defeat your enemy without missing one hit, which you will have to play at least 20 times in order to complete. The game also features a Practice Mode where you can practice your moves and a Free Play Mode where you can either battle against the computer or against a friend.
The cell shaded graphics make this game quite enjoyable and very beautiful, the characters details are very amazing and using kanji at the same time as the sound effects makes you feel like you are in a manga.
The music used in the game is simply awesome it is faithful to the type of music used in the anime while introducing something new, the sound effects are brilliantly used and the voice actors did a great job with the voice over.
The game features over 2000 unlockable content, including action figures, music, videos, cards and much more. One very big plus to the game is the option to switch between the English voice over and Japanese voice over, that is if you are like me and think that the English voices are cheesy.

Graphics – 8/10
The cell shaded graphics gives the game a very manga style feeling, the characters and locations are highly detailed and the use of kanji to show the sound effects make this a very unique game.

Sound – 8/10
Beautiful music, great sound effects and brilliant character voice over make a great combination. The option to switch between English voice over and Japanese voice over will please some fans. The "Yo" you hear when selecting options in the main menu sometimes ruins the mood.

Gameplay – 7/10
Easy to adapt to and uses every button on the controller efficiently, unfortunately Nine Tailed Naruto and Curse Marked Sasuke are very hard to control due to their speed. The limited amount of moves will make the game a bit repetitive.

Lifespan – 10/10
Loads to unlock and the S-Rank Missions that makes you collect 9.999.999 ryo and 99 battles with everyone vs. everyone will have you hocked to the game until the release of the next one.

Overall – 8/10
One of the best anime to game conversions ever seen, if you are a beat-'em-up fan or a Naruto fan this is a must have. 

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