Naruto. Its fans overrate it, and its haters underrate it. It’s an unfortunate situation, because by name alone many people will shun Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 as just another licensed title for Wii. Ignore your gut reaction - Tomy Corporation has developed a deep, enjoyable fighting game here.
Not surprisingly, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 assumes you wear a Naruto headband around town while occasionally yelling out “believe it.” Fan service is in full effect as the story mode retells the anime’s plot (fortunately skippable) and makes the assumption that you’ve already played entries from the series. Does jutsu and chakra sound like gibberish? That’s what we thought; visit the tutorial first.
Things make sense quickly once you realize this isn’t Street Fighter. Automated blocking and combo strings replace elaborate button inputs and timing becomes what a battle revolves around. Matches flood with sequences of substitutions (teleporting behind an enemy after being attacked) and super attacks, both leeching energy from the same energy bar. It’s a design that tugs you between offensive and defensive strategies while also trying to read an opponent’s strategy.
Not everyone can call upon friends for a local match. Finding online matches in Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is a slow process (ideally during a bathroom break), but there is usually someone out there playing. Matches are somewhat sluggish with what feels like a slight lag between inputs. It works, but it still can’t beat a friendly neighborhood tournament. Also, don’t get stuck waving your arms around; toss out the Nunchuk and swap in a Classic or Gamecube pad.
Anyone familiar with fighting games can find something here. That obnoxious orange ninja will inevitably put off many people, but don’t follow their lead. Take a chance here. Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is a different yet enjoyable fighting game. Your friends might hassle you, but it’s their loss.
Nov 18, 2009