Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2
Don't stop believin' (it)
When the original Naruto: Ultimate Ninja jump kicked onto the scene, any one with the eensiest interest in fighting games and/or advanced ninja education took notice. Trading cel-shaded licks with your favorite characters proved to be slick, easy to pick up, and surprisingly fun. Ask our own Brett Elston, he believed it. And many of you reading this review will be happy to know that Ultimate Ninja 2’s sequel treatment gives those who cared for the first game that much more to love.
If you thought the original Ultimate Ninja tipped the scales with its heaping helping of fan service, hold on to your headbands, because UM2 has plenty more in store. First of all the character roster has been more than doubled to over thirty playable fighters - though a handful are variations on the same character. Each is distinct and a breeze to control, the Circle button acting as your primary mode of attack. If you think that kind of minimal approach to throwin' 'bows is too limiting, go play a bout of Super Smash Bros and calm the hell down.
Also back are the face-mangling, soul-shattering Chakra moves that intersperse the 2.5-D, multi-tiered arena action. But when we say “they’re back” we mean a lot of the same techniques from the first game. Any hoo, below your health bar you’ve got a regenerating Chakra meter, which you can also charge yourself, or more satisfyingly, beat it out of your opponent. To the game's credit, even the returning players are adorned with some flashy new moves, and with all the new characters, there’s still plenty of new cinematic brutality to be unleashed.