Late to the Party: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2

This might be shocking if you read my piece on Naruto Shippudden, but I enjoyed Naruto: Broken Bond. It wasn’t a perfect game, but I had fun with the fighting system and exploring was engaging enough. Sure, it had filler and it feels like parts were cut out for quietly cancelled DLC, but it managed to sand some of the nonsense to make a decent experience while maintaining the right amount of loyalty to the source material. Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 though is the opposite.

I’m not a big fighting game fan, but I can have some fun with Guilty Gear and Tekken. Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 fights go like this: keep pressing B. Sometimes press Y+B to get a flashy mid-damage move. Sometimes even Y, Y+B to get a flashy high-level damage move. Hold Y to recharge, press Y+A to get close. That’s it. Sure, there are some other moves, but those are pretty worthless. Not every game needs Tekken levels of complexity, but for a 12-hour game based on a franchise with so many wacky powers, it’s embarrassing.

But at least spend 6 of those hours will be spent in the overworld, where the devs are at the most loyal to the source material. It’s all just slowly walking from one place to the next, being sent from the next place to another. Sometimes spending 10 minutes walking back from another place back to the one place. It adds nothing to the game besides length. There is no platforming, no puzzles, no mini-games. Just walking through what appear to be photoshopped images from the anime and a handful of stores with the speed of a sloth. It’s so blatant how little effort was put into this significant part of the game that I’m insulted.

I could spend more time ragging on this game for other aspects like the story, but like the source material, it doesn’t deserve more of my time. If you need to play a Naruto game, just play Broken Bond. Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 isn’t the worst game I’ve played in the last 6 years, but it is the most boring.