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Naruto: Clash of Ninja review

Kung-choppy anime chic elbows its way into gameland

Pros

  • Sharp
  • clean anime graphics
  • Bouncy ninja battles
  • Accessible and simple

Cons

  • Occasionally "blah" backgrounds
  • Maybe too simple for some
  • High-pitched kids. Goodbye
  • ears

At first glance, you may consider Clash of Ninja another quick-cash, cartoon tie-in designed to make somebody a lot of bank. It'll pull in some serious cash, but not because of blind fanboy devotion - this is a lightning quick, anime-soaked whirlwind of a fighting game that'll speak to anyone looking for an accessible, chop-socky brawler.

Played a one-on-one fighter before? Sure you have. As such, you already know everything there is to know about Clash of Ninja. Pick an adolescent ninja-in-training and proceed to throttle the other combatant, be it another classmate or a sword-wielding villain. There are eight fighters ready to go, witha few morewaiting in the shadows, begging to be unlocked. They all have similar moves and a screen-filling mega attack that really eats up the other guy's life bar. Which one you play as, though, is more a personal preference than a balance between fighting styles.

Though most of the characters control alike, they're all easy to play. The B button is a close-quarters attack, while the A button hurls a ninja-trademarked shuriken (or dagger equivalent) across the battleground. Seeing as there are only two attack buttons, combos are simple but quickly mastered. It's not the deepest scrapper out there, or even on the GameCube, but the fact that anyone can jump in and start dishing out some pain is a plus. But Clash of Ninja is far from a mindless button masher.

More Info

GenreFighting
DescriptionIt's not gonna rewrite the book on fighting games, but it's fast and frenzied enough to be the life of an anime party or two.
PlatformGameCube
US censor ratingTeen
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