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Naruto: Clash of Ninja review

Kung-choppy anime chic elbows its way into gameland

As you're getting smacked around, tapping the L trigger teleports you out of the attack and plops you right behind (or above) the jerkhole who won't let up. Now you can start wailing this guy before he even knows where you've gone. But don't get too cocky, because the opponent can pull the same trick. Lots of fights start out like a typical game, but once the fists start flying, you'll be teleporting all over the arena in a constant, cel-shaded typhoon of limbs.

Another knuckle-breaking feature is the ability to cancel hits of the same power level. As you can see below, Naruto and Iruka have unleashed punches that negate each other. Getting three of these in a row really makes the parry-dodge-parry action pop to life.

If the back-and-forth disappearing act isn't enough for you tech-minded fighters, there's also a basic, but effective counter system. Each character has a stance in which they automatically counterattack; someone hits you while you're doing this move, you teleport (much like the L button move) above or behind them, ready to go. Yeah, it's not the hardest counter to pull off, but given the game's breakneck pace, cutting out hardcore memorization opens it up for more players.

Plugging in with some two-player action is a total blast. The computer tends to go a little easy on the "all over the place" with normal difficulty settings, whereas actual people want a fight that embarrasses the other player and looks cool.

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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