Oct 23, 2007
Remember last year when the GameCube was dying and the only games coming around were Cars, Teen Titans and Nicktoons slop? There were two shiny gems in that sea of lumpy coal, and they both happened to be Clash of Ninja games released just six months apart. Their button-mashy (yet surprisingly deep) fighting styles made both games popular even among non-Naruto fans. Now we're looking at the third to hit US shores in just over a year and it's basically the same as the other two.
Now, that's not immediately a bad thing. The first two were excellent titles that captured the energy and atmosphere of the series - we're not aware of any other fighting games that rely so heavily on teleportation, counter attacks and world-breaking finishing moves, so they definitely have that going for them. It's just, well, the same thing again. Some new characters, yes, but by and large this is a Madden-style roster update. Naruto '08, if you will.
Even many of the battlegrounds are re-used. Hell, even some of the music, sound effects and combo animations are the same. If you could do it in Clash 2, odds are you can do it here. Four-player fights? Yep. Demon fox Naruto? Yep. Mission mode/story mode/challenge mode? Yes, yes and more yes.
But let's be completely fair - there are new features, they're just not that big of a deal. Rocks and crates now dot the arenas, so you can hide behind them and ambush an unaware enemy. You can actually punch someone out of the arena and follow them to the next battlefield, Dead or Alive style. Arm-wavy minigames let you use the remote to act out your favorite shuriken-throwing fantasies. Those same tilty-whirly controls also let you swing madly to attack in the main game, but trust us, you will want to use a GameCube or Classic Controller.
So, the gist of it is, the new stuff isn't all that great and what's here has been done twice before. That said, this is still one of the best Wii fighting games available, even though you can still find Clash of Ninja 2 in stores and play it on Wii as well. If you're dying for a Wii fighter, this is a solid option - if you already have Clash 2 and are hoping for something new, wait for the next inevitable release.