Naruto. Its fans overrate it, and its haters underrate it. It%26rsquo;s an unfortunate situation, because by name alone many people will shun Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 as just another licensed title for Wii. Ignore your gut reaction - Tomy Corporation has developed a deep, enjoyable fighting game here.
Not surprisingly, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 assumes you wear a Naruto headband around town while occasionally yelling out %26ldquo;believe it.%26rdquo; Fan service is in full effect as the story mode retells the anime%26rsquo;s plot (fortunately skippable) and makes the assumption that you%26rsquo;ve already played entries from the series. Does jutsu and chakra sound like gibberish? That%26rsquo;s what we thought; visit the tutorial first.
Things make sense quickly once you realize this isn%26rsquo;t Street Fighter. Automated blocking and combo strings replace elaborate button inputs and timing becomes what a battle revolves around. Matches flood with sequences of substitutions (teleporting behind an enemy after being attacked) and super attacks, both leeching energy from the same energy bar. It%26rsquo;s a design that tugs you between offensive and defensive strategies while also trying to read an opponent%26rsquo;s strategy.
Not everyone can call upon friends for a local match. Finding online matches in Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is a slow process (ideally during a bathroom break), but there is usually someone out there playing. Matches are somewhat sluggish with what feels like a slight lag between inputs. It works, but it still can%26rsquo;t beat a friendly neighborhood tournament. Also, don%26rsquo;t get stuck waving your arms around; toss out the Nunchuk and swap in a Classic or Gamecube pad.
Anyone familiar with fighting games can find something here. That obnoxious orange ninja will inevitably put off many people, but don%26rsquo;t follow their lead. Take a chance here. Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is a different yet enjoyable fighting game. Your friends might hassle you, but it%26rsquo;s their loss.
Nov 18, 2009