It’s unsurprising that an anime series as popular as Naruto has spawned so many games, but what is surprising is how few are actually any good. Akatsuki Rising doesn’t buck that trend.
An uneasy mix of brawler and RPG-lite, it never reaches the heights of Naruto’s better games (Naruto Ultimate Ninja and The Broken Bond). Despite a dizzying number of customisable attacks, the combat always descends into a mess of melee attacks. The lack of a block button and a jittery camera don’t help. Plot-wise, it’s anime by numbers, and the dialogue suffers from long expositionary chats. Worse still, all of the missions boil down to wandering through unremarkable environments peppered with scraps and arena combat.
Fans may glean some enjoyment from the wealth of characters and the multiplayer mode, but anyone looking for an exciting entry point into the adventures of the boy ninja would do better by simply renting a DVD.
Oct 29, 2009