But perhaps the most interesting of ways to divvy out blows lies within the power of Chakra, the force behind your special moves shown in a meter beneath your health bar. Chakra can be charged by holding the Down button, but if that makes you fell a little too vulnerable, feel free to simply beat it out of your opponent instead. Once charged to your liking, Chakra powers are released by a tap, or three, of the triangle button, resulting in a most stunning and hilarious tableau of fisticuffs.
The game is due all the credit in the world for its cel-shaded bravado and slick fighting controls, but it's the Chakra scenes that give Naruto UM2 the level of charm that made its predecessor such a success, and have us eager to come back for seconds. These aren't merely cinemas you sit back and watch, but rather cut-scenes you'll have to interact with. Either by hitting sequences of specific button combinations, twirling the analog stick, or rapidly tapping a randomly prompted button, the action remains just as frantically twitchy as fighting face to face, with control never leaving your finger tips.
Your opponent will also have the option of executing the same moves in order to reduce damage, or spoil your combo entirely if they're faster than you. Plenty of your favorite special moves make their triumphant return, such as Naruto's own Windmill barrage, and with character roster nearly tripled to well over thirty, it's a safe bet you'll see more fight scenes than in the last Matrix movie.