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Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3

It should be noted that the overworld quest portion has seen a substantial upgrade. The Hidden Leaf Village in the Ultimate Contest mode feels far less confined than in the past. You've been given double jump abilities, dynamic camera control and a prolonged wallrun that’d make a certain Persian prince blush. This is where you’ll get to interact with all the characters you know and love from the show, and play through 55 missions as well as some side quests of strength, stealth and humor.

They’ve even got a first-person Shuriken mode for taking out air targets and unlocking scrolls. We dare to say that we actually preferred it to the platforming mediocrity in Uzumaki Chronicles. As an added bonus, you’ll also get to reenact major events from the Susuke Retrieval Arc in History mode.

Three two-player minigames are accessible from the main menu right out of the box (Tree Climbing seen below), but it’s Ultimate Ninja’s one-on-one fight performance that’s always taken center stage. If you’ve read this far, you needn't be reminded about how much fun the series can be with two players, and Ultimate Ninja 3 looks to be no exception.

With all the new gameplay features and fan service heaped upon it by Namco Bandai and the impeccable license, the single player stuff is by no means an afterthought. The complete package is probably more than enough to get any Naruto fan curious enough for at least one more last-gen joyride.

Feb 12, 2007

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