Aug 29, 2007
You%26rsquo;ll be forgiven if you feel like you%26rsquo;ve played this orange-clad ninja beatdown before: it%26rsquo;s a stripped-down port of the PS2 brawler Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2, which was itself only slightly tweaked from the firstUltimate Ninja which came out just last year. So yes: if you%26rsquo;ve played one of these %26ldquo;3D characters in 2D worlds%26rdquo; bash-a-thons %26ndash; or the Smash Brothers games they%26rsquo;re clearly styled after %26ndash; you should be right at home. Which is good, because then you can get straight to the really rather nicely crafted face-kicking.
This is flat-out one-on-one combat, plain and simple. Well, okay: it%26rsquo;s simple, but not too plain. All of the 20 characters %26ndash; down from 30 in Ultimate 2 - are mystical ninja of one kind or another. So, your base selection of punches, kicks, thrown weapons and guard breaks are complemented by flashy, %26ldquo;jutsu%26rdquo; moves %26ndash; like, for instance, when Sakura spawns a giant-sized spirit clone of herself with fireball eyes and a tendency to smash her enemies under its mammoth open palm.