In battle, you'll be able to take a sort of "three stooges... who kick ass" approach: you'll often find yourself brawling alongside a partner (either human or CPU-controlled), but there will be a third character waiting to jump in whenever you want to swap him or her in for one of the two fighters currently in play. Whomever you control, you've got a basic selection of moves, including two specials triggered by your shoulder buttons.
Exactly what these specials are, not to mention how skilled you are in other areas, will depend heavily upon you. Of the 13 playable characters, 10 will enable you to customize their abilities. Each character has a skill plate - a sort of tray, which starts out empty. Over time, you buy new skills, almost like scrabble tiles, which you then place onto your skill plate. As long as the tile fits somewhere onto your plate, you can have it. These skills range from added defense or health to increased speed or new jutsu moves and special powers. It's a nice touch, and one that should go a long way toward making Naruto Uzumaki Chronicles 2 feel less like more of the same.