But aside from this fighting shine, the game's looking kind of rough and repetitive. The controls are twitchy. The music is sometimes good, and sometimes bland loop-fare that gets grating. There's a lot of boring cutscenes you're forced to watch. And while the game isn't ugly, the plainness isn't driving us wild so far - patterned light explosions during fights seem to be the only compelling graphical flourish.
So, will this be genuine fun or a cartoon commercial in game form? We've only played the first five missions, and though we haven't seen much that would propel it above the rest of the standard action-RPG lot, it's still a bit early to judge. Maybe when we get deeper into the game, get to play with more characters and unlock more moves, we'll be euphoric.
Then again, Naruto himself might have already answered our question. Before starting an early expedition, he proudly shouts "I'll kick butt and advertise while I'm doing it!"