Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 - hands on

You might think that a story about a group of young ninjas would involve some degree of stealth and subtlety. However, when you're talking about the world of Naruto, things are about a subtle as a baseball bat to the noggin. Now the popular anime series is prepped to hit us again with Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2, a sequel to the popular fighting game for the Nintendo GameCube. If you never played the first Clash of Ninja, don't worry. The game was a fairly basic fighter in the vein of Super Smash Bros.And while the game didn't really have a lot of depth, it was still a great little button masher that was faithful to the anime.

For Clash of Ninja 2, the developers haveheeded the words of the great Chinese philosopher Confucius, who once said, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The new game is exactly like theoriginal - it justcrams in a whole lot more in terms of content. This time around, there's a total for 23 playable characters (more than twice the number from the first game), as well as a host of different game types.

The story mode has players go through some of the plot of the anime series, playing key battles as different characters from the show. Players will earn money which can be used in the game's shop to buy cool swag like new characters and costumes. Other modes include a hefty vs mode where up to four players can now battle it out in wild free-for-all battles or team fighting. And if you're feeling particularly masochistic, you can even test your butt-stomping skills in some 3-on-1 handicap matches against some other ninja wannabes.