Aug 29, 2007
You’ll be forgiven if you feel like you’ve played this orange-clad ninja beatdown before: it’s a stripped-down port of the PS2 brawler Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2, which was itself only slightly tweaked from the firstUltimate Ninja (opens in new tab) which came out just last year. So yes: if you’ve played one of these “3D characters in 2D worlds” bash-a-thons – or the Smash Brothers games they’re clearly styled after – 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’s simple, but not too plain. All of the 20 characters – 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, “jutsu” moves – 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.