Naruto: Ultimate Ninja review

When Smash Bros. goes to ninja school, we all win

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So you've got the multi-layered arenas, the colorful cast of characters and a workable parrying system that constantly keeps you on your toes. Is there anything else to make the battles truly nuts? Sure is - it's called a Secret Technique, a chargeable move that has three levels of madness to unleash.

Hitting the triangle button charges your fighter up one level, with a maximum of three. If you land a hit while powered up, you go into a cinematic attack that prompts a string of button commands to follow. If you nail 'em, the move goes on to another cinema and deals major damage. Some of these attacks are so damn ruthless and violent, it's amazing these kids stay in school at all.

But, like everything else in Ultimate Ninja, there's a way to lessen the pain. The other fighter can put in commands too, and if they're done in time, the damage is cut. It's a great way to keep both players involved but still reward the better fighter with a flashy finishing move.

And if the whole scrap's just not going your way, you're occasionally asked to ditch the current arena and head to a more favorable place. Doing so takes the fight to a more familiar level and patches you up with some extra life. Extremely long fights can bounce from one area to the next, with feints and mega moves exploding all over the screen until the timer finally runs out.

More info

DescriptionA scruffier take on ninja school, this anime fighter emphasizes flashy, lengthy moves and over-the-top fan service.
Franchise nameNaruto
UK franchise nameNaruto
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.