For those who love the TV show and or play game....i have good news for you(well actually for those who own a Wii)
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution Hands-on
We take the four player mode for a spin, and it kicks ass.
August 23, 2007 - Any self-respecting GameCube owner that calls themselves an anime fan knows the Clash of Ninja franchise. While Japan was treated to four complete titles on the Cube, however, US owners had their Naruto fighting experience cut short by the Wii's debut, as localization of both Clash of Ninja 3 and 4 look to be a lost cause. That being said, both regions are now getting their own versions of Clash of Ninja, and while both the Japanese and US fighters are working from the same core engine, US fans may finally be getting the superior experience. We had a chance to hands-on with Clash of Ninja Revolution for Nintendo Wii - specifically focusing on the four player mode - and it looks to be just as fierce, fast, and entertaining as its GameCube predecessors.
Since we had a chance to go hands-on with Clash of Ninja Revolution just a month or so ago at E3, this stands to be more of a update, and less of a full-fledged traditional preview. Representatives of D3 gave us a chance to go head-to-head (to-head-to-head) in Clash of Ninja Revolution's fine-tuned four player multiplayer, and as such we figured it was a great time to showcase some of the fluidity, speed, and overall improvements of the game in video form. Even though the core of Revolution is very similar to Clash of Ninja EX in Japan, the story and fighter roster has been tuned to fit the English storyline, and along with it changes to the core game were made.
EX has been getting somewhat of a bad rap in Japan due to its sluggish multiplayer, especially when looking at a full four-player bout. With the extra development time for the English release, however, some optimization was made in the code, specifically when dealing with tiny changes such as the way shadows work with multiple fighters on-screen, and the result is a much more fluid, far more enjoyable four player experience. Since Clash of Ninja Revolution adds in far more effects and character animations than EX or CoN2 for GameCube it's a pretty impressive sight, and locking down the gameplay speed was a necessity. It's been done with Clash of Ninja Revolution.
It's a bit too early to give away character reveals and the like - something you'll be seeing first on IGN at a later date - but we can tell you that the improvements made to the multiplayer battle are all for the better. For starters, players can use motion control, a GameCube controller, Classic controller, or even the Wii-mote on its side NES style to play Clash of Ninja. For the demo we used the Wii-mote/nunchuk combo, but all will be available at launch. As for the changes from Clash of Ninja 2, players can now follow supercombo attacks with actual on-screen motions which will add hits to the attack. There's no pass/fail system, so no matter what a novice player will still nail the majority of strikes during these attacks, but for players that have mastered the motion control there's an extra half dozen or so punches/kicks that can be racked up within each scripted super.
Along those same lines, motion has also been added to the now-evolving fighting stages. In each of the eight arenas there are now cinematic level-moving points, and if a player is knocked into these zones the game will automatically show a scripted event where the aggressor knocks his opponent into the air, and then proceeds to chase him through the air for a combo attack. When in mid-air, simply swing the Wii-mote to attack or the nunchuk to teleport in front of the downed opponent. If this is executed properly, you'll score a hit before the cinema ends, plopping the characters into the new section of the level.
It's a simple concept, but there's some solid gameplay within the transition cinemas. If you decide not to attack, for example, you can actually arrive at the new area before your opponent does and catch them in a devastating air combo. If your opponent shakes the right hand, however, he'll counter your action and will survive the combo with very little damage. Mix that in with all the insane air juggling, dozens of combos per player, supercombos, and super-counter attacks and you've got a ton of action happening on-screen.
Also included this time around in a cover system, which allows players to duck behind - or with a little practice, vault off of or over - on-screen objects. It's a small addition, but again, teaming that with all the other nuances of the core engine will result in a hell of a lot of diversity within the game.
Since this is more of a brief multiplayer update we're going to leave our impressions at that. We've had a chance to play with nearly every character in the game thus far though, and you can look forward to a more in-depth full hands-on with the game in the coming weeks. Even though details are still pretty scarce we can tell you with confidence that Clash of Ninja Revolution is already shaping up to be a better fighter than its US predecessors, and is Wii's best fighter hands-down.
Look for more on the game in the coming weeks, and be sure to check out our exclusive gameplay and screenshots of the four player mode in action.
The best fighting franchise on the Wii....better than DBZ:Tenchaichi?