Reviewed by Peter Carmody

It has been roughly 2 years since Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm was released exclusively to Playstation 3, this time around Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (UNS2) has gone multi-platform.

This means that while PS3 owners who have played the predecessor have a pretty good idea about what to expect, they will have to bear with the Xbox 360’s new comers.

Hit the jump for our full review.

The first thing to stress is that the Ultimate Ninja titles focus on the over-the-top combat aspect of the Naruto series, and are nothing at all like the two previous Naruto titles released to the 360 platform. So… no tree top sequences, coin hunting, power cable sliding or performing jutsu’s by entering the appropriate directional commands with the two analogue sticks. If that is what you were looking for in this game, you will almost certainly be disappointed.

The Ultimate adventure mode walks you through the Shippuden series but makes some minor alterations to the original storyline for the sake of game play. As you move from one fight to the next you begin to periodically unlock the 44 playable characters (Including Lars Alexandersson from Tekken 6). At times during this campaign you will also take control of other characters from the series to complete parts of the storyline. As the game gets progressively more difficult your fighting skills will be put to the test, as will your ability to respond quickly to button prompts during boss battles. Yip, another Naruto game with quick time events, however this one will keep you glued to the screen with its landscape altering fight scenes in vibrant colour and stunning cell shaded splendor.


Between fights you will be traveling through a multitude of static environments filled with not-so-well hidden helpful goodies which can be used to tweak your battle plan. Unfortunately when you are not fighting or searching through bird poop for Soya beans, you will be spending most of your time reading dialogue bubbles (as the accompanying voices often just bomb out) and explanation pop-up boxes when you touch just about anything. When that’s not happening you will be reading loading screen tips which are incredibly helpful on your journey, but at some point you really just want to stop reading and play the game. You might even find yourself skipping through these annoyances just to get to some action, regrettably you would be losing a lot of valuable information and if you’re interested in the story at all, you have to grin and bear it.

Cyber connect2 did an amazing job at making you feel as if you are in an episode of Naruto Shippuden (the die hard fans will love this about UNS2). The main characters are very well rendered, so much so that they look as if they are from the animated series. The typically anime styled background images are accompanied by specific camera angles and beautiful cell shading that help the whole package feel more authentic. Sadly it comes at a price, in campaign mode the camera angles often obscure your view so badly that if it wasn’t for the on screen map at times you would not have a clue where you were going.


This is very different though in the combat mode where everything really just comes together. The characters move with absolute fluidity through the stunning 3D backgrounds making the combat element of this game its saving grace. At first the battle system with its one button combos seemed so simple that I began to imagine a small child bashing some unfortunate pet over the head with a chocolate covered game controller, unknowingly dishing out a stupor of punishment on an opponent. Fortunately, as it turns out there is a small but noticeable option of strategy in amongst the button mashing madness. You are able to throw projectiles, tag in members of your team to temporarily help you and charge up chakra to deal out varying levels of damage. Not to mention that you are able to enter battle with a couple of sneaky ninja tricks up your sleeve.

The battle system is fast paced and chaotic, which recreates the look and feel of the series quite nicely but it is not very difficult to get the hang of. In fact, you don’t have to have much experience at all to hold your own in this game, which pushes it more toward the casual gamer demographic as apposed to appealing to the hardcore technical fight fan. For this same reason UNS2’s free battle mode is good fun when you have a couple of friends around and you just want to beat on each other. UNS2 is also the first game from the Ultimate Ninja series to boast online multiplayer capabilities. Players can now go head to head or face of in team battles to gain BP (battle points) which will be reflected in your customizable ninja card that your would be online opponents can see. BP will also determine your ranking on the leaderboards.


UNS2 is by far the best looking Naruto game that 360 users have seen yet, unfortunately the Ultimate adventure mode really steals a lot of the limelight. As I steadily put more hours into UNS2 I couldn’t help but feel slightly robbed, considering what has already been established in Naruto games in the past. The die-hard Naruto fans will probably still love this game purely because of how good it looks and its attention to detail. If you’re a casual gamer looking for a fun fighting game look no further, but if you’re a hardcore combo master then this game is not for you.



Gameplay: 7.5

While the campaign mode was a major let down, the fight modes are fast and entertaining. The button prompt scenes demand your utmost attention and are not in the least bit annoying. The quick tag in system is a major contribution to your strategy and the general smoothness of the fighting experience makes it all worthwhile. The storyline is, for the most part true to the series. Sadly the way it jumps around might have those of you who don’t watch the Naruto Shippuden series slightly confused.

Presentation: 9.0

This is by far the best characteristic of this game. During campaign mode the same camera angles that become somewhat annoying during game play also give the game an authentic Naruto feel (necessary evil maybe?) While in combat modes you will be completely encapsulated by the attractiveness of this game, not just the settings but also the characters. Cyber connect2 did an absolutely amazing job blurring the lines between the animated series and the game.

Sound: 7.8

The background music in typical Naruto style is a contrast between the peaceful Japanese flute (shakuhachi) and an intense combat score which again stays true to the series. You may notice that the voices don’t always coincide with lip movement, kind of like a badly dubbed martial arts movie and this is simply because the characters should be speaking Japanese which I might add is an option for those hardcore fans.

Value: 7.0

Even though it is possible to play the Ultimate campaign through more than once, there is very little motivation to do so, considering that finishing it once will unlock every playable character. If you’re one of those compulsive achievement hunters though, you might need to go for round two. You will probably get the most value from UNS2 by playing against your friends and online battling, and to honest even then I see this getting old quick.

So far there is no DLC, but 44 character and 23 settings should keep you busy for a little while.

Overall: 7.8

Although this game is visually impressive, it has not made massive steps forward. In fact looking at the Ultimate adventure mode, you could spark a debate as to whether it took steps backwards. The creators blatantly target the Naruto fans and make very little effort to pull in new gamers, this can be seen in how the story takes off at a fast pace with the assumption that you know what is going on. From the perspective of someone who does follow the series I was relatively disappointed.

[Reviewed on Xbox 360]

Last Updated: October 18, 2010

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2


  1. lans

    October 18, 2010 at 13:44

    erm harsh much? this game is ace! longer than gears of war and dantes inferno! so whats the fuce this games a 9/10 all they need to do is add more counter attacks to the system, clearly you finished this game on average=very easy, play this on superhard,its not that casual, once you master its move you can separate the newbs very easily, its a bit unfair and broken actually. So i dont think this game is that newb friendly, once ppl know what they doing its very unfair.

    eg someone who knows how to use puppets and grabs will own the living breathing dragon out of any dextrous newb!


  2. Nick de Bruyne

    October 18, 2010 at 14:28

    @lans LOL dude, I checked Metacritic to see what their scores are, and it seems like you are about the only one who believes this game deserves a 9/10


  3. Peter Carmody

    October 18, 2010 at 16:12

    I assure you that I played this game on all difficulty levels to be able to review this game properly. I’m sorry that you feel that my review is “harsh”, but I had to review UNS2 form the perspective of a gamer and not only a Naruto fan. There is absolutely no way this games combat system (although very nice looking) can compare to the more technical fighters out there, and there is no way its campaign can compare to previous Naruto titles. My responsibility as a reviewer is not to write only for the hard core gamers who own the living breathing dragons out of newbies, but also to inform accurately for the casual gamers out there. Thanx for reading though.



    October 18, 2010 at 17:04

    honestly this game in the other naruto games are ment to be played more casually it really the same design from the ultimate ninja series on ps2 translated two up to date graphic.This game shouldn’t be reviewed so much as a hardcore fighter ,but as a beat em up like smash brothers all in all i think the review should be more so is it fun to play does it look good and how the replay ability. you shouldn’t put it up to the standards of street fighter 4 and Tekken because those are really detailed fighters with really advance combo system and bound system .This game is all about giving those who love the Naruto series the chance to control there favorite character and pull off the over the top moves that we love so much. But any way that just my take on it


  5. Nick de Bruyne

    October 18, 2010 at 17:45

    Im not entirely sure of what it is you are trying to say here that wasn’t already said in the review?


  6. Korbin

    October 18, 2010 at 18:15

    Nice one Gav! well done on staying objective and putting out a solid review.


  7. manny10

    October 18, 2010 at 19:26

    goood review bro u were honest but im naruto fan nd just to support the series this game is a must buy


  8. bobopedic

    October 19, 2010 at 01:15

    I liked the first ninja storm primarily because it wasnt like tekken or street fighter. I liked being able to get into the game without having to memorize every grueling combo. I feel perfectly comfortable having the same button to press for punch and kick. I’m sure this game will bring back all that I loved from the first one and even more with the new characters and online mode.


  9. Nick Ser

    October 19, 2010 at 03:31

    By mastering the game, u mean spamming attacks right? I can already see the online fights, oh naruto did a rasen shuriken, oh naruto did another rasen shuriken, oh…another one.. blaw…


  10. Nick Ser

    October 19, 2010 at 03:38

    really… I find that having one combo button is lame as hell, they shoulve atleast done same button + different directions for example : B+left,B,B,B+up .. instead all thy did way hey press b and one direction on the pad and itll automatically do a different combo depending on the direction pressed.. lame.. I was really into getting this game but now I see the error of my ways, campaign sucks, online = spammers, playing with friends will get old + i dont know about anyone that likes naruto besides me… Ima get halo reach instead. Now that games boss 😛


  11. #chris

    October 19, 2010 at 08:36

    Played with a friend when he got his copy. I have to say the fighting can be alot harder to master than is first percieved. People saying spamming one attack is all you need to do are very closed minded.
    We spent a while playing and worked out easy ways to knockout someone attempting that. Sure it’s about fast button pressing, but not the same one.


  12. Simon

    October 19, 2010 at 14:24

    The Japanese voice acting is for hard-core naruto fans?
    NOooo…on the other hand the god awful english voice acting is for underage children that can’t read subtitles. You have not played the game to it’s full potential and I am sure you have not even played online for some real challenge or even dared to set it to super-hard.You are clearly unfit to judge this game.


  13. Austin

    October 19, 2010 at 15:40

    what!? this deserves a 100/10!!!!


  14. Peter Carmody

    October 19, 2010 at 17:16

    Hard core Naruto fans prefer to watch the series in Original Japanese is all I meant by it, but im glad to see that you read the review and not just the conclusion. I would just like to point out that by putting an average game on its most difficult setting doesn’t make it a good game…more challenging maybe, but not better.


  15. bigdildo

    October 19, 2010 at 20:15

    are u on crack dis game rocks


  16. Matt

    October 19, 2010 at 22:59

    fuck dat.. this game owns all u dick heads


  17. John Mcdonald

    October 19, 2010 at 23:00

    This game owns. Very nice graphics, long story, and what else? this game rocks all games.


  18. Gavin Mannion

    October 19, 2010 at 23:42

    He actually used his middle name to avoid confusion with me… just saying before people get confused


  19. mitas

    October 20, 2010 at 00:01

    Ians an idt …just mention GT5 and he starts barking like a scared pup


  20. Nick de Bruyne

    October 20, 2010 at 02:24

    Glad to see that the Naruto community is filled with so many well educated gentlemen. Way to represent your kind, especially with people like bigdildo making such hard-hitting points about the game.

    We are so blessed.


  21. Alucard_SMC

    October 20, 2010 at 10:18

    Hahahahahahahaha… Nice one nick!

    My favorite line in this debate so far is ‘two up to date graphic’ – sounds so Parrow, so UFO 🙂 I don’t understand what all the fuss is about though – the review has given credit where its due and it criticizes the aspects which are found wanting…

    Sorry I can’t add anything about the game itself, as I haven’t had the pleasure to play it yet 🙁

    I think we should invite Simon to do a ‘re-review’ on the game… would be interesting to see if he has ‘better’ judgement…


  22. Zohrael

    October 21, 2010 at 10:24

    I thought the review was fair. NUNS 2 caters to fans of Naruto, among them–myself. So I love everything about it. But for those who aren’t fans or those who lean towards Street Fighter or Tekken, they might not appreciate it as much. For those who loved the Konoha sandbox (among them–myself), the more streamlined world will make them miss the absolute freedom other games had to offer. One major disagreement, though. The combat system may be simple and easy to learn, but very difficult to master.


  23. lans

    October 21, 2010 at 11:47

    block the ultimate jutsu and follow up with a grab!
    so all those ultimate jutsu spammers will get owned!


  24. Mufasa

    October 22, 2010 at 07:39

    I’m obsessed with Naruto so I bought this on Day 1… and traded it a day later. After finishing Adventure mode and unlocking all characters save for one I was bored out of my skull. It looks gorgeous and the fighting is pretty fun, but the problem is there’s zero longevity, and way too many loading times, if I want to take a mate on at versus I don’t want to have to wait 2 minutes for each and EVERY bout! If you want a mad fighting game with crazy japs screaming at each other, buy a copy of Blazblue, you’ll never look back:-)


  25. Syth

    October 22, 2010 at 07:49

    Well, thats the cons of getting more exposure I guess, soon we will be have “1st to post, lmfao” posts here.

    I love the art style of this game. I haven’t really watched Naruto a lot, but if Mufasa, who is a huge Naruto fan, doesn’t care to play the game for a week, I guess I won’t be getting it.


  26. Draeka

    November 4, 2010 at 13:17

    install the game to your hdd then vs ppl who actually know what they doing and you will have tons of fun for a very long time. Its really hard to get beaten by mashers or spammers because the game does give you alot of tools to work with. Its not 1 of those hardcore fighters like Tekken or virtua fighter but its a really nice disraction with some of dept.

    My only complaints are the lack of a training mode and decent tutorials for beginners


  27. Wrix

    January 21, 2011 at 20:32

    I have been playing this game for about 3 weeks now and at first, i hated it. i thought the one button spamming thing made me think of my 4 year old cousin looking at the control and screaming REEEEDDDDDDDD!!!!!!! WHOOOOOo!!!! i read your review and i think you did a really good job highlighting the ups and downs, but i only disagree with you on one thing. the depth to the multiplayer has really impressed me the more i play it. There are a lot of aspects to it i hadn’t seen before. For example, i never lose to spammers online now that i know characters moves, i can just sub out of them or have my support wreck their lives if they spam. thats just a matter of practicing substitution. i learned that there are combos within the game that are pretty hard to pull off as well, and those combos have a large part to do with what support characters you have ( using pain to send someone flying then deidara to catch them as their falling, mixed in with a support drive to bounce them back to you and finishing them off while they are in midair) learning these combos and how to dodge them is actually really entertaining, cause people come up with some awesome ideas online. Another aspect is the ultimate mode craziness thing that happens when people charge up with low health. that adds an interesting twist to online play. since they cant use support, they havea bit of a weakness. yeah they will most likely spam the *$#@ out of you when they are in ultimate mode, but learning to dodge and sub out of attacks buys you time while using support to hold them off… it kinda adds a final boss feeling to every fight that it appears in. all in all your review is great, but i am just defending this games multilplayer potential.
    TIP: learn the nature of character’s attacks. Most of them are linear, which means you can dodge by strafing to a side or jump dashing to the side, then there are some that are sweeping that you can hit y+a and back to fly away from or Y+a and forward to charge them and dodge. if you can learn the timing to sub out of specials, that will usually leave you a bit of an opening.
    cheers, Wrix


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