Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the sixth and final instalment of the Ultimate Ninja Storm series developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Namco-Bandai games.
I’m going, to begin with, Story Mode. For me, as a Naruto anime fan was the story mode made pretty well. You can relive the events of Naruto Shippuden. Going and fighting through the 4th Great Ninja War, fighting Boss Battles such as Madara, Kaguya, etc., with some minor changes according to the manga/anime felt really entertainingly. However, I was disappointed with some fights as they didn’t include some significant points from anime. But it’s not big deal. In Adventure Mode you get an access to open world gameplay where you can complete main events and sub-events and also lot more content to play with around. Regard to the Season Pass DLCs, I found myself enjoying the extra open world stories, although they were all a bit similar to each other. You can complete for everyone in 3 hours or so but it is some extra fun. The Boruto’s Tales DLC was inspired by the film Naruto: Road to Boruto where you are set in an open world with new areas with main events and sub-events just like in previous Adventure Stories. But I can say it’s a bit more interesting as it includes cut-scenes and after-image actions with a bunch of new characters and of course new Justus.
Free Battles is the place where you have multiple options of play mode to choose:
In Survival Mode you can test how long you can last with one health bar over multiple fights. Next up is a Tournament Mode where you can choose between fight battles in a 4- to 8-player tournament. VS Battle is the most basic type of battle. You can play against computer or against your friend. Then you have League. In League, you can enjoy fighting in league-type sets of battles: “Free Battle League”, where you can select any participants, “Ever-Changing League” where special conditions are placed on battles and “Challenge League” where various difficulty levels are found within these league battles for you to enjoy. Next mode in Free Battles is Practice in which you can practice fighting while you try out different settings. Free Battles also include options like Customize Character (you can equip substitution items and edit finish cut-in images) and Presets (you can pre-register your character for use in battle).
In Online Battles is very rare to find a player to fight unless you have a friend who owns the game. Limited Time Only Events are events in which you can play continuous battles with AI opponents. If you defeat all your opponents, you’ll earn a reward. You can also play Ranked Matches with players all over the world with Leaderboards or just Casual 1-on-1 battles with the settings tweaked to your liking. There are also options for Tournament, League and Endless Mode. Interesting parts of Online Mode are Ninja Cards. You can customize them by your style (card picture, title, skin and matching voice). At the end of the battle, both players will receive a card of their opponent. And lastly, the Online mode also include the Bingo Book in which are shown wanted characters and rewards for defeating them.
Battle mechanics are pretty much the same as they were in previous games of this series with some minor changes. However, they brought back the Wall fights with unique fight style. What is typical for Naruto Storm series are After-Image Actions. Same as in previous games, at the end of the Boss Battles there are those actions. By successfully pressing specific buttons, it gives you an amount of stars until you achieve the Big Stars. A Certain amount of big stars will trigger Secret Factor. These serve just like an extra piece of memory/story part and they do not affect the storyline. Regard to the controls, I do recommend you use a Controller. It will increase your game experience. You can play it with a keyboard as well but I really don’t recommend that since it is a bit tricky. I’m using the Logitech f310 controller with X output (runs on the base of an Xbox controller) and everything works just fine.
In this case, I’m a little worried about the display settings. You have the ability to choose between 30 FPS and 60 FPS. Sure thing is that most people will like to choose 60 FPS option just like in my case but the thing is that the game has a really bad optimization. A lot of players are having the same problem. Slow Motion. Your battles and adventures are changing into a Matrix experience. I also found a lot people with really good GPUs like 1080ti with this problem. For some people, turning down the MSAA solves the problem, but not in my case. Some say that lowering your resolution will help, but not in my case. Some people even say downgrading your GPUs drivers to older one could solve the problem. But not in my case. I was forced to choose a 30 FPS option, where the slow-mo disappears, but for its cost of lack of smooth gameplay. But you can still enjoy the game as I did!
As the story goes along with an anime series, in Japanese you will most likely recognize all voices. Most of the characters have the same voice actor as in the anime. I can’t tell about the English dubbing since I prefer the Japanese one. If we take a look (well actually a hear :p) at the SFX, you can have an annoying sound-cracking problem as I had. Lowering the sound quality in system’s settings to 44100Hz helped me with that. The soundtrack is just as amazing as in anime. It fits the whole atmosphere of Naruto Universe, that just increase the experience.
The main story along with the dlc stories and Boruto’s adventure can be done in +/- 30 hours and the 100% completion in +/- 50 hours. If you want to see all the cut-scenes and fight all the boss fights again, is nice to play the game once more. However, if you want to see only some scenes, you can choose which ones you want to replay, what is a nice option. But if you just want to have fights with characters, I rather recommend you using the “Free Battles”.
This game has a lot of content and things to offer you. The main story, adventure story, extra DLC adventure stories, Boruto’s tales, free battles, online battles. Many characters to play with and also extra costumes, which you can purchase for in-game tools – Exchange Tools, and of course a lot of fun. If you are a Naruto fan, I can guarantee you that you will have fun with this game. I recommend you buying it at sales although, because the DLCs will maximize your experience, but you know… they cost some money too…
- Gameplay - 85%85%
- Graphics - 70%70%
- Sound - 90%90%
- Longevity - 80%80%
- Value - 90%90%
My score takes into account the optimization problems, sound problems and dead online mode.
Otherwise, I fully recommend it!