Namco Bandai Games America Inc.’s Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storms Generations for Sony Corp.’s Playstation 3 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 is a nimble dream match that offers epic battles from a large roster of franchise veterans.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storms Generations includes a Story Mode to view a story of select characters and unlock new characters for battle, Free Play for versus and training matches, and Online Mode to battle against worldwide opponents.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storms Generations

The control system is a refined version of prior entries with full 3D movement, projectile, melee, battle items, Chakra, and super moves. Users can agilely traverse in battle with multi-hit combos, instant reversals with the left trigger, and fantastic super moves with the Chakra meter.

The Substitute Ninjitsu allows users to prevent a pummel by reappearing behind the opponent mid-combo. The frenetic back-and-forth use between opponents allow for additional strategy, in addition to the ability to link a super move post reversal.

A drawback is that once the Substitute Ninjitsu is used to capacity in the match, a user has no choice but to be juggled endlessly in a multi-hit combo.

In addition, users can deploy one or two support characters in battle for additional combo hits. Support characters can provide an added boost or mid-combo distraction with the left or right triggers.

When players is near death and the Chakra meter is full they can execute the Awakening or alternate version of their character to pummel a new powerful set of maneuvers to their opponent.

Online matches are separated into Player and Ranked Matches, though the netcode can only find one match at a time and the found match is frequently already occupied. In match, games can range from lag free to occasional pauses with a ‘Transmitting’ disclaiming that flashes the screen mid-game.

Post game, users can trade online cards as an opponent identifier. Also, users can store and download up to 150 replay matches.

The graphics engine is superb at 60 frames-per-second. Developer CyberConnect2 has polished the Ninja Storms to anime perfection with seamless transitions between standard combat and over-the-top special moves. The sound engine is standard with well-voiced battle cries and a patter of slap sound effects.

Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storms Generations is a fine bout for casual users and franchise fans. While the title may not include enough balance for technical fighters, the fluid and fast combat among more than 70 characters should keep players fighting until the next generation.

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