Naruto Powerful Shippuden Review

Naruto has returned to handheld in a brand new game "Naruto: Powerful Shippuden" for the Nintendo 3DS. Is this side scroller worth the purchase or should you not take a trip to this world.

Story - The story follows key events from the Naruto Shippuden and the spin off show Rock Lee & His Pals. The story is told through various missions in the game and it's told it a less serious but more comedic tone, and it actually is funny. Relive some key moments from the show from the perspective of Rock Lee or Naruto. The story is told through text still cut-scenes and it does a good job of showing some key elements from the spin off show.

Gameplay -The game is a side scroller with many different elements from other genres of gaming. This game is a beat em up, a fighter, platformer and has RPG elements as well. The game only has one mode and that's Mission Mode. However don't let that discourage you, the mission mode is pretty lengthy and challenging. Once you pick your character either Naruto or Rock Lee you have to a choice of going through some tutorial training or hop right into missions. Missions usually consist of you either doing a time attack challenge of beating enemies at before time runs out, running to a certain location before time runs out, fighting a boss, collecting items or surviving until time runs out. Each mission has a different set of challenges and level of difficulty. For example some missions your character will have to be a certain level or higher if they will succeed in winning the day. If a mission is level 5 your character should be level 5 or better otherwise you won't be able to win the day. The game can be challenging even on the easy level, thankfully the game plays very similar to Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series with how the structure of one on one fights are. You have your special attack button, your regular attack button and your chakra meter. The chakra meter determines whether or not you will be able to use your special attacks. Every time you use your special attack or super move your chakra will go down. It also serves as a stamina meter as well, this gives a little strategic element on where and how you use your attacks. If the chakra meter is no more your character will need time to regain strength.

In addition to the chakra meter you also have a support system from your allies to aid you in battle. By simply touching the touch screen or using the L trigger you can call an ally that you have set to aid you. Each ally comes with they own special attack or skill. As the missions progress you will find more characters to support you, from there you can choose on who you want on your team. The game provides a lot of elements for you to level up. You can level up your character, special attacks, weapons if they use them, and also level up the strength of your support system. The game is truly in depth of offering a lot to do even with just one mode. The only real complaint I have is sometimes the game might feel repetitive in some missions. However once you get into the game really picks up.

Graphics - The graphics is great. I like the use of the facial expression and the use of the big head of the characters. It gives it a more light hearted feel to the game. The sprite effects and characters stay true to the popular anime. However the 3D is a let down there really wasn't much effort on the 3D except for the text reading. Overall the graphics are great, kid friendly and keeps true to the anime.

Sound - The music is very true to the anime. The background music does it's best to keep you in a ninja type world. The music is catchy, upbeat and you won't hate hearing it. The voice dub might be disappoint to fans of the English dub. There is no English dub in this game at all. Instead you get the Japanese cast with English text. This is not a problem since the Japanese cast does an amazing job with the time they had to lend the voices to the characters.

Replay Value - The game is lengthy enough for you to only go through it once. There are some key moments in missions that you want to relive, however it would be nice to had an online or offline multi-player for us to play on the road. 

Final Grade B-/8.0 - Naruto Powerful Shippuden is a good challenging game to take with you on the road. You have two different stories to play, characters to upgrade and the cut scenes are funny. It would have been nice to see the 3D utilize more and add a multi-player mode to give the game more depth, but it's not a game you should pass up on. It's a game you should definitely check out.