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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst

Score: 79%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Games America, Inc.
Developer: Cyber Connect2
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 2; (2 - 8 Online)
Genre: Action/ Fighting/ Online

Graphics & Sound:

First things first, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is exactly the same game that was released earlier this year, it just has the Full Burst DLC on the disc as well. This means that those gamers who already picked up Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 should most definitely not buy this Full Burst game, just get the DLC and you will have everything this release offers, and price-wise (at least at the time of this writing), there isn't even a difference.

Like the Full Burst DLC, this version of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 claims to offer some tweaking to the cinematics. That being said, I really couldn't see much of a difference. Granted, I reviewed the PS3 version of the non-Full Burst edition, but switching between the two systems didn't reveal much in the way of improved visuals. Regardless, Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 has some pretty impressive graphics to begin with. The cel-shaded characters look close enough to the anime series to really pull you into the game and many of the locations fans of the show are familiar with are prominently displayed. Outside of the models, the various special effects that go along with the characters' various attacks are impressive and properly flashy.

Similarly, the audio aspects of the game hit the mark since the show's voice actors reprise their roles and the background music is lifted straight from the anime.


Like I said above, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst adds the Full Burst DLC to the previously released Ninja Storm 3 game. This DLC adds an additional 100 levels to the game's main story, as well as a new boss battle against Kabuto. You also get a new playable character in the Sage Mode form of Kabuto and as stated above, these additions come with some apparent refining of the game's cinematics. That being said, this isn't just a review of the DLC. This particular release, and so this review, is for the combined game and added content.

Ultimate Ninja Storm 3's fighting mechanics feel simplified over past games in this series. You are able to pull off impressive attacks against your opponent with very little effort and the result is that fights feel more like button-mashing segments interrupted only by chakra build-up efforts. In the end, the player that can pull off the biggest jutsu the fastest is the winner. While this makes the fights themselves incredibly energetic, it also leaves you feeling like you really didn't earn the win - especially if you are facing off against the bigger enemies in the game. Sure, the foe is a big bad-ass, but the fights themselves end up being fairly short.

This issue is complicated by the fact that there are extensive cutscenes between fights. On the one hand, these cutscenes are great as it goes into the anime/manga's story fairly well, but it also means that the player is going to be watching a lot of video with only short stints of actual action. This just doesn't seem right for a fighting game.


Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst adds a new mechanic called Ultimate Decisions to the series. On the surface, these allow the player to choose between two choices, Hero and Legendary. The two paths yield different rewards so that the easier of the two, Hero, can be gotten through more quickly, but with fewer rewards. Unfortunately, these decisions really don't have any long-lasting effect on the story itself and only serve to let you improve your characters a bit more if you manage to make it through the Legendary challenge.

Outside of these sporadic choices though, there isn't a whole lot to the game's difficulty. Once you get a handle on your character's abilities, there isn't much that can stop you from pulling off your overpowered attacks and chipping away at your enemy's health. While some fights might take a couple of tries, most players will be able to plow through the game's story at a rather steady pace.

Game Mechanics:

The Full Burst DLC doesn't really do anything to change Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3's mechanics. The game still keeps to its core feeling of high-powered large fights and the fighting mechanics all stay the same between this version and the earlier release. Of course, this means that the game still accurately conveys the sheer amount of energy and momentum that the fights have in the show. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3's Awakened Mode adds the added level of forcing your character to be at either full power or near defeat before you can pull off the character's most powerful attacks, but this still requires little actual skill to pull off. The only true difficulty in the game comes when you go online to look for human opponents who have also mastered the game's simplified fighting system.

While talking about this release with Geck0, we felt like the Full Burst version of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 should be seen more like the Director's Cut. While the DLC was released for those that already had the game, it seems like this version is the one the developers wanted to put out in the first place. Thinking about the game in that manner, I feel like this is the proper version to pick up for any fan who hasn't already grabbed Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. If you have, of course, then buying the DLC is all you will need to do in order to enjoy the added features. That being said, my recommendation for the original version of the game still stands for Full Burst. Unless you are a Naruto fan, there really isn't a reason to pick up Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, and even those might want a rental before purchasing.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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