Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 Review
October 14, 2008 by Ryan Lodata
Naruto is back in the latest game in the Naruto line of RPGs, Naruto Path of the Ninja 2. Naruto is one of the most popular anime series currently out there and is considered a favorite by many anime fans. However, does this game live up to the potential of the series?
The story begins with an evil group of men unlocking an unquestionably powerful evil force. It is up to Naruto and his fellow Ninjas from the Hidden Leaf Village to capture this evil spirit and prevent it from being fully unleashed. To do this, you must collect five mirrors that are scattered in various areas of the game world.
Players are given the ability to navigate the game world through an overhead view and enter combat at random moments while in the world. The same system has been in place since the early days of Final Fantasy and gives a definite nod to the typical old school system. The same can be said for the typical turn-based style of combat that can be found in Path of the Ninja 2.
One of the biggest things that can make or break an RPG is its combat system. Path of the Ninja 2 has the same combat system that you can find in just about any RPG currently available. Players are given the regular attack, flee and spell (called Jutsu) options. The only difference is that to perform Jutsu moves, you sometimes have to rub the screen quickly or spin to the left on the touch screen. There is not much else to the combat that can set it apart from every other RPG that is currently available on the market. Most of the time, you won’t be paying attention to the combat because of how easy the game is.
Many advanced RPG gamers will have an issue with the difficulty level of Path of the Ninja 2. It is quite obvious that TOMY was targeting a younger crowd with this title in terms of the difficulty. In the later stages of the game, I found myself just continually hitting the A button while watching an episode of Family Guy. Eventually, I would hear the victory music and know that the battle had been won.
This game may not be the best for advanced gamers, but would be an excellent way for new RPG gamers to get into the mix. The combat is simplistic at best and gamers are drawn into it rather slowly. This, of course, would help get younger gamers hooked to what can sometimes be a very complicated genre.
The overhead maps in Path of the Ninja 2 give the nostalgic feeling of being back in the 16-bit days of the Super Nintendo. They are only average in how they look and lack any sort of detail that would make them truly original. However, it is worth mentioning that at some very few points in the game both screens will be taken up by a full image of some of the in-game characters, which I found to be very refreshing and detailed.
The music and sound that has been included with Path of the Ninja 2 is the same as the graphics, average. The music lacks any defined variation and can become very monotonous at times. Combat sounds have suffered from this same lack of variation and you will find yourself getting sick of hearing “What the???” from Naruto several times per battle.
It is very clear that this game targets the younger crowd and will prove to be excellent fun for them. The simplistic controls and battle sequences will really help to introduce them to what the wonderful world of RPGs has to offer them. Advanced players, however, have been left at the doorstep on this title and will be better off finding something that will challenge them more than mashing the A button.
Path of the Ninja 2 fails at providing experienced RPG gamers any sort of challenge or originality. The gameplay and story are the same as just about any RPG that can be found on the market. However, young or inexperienced gamers will find that the combat system is simplistic and will be an excellent title to draw them into this genre. Not much can be said about the average in-game graphics aside from the special note to a few sections of the game where both screens are taken up by the image of some of the in-game characters. Average and repetitive are the only words that can describe what gets projected through your Nintendo DS’s speakers. Overall, it is recommended that advanced gamers steer clear of this title, but if you are looking for a present to give to that young gamer in your life, then this would prove to be an excellent jumping pad to introduce them to the world of RPGs.