Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Revolution
November 7, 2008 by Ryan Lodata
Naruto and friends are back in the second iteration of the Naruto fighting series, Clash of Ninja Revolution 2. Clash of the Ninja Revolution 2 brings the promise of new gameplay modes, intuitive Wii control schemes and 480p support. However, does this title really live up the promise of a good fighting game for the Nintendo Wii?
A new game in any series gives gamers the hope that there have been improvements and a level of originality to the game. The developer, Eighting, has incorporated the Wii controls in a way that have given this title a little extra in terms of gameplay. Although the game does have an intuitive and flexible control scheme, this does not make up for its short comings.
Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 (Clash 2), for those of you who may not know, has you assuming the role of one of 35 characters that appear in the Naruto television series. There is definitely no shortage of fighters and it certainly helps to give the game an even greater all-encompassing feel of being in the Naruto world. With each fighter comes a specific set of moves, which you will find yourself flailing your arms in the air to perform.
The fighting moves in Clash 2 are your typical weak attack, strong attack and special move, but with a few extra goodies that are thrown into the mix. Perhaps the greatest moves in the game are the special jutsu moves that can be performed after you fill your Chakra bar, which is easily done by landing several hits. When a special jutsu move is performed you enter a cinematic mode that has your character performing one of the over emphasized moves that are commonly seen by a very pissed off anime character. Depending on how much health you have, these moves can either do a lot of damage or just take a little bit of the edge out of their health. This dynamic range of damage helps players that may be down on their luck and improves your chances of winning should you land one of these moves. If you decide to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, these moves and all the other are proven to be all the more interesting.
Depending on which character you are using and what special jutsu move you are performing, the game will have you swinging the Nunchuk around or moving it in a particular direction. The same holds true for the various attacks in the game that can all be done with just the swing of the controller. If this adds anything at all to Clash 2, it is a more involving and fulfilling attack on your opponent. However great the controls may be, they still do not make up for the games flaws.
Clash 2 has your basic story mode that fans of the series may find themselves interested in. However as you find yourself deeper in the story mode, the difficulty suddenly jumps into the stratosphere and may lead to frustration or a remote thrown at the wall. The difficulty did not gradually increase, as you expect from many games, instead I suddenly found my frustration level going from the “this is way too easy and annoying” to the “how did that guy just kill me” level. This ultimately led me to giving up on the story mode and pursuing other avenues of venting my frustration.
Clash 2 has plenty of sound to keep you busy throughout the game. All of the fighters have a set of sound effects that will keep you interested throughout most of your time in the game. Also, a lot of the voice acting that you will hear in the story mode is almost spot-on with the TV series, which will give Naruto fans even more to gush about. Despite the great sound effects for the characters, the in-game music is forgettable and players won’t find it at all unique or interesting.
As with the rest of the game, the graphics are like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’re going to get. Bad placement of a movie quote aside, there were several promising graphical features in Clash 2 that will leave you with a feeling of satisfaction. The most prevalent of these are the special jutsu move animations. Each character has their own unique move and they each are animated in a way that makes you think that you can actually feel the power coming from your character. The character animations were, at times, spot on with the series. Despite these awesome graphical features, there were moments that had you slapping your forehead.
There were two very noticeable situations where it looks like the developers took the easy way out. The first of these were the in-game story mode animations. Your characters appeared on the screen and had their pixilated mouths move in a completely unrealistic fashion as they bobbed around the screen as stiff as a bored. The second most noticeable drop in graphics can be seen with some of the in-game character animations that appear horribly pixilated on an HDTV. In most situations this could be attributed to the Wii’s hardware, but it was only in certain circumstances that the pixilation would appear fully evident while the rest of the game looked great.
If there is anything about Clash 2 that really grabbed my attention, it was the special jutsu moves. Even as I write this, I can’t get over the fact at how awesome and powerful it felt to flail the Wii Remote around and shooting a massive fireball in my opponent’s direction. Any company that may be looking to make an anime fighting game in the future will want to take a long, hard look at the control scheme and subsequent animations that have been implemented into Clash 2.
Despite some of the many great features Clash 2 offers gamers, there is still a healthy amount of problems. The Wii control scheme is top-notch and intuitive, but can’t make up for the fact that the story mode was one of the most unbalanced and unprogressive that I have seen in a fighter. Naruto and cast come to life with their sometimes awesome voice acting, but having a bolder and memorable soundtrack would have truly pushed this game into “awesome” territory. Gamers were promised 480P support and were given just that with the brilliantly drawn special jutsu sequences. However, this awe does not last if you pick up the story mode or pay attention in various parts of the game. Ultimately, Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 has a lot to offer fans of the series. However, those of you who are looking for a reason to get into the show may not find this title to be the launch pad for this.