The skinny on Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX

By Spencer . March 2, 2007 . 12:42am

It’s been slightly over a year since Eighting has released their yearly installment of the Geiktou Ninja Taisen (Clash of Ninja) series. Now that Naruto anime series is back on track with the manga Eighting chose to use the “new” Shippuden version of Naruto and they are the first ones to do it. Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX is the first Naruto Wii game and it takes advantage of the Wii’s motion controls. Now before I splurge more details on Naruto’s Wii debut be warned that there are major spoilers past the break if you have been following the North American broadcast.

 

Purchase at Play-Asia

 

With that note out of the way, Eighting hasn’t deviated from their Naruto formula much. Naruto EX could easily have been a Gamecube title. Like the other Clash of Ninja / Gekitou Ninja Taisen games it is a fighting game where up to four players can duke it out with their favorite Naruto characters. There are only fourteen characters in the game, which makes the cast seem a little light compared to how many characters are in Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4 or even the US’ Clash of Ninja 2. But you have to give Eighting a little bit of a break. They are following the series, namely the “Rescue Gaara” arc so Hinata, Iruka, and Shikamaru are not in the game. Instead you have: Naruto, Sakura, Kakashi, Lee, Neji, Tenten, Guy, Gaara, Temari, Kankurou, Itachi, Kisame, Deidara, and Sasori. While there are fewer characters there is a plus, Eighting has given most characters new moves instead of them minor tweaks with each new installment. That’s got to count for something right?

 

Sakura gets the award for most improved character. Instead of her teleporting around throwing shuriken she has Tsunade’s monstrous strength and punching combos where she slams the ground. You can press A to charge her gloves, which lets Sakura deal extra damage, but drains her chakra. Sakura also has the most super moves, she can do a power punch or she can use her chakra to completely heal herself. She can also direct her healing powers to another player and heal them, which really isn’t useful, but still an interesting addition. Temari is now a ranged character and she can chain wind blast combos. Temari also has a summoning jutsu where she calls Kamatari for a team up attack. Gaara isn’t a tank anymore. Besides being faster and can attack with huge sandwaves, which makes him a formidable character during four player matches. Deidara is an interesting character to play because he can fill the screen with explosive clay spiders and birds that players have to sidestep. One of his jutsu attacks has him call a squad of clay birds for a six hit anti air attack. In one of his longer combos Deidara calls up a giant clay bird to juggle an enemy in midair. While Neji is mostly the same he now has the Hakke Kusho, a long range attack where he shoots a blast of energy instead of throwing kunai. Tenten’s changes has her summon different weapons from her scroll by pressing A. She can call a staff, a huge spear, two swords and a giant sword. Each weapon has a different combo for instance the spear combo puts Tenten high in the sky and she does flips with the spear. Alternatively, Tenten can throw her weapon by pressing “B”. While some characters changed, others stayed the same. Lee, Naruto and Kakashi are “tweaked” to have a few new attacks, but most of their moves are already in Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4. Eighting also has a few new features in the fighting system. Objects like crates and wood stumps are on arenas to hide behind. If you use these carefully you can protect yourself from attacks or jump out at the right time to get behind an opponent. The crates add in a little chasing confusion, but Naruto EX is so fast you’ll probably ignore them. The other change is that each arena is really two screens. You can knock an opponent into another screen or down into a pit. When you do a ring out move the screen pauses and if you shake the remote at the right time you can hit the other player for extra damage.

 

Since this is a Wii game Eighting had to add in motion controls to the game, but they really seem like an afterthought. Instead of pressing “B” to do a taijutsu (or as the game calls it weak attack) you shake the remote. To do different moves you hold a direction on the analog stick and shake the controller. Alternatively you can do jutsus and throw kunai by pressing the A button. The most complicated combo you’re going to do is a few shakes of the remote and finishing it up by pressing the “A” button. That’s exactly how you do Naruto’s air rasengan combo. Sidestepping is more intuitive where you press the Z button on the nunchuck to move left or the B button on the remote to move right or activate the replacement jutsu if you have ¾ of your chakra meter full. Super movies (ougis) are done by pressing down on the remote’s D-pad and once you land a super move a window pops up telling you how to perform the move. To do Naruto’s double rasengan you spin the nunchuck and remote in circles then punch forward with the nunchuck then the remote. Kakashi’s double Chidori has players move the remote and nunchuck rapidly like you were charging chakra then punch with each device on cue. Neji’s Hakke Rokujuuyonshou has players punch at the right time every 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64th hit. Deidara’s clay spider attack is done by swirling the nunchuck then shaking the remote left and right when the spiders explode. The special attacks are the best example of how Naruto Shippuden: Geiktou Ninja Taisen EX uses the Wii remote, but here’s the catch you don’t actually have to do them. Even if you fail to move the remote at the right time, which is confirmed by sounds coming out of the Wii remote’s speaker, the attack still goes through, but it deals less damage. It’s a little bit of a downer on how Naruto EX does or should I say doesn’t take advantage of the Wii remote, but there is an upside. Naruto EX can be completely enjoyed with the classic controller or a Gamecube controller. So instead of shaking your way through combos you can play Naruto EX just like the other games in the series

 

Eighting did add in a couple of motion controlled mini games. One game has you use the remote like a pointer and you press “A” to throw shuriken at Naruto and Kakashi for points, but avoid Sakura she knocks off points if you hit her. Another motion controlled game has players spot the real Naruto out of a bunch of shadow clones and “throw” the remote like a kunai to attack him. The final mini game has Naruto spin the remote and nunchuck in circles to charge his rasengan and then punch forward to hit a bunch of targets. The mini games won’t keep players busy very long, most of the action is in the story mode where you follow the rescue Gaara arc. You start with Naruto’s return to Konoha with Kakashi explaining the controls of the game. Later you battle him with Sakura at your side, like the two bells test, fight Deidara with Gaara and later have a match between Kakashi and Itachi. You can unlock a handful of characters from beating the story mode, but the other characters are more cryptic on how to unlock them. Naruto EX throws out the earn cash to buy characters set up, instead you have to beat score attack mode with the correct character to unlock them. Want Tenten to be playable? You’ve got to beat score attack with Neji. To get Itachi you beat score attack with Kakashi. I don’t want to spoil all of the unlocks, but if you’re familiar with the series you should be able to figure all of them out.

 

So what’s the bottom line on Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX? If you’re a fan of Naruto you’re going to like it and if you’re not well you aren’t. There isn’t anything revolutionary about Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX, but it’s easy to play and the four player mode makes it a good game when company is over.


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  • Ruroni Otaku

    Oki, still waiting for ma delivery…
    In the meantime, can I ask U if there is any news regarding if the game supports the WiiConnect24 feature. This would be pretty nice, at least to add Obaba and the final form of Sasori (with Sandaime Kazekage puppet jutsu) once they’re shown in the anime. We should get to ther in less than a month, so that would be already a good use of the Wii’s special tricks. Especially since it seems the motion controls aren’t all that…
    Peace.

  • Kakashi

    Thanks for the awesome and detailed review. I find it really hard to locate reviews of import games online (or in print magazines for that matter) so I really appreciate this. Perhaps you could give your own rating of the game, like out of 5 or 10 stars?

    Usually it’s a gamble w/import games, especially since most online import retailers don’t link to any reviews but just talk about what kind of pre-order bonus you get. I learned my lesson with Naruto Portable on PSP — while it’s not a bad game, the story mode gets tedious.

    However, because of your review, I think I will definitely get this game. I really liked how you explained how you do specials with the Wii controller and how the game will let you get away with incorrect motions, which is kind of a bummer — if they made it so your special failed, then that would make the game that much more enjoyable, IMHO.

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    Kakashi – Glad you liked the story and thanks for the thanks! I’m really “anti” giving scores to games because it seems so irrelevant. What does 9 out of 10 tell you if you hate strategy RPGs. Instead I’m all about telling you the straight facts and letting each person decide if the game appeals to them or not. I mean I can shout how great Digital Devil Saga is all day and night, but if your favorite games don’t include any RPGs you’re inevitably going to hate it. Plus the audience at Siliconera is more intelligent and you guys don’t need me forcing my opinion on you ;).

  • jj984jj

    I thought the GNT series development was handed over to Dream Factory for this game… is 8ing really involved?

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    Eighting is absolutely involved Tomy is the publisher, Eighting is the developer.

  • Sey

    Thanks for the review Spencer. I was waiting for info like this. I’m a lil disappointed about the weak utilization of the wii remotes and the limited characters, but glad to hear you can use the original gc controller. I’ll prob still get it.

  • monkeypox

    wish there was a way to play this… they really need to speed up development of the wii freeloader.

  • http://www.crookedjester.com Jaxel

    The competetive GNT scene here in th United States has all but shat on this game. There are some major overhauls to the gaming engine that the Siliconera team has failed to mention. The first major change being that there is no longer a buffer system; because of the addition to the Wii controls, the buffer system was removed to make sure active movements ont he wiimote are more accurately read. This of course means that you cant buffer in inputs and you need to push/swing at exactly the moment you want the move to come out; this lack of buffering makes it very hard for “punish game” which is what every fighting game ever made, including GNT1-4 is based upon.

    The second major change is that there is no longer Kamawari no Jutsu while on the ground; while also adding in a Tech Trap system. Since it takes a few frames for a player to get up off the ground, they can be recomboed during these moments of openness. That would be fine in GNT4 where you are able to Kamawari while on the ground, but in EX you cant. That means of course, certain characters when they are knocked onto the ground, CAN NOT get back up and will be infinited till they die. Here is an example video from des using Sasori: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKhGu76lRuQ

    The third and most major change is the lack of block-stun; another change made to appropriate for the Wiimote controls. Basically, there is very little block-stun in the game; this was put in because it takes the game a few frames to calculate movements from the Wiimote; so the faster recovery gives the game time to calculate those movements. Unfortunately, if you are playing using the GC controller the delay isnt there and it leads to unfair punishment. For half the characters in the game, B on block is unsafe; for everyone else BB on block is unsafe. It gives the game Deadly Alliance-itis where if you block ANYTHING, you win. Here is another video from des showing the system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fq1AsnMr_84 He uses

    This is why in games the arguements “If you dont like the Wiimote, dont use it” or “If you dont like online play, dont play online” dont work. Even if a player doesnt play online or using the wiimote, the gaming engine still has to be changed to accomodate said type of play.

  • sabo

    thank you jaxel, THAT’S the kind of information i was looking for. looks like i’ll be getting part 4 when i get some money, or just wait till they fix this stuff.

  • Uzumaki Kiba

    It’s so disappointing that GNT EX is actually a bit of a step down from GNT 4. I was really hoping (way back when) that they’d have just done GNT 5 with pre and post-time-skip characters, including ones that’d died (I’ll miss Kimimaro in the series) and such. Rushing it and just covering the rescue Gaara arc was a bad idea… I mean, they didn’t even do justice to Sasori, who was the best character addition.

    Plus, if they’re only covering rescue Gaara, how can they give Kakashi his double-Chidori? He doesn’t do that until the fight with Hidan and Kizuku, if memory serves… Bunch of lameness, that is.

    Man, Hidan and Kikuzu would be sweet. Kikuzu with a back-X (open gates, Kyuubi) kind of special to bust out the masks. Or just a cut-scene special, I suppose…. There’s so many characters that they could and should have added.

  • zin

    does anyone know how to deflect kunais.i know u can do it i just dont know how.

  • Infinity-X

    Did you guys play it on the American Wii? Does anyone know how to bypass the region lock???

  • http://toggo.com der monkey meister schutzschild

    this ist a silli game don´t many characters

  • emotionlt recked

    its a little disappointing that they well..almost completely ruined the game they got rid of the most important things about the game and its sad to say that gnt 4 was much better in charictor wise but thats not going to happen with the next one they did this with gnt 1 the next game will more than likely have about 20-60 charictors this game is just one step from makeing an even better one so dont complain just yet complain on how long it takes for it to come out but thats all you need to complain about its recommended not to buy this game but to buy the next one that comes out by then it should have upgraded graphics better play much more charictors and more tweeks to check out you know how fun it was to find out every combo in gnt 4 it should be a lot funner to find out all the charictors in gnt 6 but till then continue playin gtn 4 and get better at it post a stupid tournament for the wager of 20$ each and get rich lol

  • jr

    iz it only 4 wii

  • colton t bolena

    ok, so does it even come out in the u.s.?or is it only sold in japan?and if so i dont one to order it and have the characters speaking in JAPINEESE!(IM SO JEALUS OF THOSE KIDS IN JAPAN)

  • leon

    Hey does anyone no where I can get my wii modified so I can play import games…I wazz thinking about buying this game or pt. 4 but I guess ill buy pt4 instead becuase of the characters….anywayz if anyone knows where I can get my wii modified please email me at [email protected] thank u

  • http://www.freewebs.com/uzamakidude Deidara

    Did any1 else notice that the minigames are exacly the same as Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolution.???!!!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/android18player18 Android18player18

    sakura rulez

  • rome

    i want the game but i want it in english. it looks way better than the naruro clash of ninja

  • mendokusenaa!

    blast. i was really lokkin forward to this game. i mean really, when i saw the trailers of the game and all the specials, i was estatic. alas the truth of it all is that this game is pretty much GNT 1 all over again. man, knowing from what Jaxel wrote, i might as well save up to get ex 2 instead, just cause the character list and moves, well mainly specials. sigh. cant wait till they get to ex 4. that’ll be the day.

  • http://naruto Ungureanu Andrei

    this game is excelent and super

  • http://naruto Ungureanu Andrei

    not coments

  • http://www.bearplanet.com x-man

    this is true that couldve been a shippuden game it wouldve been better to.

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