By Spencer . May 17, 2007 . 7:43pm
Sitting in the PSP booth at Sony’s Gamers Day was a single copy of Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes to play. It’s pretty clear that Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes and Naruto: Narutimate Portable are built with the same game engine. The menu interface is the same and the models look just like the models in the Japanese release. However, the single player mode in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes is completely different from Naruto: Narultimate Portable. You don’t have a story about a ghost tower to follow and the map system where you use scrolls to fill in events has been axed.
Instead Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes gets straight to fighting. You start about by selecting a team of three ninjas (all of the leaf Genin were playable in the build) and before you get into battles you can choose to use your characters special attacks from a menu to turn the tide of battle in your favor. If you have Neji in your group, he can seal your opponent’s chakra so they can’t use any special moves when the fight begins. While Sasuke uses Chidori to instantly reduce the life of an opponent by a third. There are also team attacks you can use depending on the group of ninja you have. Each of these attacks can only be used once during “Heroes” mode until you reach the end so you want to strategically save them until you’re desperate.
Namco Bandai claims that Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes has 3 vs. 3 battles, but it’s probably not what you are imagining. You can have up to three characters in your group, but fights are strictly 1 on 1. Let’s say your first match pits Naruto versus Gaara and Naruto knocks Gaara out. Naruto recovers a little health and fights the next opponent in line. Instead of having 3 versus 3 fighting like Marvel versus Capcom 2, it’s more like having three lives. In Heroes Mode your life bar carries on to future fights so you’re probably going to need all three of your ninja to complete it. The fighting system is a scaled down version of the Playstation 2 games, except you only have one ougi (super attack). Some of the ougis are different from Naruto: Narultimate Portable. Naruto’s special attack has him do a nine tails powered slashing combo instead of a nine tailed powered Rasengan so the game fits the US time line.