By Spencer . June 10, 2007 . 10:15pm
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 comes out on Tuesday and I had a chance to check out an early build of it. Since it’s further into the anime the cast skyrocketed to thirty two characters including the first time the Third Hokage, Tsunade, and Jiraya are playable in the Ultimate Ninja series. CyberConnect2 also spent time to develop â€œUltimate Roadâ€, a pseudo-RPG mode where you guide Naruto through part of the anime storyline. Ultimate Road begins right before the Chunin final exam fight between Naruto and Neji with Jiraya’s training acting as the tutorial mode.
It’s probably best to see how CyberConnect2 crafted Konoha Village for yourself so here is a first look at Ultimate Road in English.
There are set missions you need to do to complete Ultimate Road, but you’re free to explore the world at your own pace. If you want to take a break there are mini-games to play like Shikamaru’s shadow training and Sakura’s tree climbing where you race up a tree collecting speed power ups. You can also challenge characters like Rock Lee and learn his signature Leaf Hurricane technique. Once you unlock the Leaf Hurricane you can set it as an up, up circle or down, down circle special move for any character. You’re given the freedom to build a custom Neji with TenTen’s Ninja Tool Summoning or give Itachi Kakashi’s Thousand Years of Death. The only catch is you have to walk around the four areas and find characters to teach you techniques.
Ultimate Road’s story goes all the way through the Tsunade arc where you unlock characters like Sealed Orochimaru and Shizune. If you want to unlock additional characters like Zabuza there is a second, original story arc to play. Completing the story mode takes around eight hours if you explore, maybe around six if you rush through it. There is incentive to come back to Ultimate Road afterwards to play mini-games and get more Ryo to unlock items from the Tanzaku Market. Also there are â€œoriginalâ€ hidden characters like ANBU Kakashi to discover, but we’ll have more on that later.
Protip: Get a saved game from Naruto: Ultimate Ninja on one of your memory card. If you have one you begin Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 with a bonus 50,000 ryo and 300 ninja info cards unlocked.