Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Interview On Combat Changes

By Spencer . January 25, 2013 . 5:39pm

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CyberConnect2 refined the Storm fighting system for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. The upcoming game adds ring outs and the ability to activate an Awakening at any time. How will these changes and the addition of a samurai affect the game? To find out, we spoke with Yuki Nishikawa, producer and director of production at CyberConnect2.

 

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 3 has a bunch of new characters like the speedy Mifune, Hanzo, and all of the Jinchuriki. How did you develop Mifune  so he plays differently than other characters and how did you balance all of the Jinchurki?

 

Yuki Nishikawa, Producer at CyberConnect2: Because Mifune is a “samurai” and not a “ninja”, we created him to be a character that fights using the art of the sword rather than ninjutsu. Of course, because they are created to fight using the same system, he has Ultimate Jutsu and Awakenings like other characters.

 

Since this is the first time that a “samurai” has appeared in the midst of the ninja battle, we put a lot of time and effort to making his cinematic scenes to have a different taste than those of the ninja.

 

In regards to the balance of the Jinchuriki characters, we were able to grasp an image of how to balance them due to the appearance of Killer Bee as a Jinchuriki and the precedent beast transformations in the series.

 

However, in order to bring out the unique battle characteristics of the newly appearing Jinchuriki, each Jinchuriki’s balance was adjusted individually.

 

mifune 

CyberConnect2 makes a new Naruto fighting game almost every year. How much do the character models change from title to title?

 

We largely base our production based on the TV anime’s settings, so if there are no changes to the TV anime, we do not need to revise the character models.

 

However, Naruto is an ongoing series, making the beginning of the TV anime largely different from the latest due to its many improvements in expressions. Additionally, because there are many characters that look more mature during a serious scene, we add exclusive facial features to change the appearances.

 

(demo) Gaara Speech 02 copy (BossBattle) Kakashi vs Zabuza (reanimated) & Haku (reanimated) 01 copy

 

Do any of the plot twists in the Naruto series like finding out Tobi’s real identity ever surprise you?

 

I’m surprised every week! On the release date of Weekly Shonen Jump, we always discuss what we expect from next week’s Naruto with our internal Naruto production team, but when we read the following week’s Shonen Jump, everyone reacts with “so THIS is what happens!” and is always surprised by Masashi Kishimoto-sensei.

 

Additionally, in summer 2012, I was surprised by the contents of the movie “Road to Ninja – Naruto the Movie -”, written by Masashi Kishimoto-sensei himself, as well as the TV anime “Road to Sakura” that was created to commemorate the movie release also had some very interesting twists.

 

To top things off, in commemoration of the 500th airing of the TV anime Naruto Shippuden, the “Chikara” series was aired, making 2012 filled with pleasant surprises for Naruto fans like us.

 

To make 2013 a year of surprises for Naruto fans with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, we are earnestly working on the production, so please look forward to the upcoming release!

 

narutod2

 

Can you tell us about the development of the Ultimate Decision system where you can choose the boss you fight? Why did you want to develop this and how does this change the story or gameplay? Will young Sasuke be weaker, for example?

 

We believe that the players that will play this game are mainly Naruto fans, and we don’t think fans will necessarily want us to change the way that the story unfolds. However, if the game proceeds exactly like the original story, it would be the same as enjoying the comics or anime, so we brainstormed ways to provide an experience that is made possible only through the medium of games. That is how we reached the decision to introduce the Ultimate Decision system.

 

In this system, the overall story flow cannot be altered, but based on the player’s decisions the battle experiences can be changed. For example, in the boss battle with Naruto against Sasuke after Sasuke attacks the Five Kage Summit, Sasuke yells “You haven’t changed at all since then!” From there, the Ultimate Decision system takes place, as if to ask, “Which scene does ‘since then’ refer to?”

 

Based on the selection you choose, the flashback battle’s cinematic scenes and difficulty will differ whether you chose “Naruto (Youth)” for the clash between Naruto and Sasuke at the Final Valley or “Naruto Shippuden” for the reunion at Orochimaru’s hideout.

 

Gameplay-wise, the Sasuke from the “Youth” chapter is at a lower difficulty than the Sasuke from “Shippuden”. This game is designed to allow players to experience the route / battle that they didn’t choose after progressing through the game, so please feel free select the route of your choice on your first playthrough.

 

It seems like more emphasis has been put on the Awakening move since you can activate it at anytime in Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. Why did you decide to focus more on the awakening? When I play online it sometimes seems like whoever gets to the awakening first has a huge advantage in the fight.

 

This is not a system that would allow “whoever gets to the awakening first [to have] a huge advantage.” Up until the previous installment, we balanced the game so that it could become a player’s last trump card, but in Storm 3, the timing at which you use the Awakening becomes an important gamble. For example, characters who can activate their Awakening at any time (Instant Awakening) will carry risks when they are Awakened, including having the total chakra or health decreased. Therefore, carelessly activating the Awakening mode could potentially put you in a tight spot. The player is required to analyze the battle conditions and choose when it would be advantageous to use it during battle.

 

The familiar Awakening system (Adversity Awakening) is also available, and based on the character, there are special attacks that are unlocked only during Awakenings.  The Awakening system is only one example of how the battle system has changed in this game from previous installments, and we hope you enjoy it.

 

asuma

 

Ring outs are also new in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. Can you tell us about how ring outs changed the way CyberConnect2 designed stages and why you wanted to add these in?

 

Up until the previous installment, the stage was unaffected even if you crashed into fences or invisible walls. In Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, however, by introducing the ring out system, the battle is no longer an issue of just depleting each other’s health gauges, but players can now play while being aware of the stage’s terrain.

 

We are making adjustments to the balances to not make any players dissatisfied, so we hope you play for yourself and have fun with these stages!

 

What other changes to the fighting system did CyberConnect2 make for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3?

 

The battle system is being greatly adjusted at the nitty-gritty level. Of course, we have polished the techniques that fans have enjoyed in Storm 2 and Generations, but for Storm 3 we are aiming for the optimized battle system and hope everyone will enjoy the “new Ultimate Ninja battle” experience.

 

Kinkaku_Battle_04 copy

 

How are the hack and slash battles different from CyberConnect2′s PSP game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact? What can you do on PS3 and Xbox 360 that you couldn’t do on PSP?

 

As a premise, the Ultimate Ninja Storm series works mainly as a 1 v 1 battle system, and this 1v1 battle system largely makes up the gameplay. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact, however, was exclusively created with 1 v Many as its premise, so the designs for Impact and Storm 3 largely differ.

 

If we had theoretically inserted the battle system from Impact into the 1 vs Many battles of Storm 3, the battle system would significantly change in the middle of the game, and thus the battle techniques that the players have picked up throughout the game would be reset. We believe that is a bit conflicted for a single game, so to avoid this in Storm 3, we have combined the familiarity of the controls of the battle system with the refreshing sense of defeating numerous enemies.

 

There aren’t really any parts that we could do with PS3/X360 and not with the PSP, but we do believe that we were able to implement an enjoyable 1 vs Many battle system that is only made possible with Storm 3.

 

CyberConnect2 also made Asura’s Wrath, which was like a whole game of Naruto boss battles. What did you learn from making Asura’s Wrath that you put into Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and what is your favorite boss battle?

 

The experience that I gained from the cinematics of Asura’s Wrath are utilized in Storm 3.

 

However, Asura’s Wrath is not the only thing we utilized for the game system of Storm 3. We referenced fans’ feedback from Storm 2 and Generations, as well as the survey forms that we received on our website.

 

We put everything we had in the production of the boss bottles, so I would love to respond with “I love them all”, but personally I believe the beast-like liveliness of the Nine-Tails was extremely well-illustrated, and so let’s leave it as the boss battle of “Naruto vs Nine-Tails.”

 

narutoh2 

While we’ve seen Naruto and Goku crossovers before, but this is a first for CyberConnect2. How did this come about and where did the Samurai costume come from? Will we see any crossover fighters like Lars in this game?

 

The Goku costume was originally illustrated through a collaboration of Kishimoto-sensei and Toriyama-sensei in a publication called “Hiden: Kai no Sho” (literal translation: “Secret Book: Record of Everyone”). I remember being very excited when I first saw this. If possible, I thought, I would love to recreate this collaboration in the Ultimate Ninja series. Thus, we consulted with Mr. Sasaki, the producer at Namco Bandai Games Inc., confirmed with the related personnel, and with several people’s efforts, were able to make this a reality.

 

The samurai costume was originally illustrated by Kishimoto-sensei as a cover page for Weekly Shonen Jump on the week of May 5th, which is Children’s Day in Japan. This design was really cool, so we had the honor to implement this in Storm 3. We hope fans will enjoy this as well.

 

The Goku costume is a Day 1 bonus, and the samurai costume is only available as a pre-order bonus, so please pre-order at your local retail store soon so you don’t miss out!!


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  • ResidentMetroid

    I want Lars back again.

    • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

      I want .hack’s Haseo. (I think this is not the first time I make this comment but well…)

    • http://twitter.com/devaughn92 devaughn chambers

      Me too bro. We all want Lars back

  • phangtom

    I just feel the Ring-Outs are just really out of place in a Naruto fighting game. After all, they look weird and it lacks contexts for there to be Ring Outs in any fights.

    • Sergio Briceño

      Maybe if they were like in DoA games 2-4. You know, really cool cutscenes with characters flying around the stage taking damage.

    • http://twitter.com/ChestnutBowl Chestnut Bowl

      It does feel odd as a game mechanic for this type of fighting game (I don’t like them). However, it’s supposed to represent the perils of not paying attention to the terrain and your footing, which fits with the ninja theme of the series.

  • lilstunna109

    If anything, the ring outs shud knock you to another part of the stage instead of an instant win. Hopefully they change it from that instant win garbage or have it optional.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Jennings/100000158197173 Bobby Demetris Jennings

      This right here. I was looking forward to stage transitions as well.

  • KyoyaHibari

    “Do any of the plot twists in the Naruto series like finding out Tobi’s real identity ever surprise you?
    I’m surprised every week! On the release date of Weekly Shonen Jump, we always discuss what we expect from next week’s Naruto with our internal Naruto production team, but when we read the following week’s Shonen Jump, everyone reacts with “so THIS is what happens!” and is always surprised by Masashi Kishimoto-sensei.” REEEEALLY…”surprising twists” you say? Gimme a break… -_-

    “The battle system is being greatly adjusted at the nitty-gritty level. Of course, we have polished the techniques that fans have enjoyed in Storm 2 and Generations, but for Storm 3 we are aiming for the optimized battle system and hope everyone will enjoy the “new Ultimate Ninja battle” experience.” We’ll see about that…

    The ring outs and these ‘supposed’ “nitty-gritty” changes have me on the fence, because as much as I hate Naruto, I like the character designs, and if I were to purchase anything Naruto related again, I want to have a TRULY balanced fighter to play as such cool looking characters. One where communities won’t quickly be able to find a broken character and abuse them until the next iteration only to find another one because CC2 doesn’t patch their games it seems. If I want to play a Naruto game, I want to play one where I can have intense matches that require skill and finesse and both players are giving it their all, not one person trying to play legitimately while the other spams with Masked Man or something.

    • irzbos

      *SPOILER if you’re not caught up on Naruto*

      My buddy was actually really mad at me when I called Tobi’s identity practically as soon as he was introduced. The arc on kakashi’s past just didnt make sense unless it was introducing someone important. And the name Tobi is just Obito with one less “o.” 8/

      • KyoyaHibari

        Kakashi’s backstory was fine regardless of whether essential characters were introduced or not, it still provided introspection at his development over the years and backstory to his past. The thing is, Naruto needs MORE of that, most of the characters can be described in a simple little sentence because Kishimoto has hardly developed any of his supporting cast. i.g. Kiba: rambunctious dog lover. Given the scope of how large the cast is and how underdeveloped they all are, it’s staggering, a lot less time should be given to the “sad” flashbacks of Naruto and Sasuke that we’ve seen 9725 times, and show what some of the other characters have going on for them. Not to mention that pacing…the core of the original series can be condensed into about half the episodes it has (out of around 136) and all of these episodes spent meandering around doing nothing could’ve also developed the characters in this span of time. Besides that, I saw the Tobito thing coming from lightyears away; mask with one eye socket for a Sharingan? Kakashi’s friend who lost 1 Sharingan eye and has a similar name? It was easy to piece together. (Obviously no offence to you, I was just saying I knew it all along).

    • StarWarudo

      Storm games’ combat is about as deep as a puddle. I miss the old Ultimate Ninja games though. The combat back then was, if a little, more than just a one-button thing.

      • http://takopako.tumblr.com takopako

        I would LOVE a revival of the 2d Ultimate Ninja Series!!! it was a very fun game that is different enough from the ninja storm series to be able to have both games at the same time. >.<

      • Ridho Siregar

        what??? Ultimate Ninja series IS always a one-button thing, even back in the 2D PS2 games. you keep pressing O to attack, and timingly pressing R2/L2 when needed. even when you want to use small jutsus you still pressing O, added with up+up or down+down.

        Big jutsus are even more simple, you only have to press O after pressing [triangle]. and you see something here? you are STILL pressing O button.

        Just admit it not every people frequently press [square] to use their tools. Button O is the main thing in those 2D games back then. So what’s the difference with now if you say recent games are one-button thing? Previous 2D games are ALSO one-button thing.

        The only difference is this is 3D, and I say it’s a good thing. You have MORE room.

        • sd28

          so you dont know what square cancelling is then as there was a lot of little tricks that added to the 2d games that arent in the 3d ones despite them both using one primary attack buttoon .

          • Ridho Siregar

            I’m not talking about tricks here as both have their own. the main thing is that both 2D and 3D UN games are the same regarding the “one-button thing”, something that metstyle was denying.

        • StarWarudo

          You should go back and read what I wrote again. The combat in the Ultimate Ninja series held a lot more room for strategy and execution than the current Storm games, which basically come down to whomever can spam jutsus the most.

          Back then you had a wide variety weapons that were a whole lot more unique than what we’ve got now. You know, items that actually made a difference in a fight, not to mention a whole lot more fun to use. Different planes and stage hazards, oh and not to mention you could actually cancel your opponent’s ougis along with your own combos with the square button?

      • KyoyaHibari

        I guess I’m simply a little too hopeful for the games, I really want a strong Naruto fighter; I tried Storm 2 & Gen, but now I’m weary about getting 3 until I hear results (in the sense of balanced characters).

        • British_Otaku

          If you want a strong Naruto fighter, you will have to go for the Clash of Ninja/Gekitou Ninja Taisen series on the GameCube and Wii. The series hasn’t had an installment for a while but they are pretty competitive, support actual teams on top of supports (of 3 or 2 – depending on the game) and four player gameplay as an option (chaotic in free for alls and awesome when you play 2 on 2 and cover for each other’s gaps).

          Storm 3 isn’t going to step outside the roots, even the initial titles till now were largely fanservice focused titles (in contrast to Clash of Ninja anyway).

          • KyoyaHibari

            Yeah, I’ve heard people say the CoN series has a stronger engine, but at this point it is really dated and the roster is severely lacking in comparison, so I’m not really sure.

          • British_Otaku

            I concede that the roster is rather lacking but the game series easily makes up for the lack of characters with the options you have in combat and variety between characters.

            I tend to judge licensed games off how up to date they are and their roster as well, but the likes of Gekitou Ninja Taisen 4 (GameCube import only), Clash of Ninja 2 (GameCube), Clash of Ninja Revolution 2/3 (Wii) are some of the most polished fighters on the market regardless.

      • Sergio Briceño

        Unless you had Temari, in which case it was a two button-one stick direction thing.

    • KyoyaHibari

      Loving all this butthurt flak lol…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Jennings/100000158197173 Bobby Demetris Jennings

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions.

      • KyoyaHibari

        There’s opinions, and then there’s objective criticism, but I’m not going to delve into that right now.

        • Bobby Jennings

          I think I quoted the wrong person, I’m sorry.

          • KyoyaHibari

            o.O That;s alright lol.

  • Shogunreaper

    There was nothing pleasant about that chikara crap

  • harmonyworld

    no like the sub gauge!!!
    I hated it in generations!
    It makes me not wanna get this game and I’ve been a long time fan of the games.

    • RedShadoww

      Agreed. Wish they’d take it out and make it hard to sub like in storm 1 or ultimate ninja 5. That sub gauge is pretty much a deal breaker for me.

  • hiro kensei

    they need too make zetsu a playable charecter the akatsuki flytrap zetsu i would use him

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bobby-Jennings/100000158197173 Bobby Demetris Jennings

    I cannot wait any longer for this game.

  • Calintz YT

    Royal rumble style gameplay with online players would be interesting.

  • Chee Yang

    I miss switching planes, jumping off buildings, running on ropes, and bouncing off trees…All the greatness back in the PS2 days that made their Naruto game so fun. So I’m actually glad CC2 is implementing the stage as a factor, but I’m just not sure about the ring out.

  • http://twitter.com/devaughn92 devaughn chambers

    they didn’t answer the question about lars. I want lars in this game!!!

  • naruto fan2013

    I think that it would be great if you can change the ninjutsu. For example naruto have rasengan changed to sexy jutsu

  • naruto fan2013

    And ultimate like naruto have nine tails rasengan changes to multi sexy jutsu

  • naruto fan2013

    In tag team battles have the combination of rasenchidori with naruto and sasuke

  • naruto fan2013

    I think it whould be great if you can change the ninjutsu and ultimate. For esxample naruto ninjutsu is rasengan change it to sexy jutsu etc, and ultimate nine tails rasengan to multi sexy jutsu.

    In tag team a very cool ultimate jutsu like the combination of naruto rasen shuriken and sasuke chidori. And every team of 2 or 3 members have an awsome ultimate jutsu. :-)

  • naruto fan2013

    What i mean is that all character have all of his jutsu and you have the free selection of the jutsu that you are going to use in battle

  • shogunreaperr

    Guess it slipped their mind that they removed a combo from each character.

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