Pros: Multiple characters, bigger sprites, multiplayer mode
Cons: Bad music, story scenes could use more animation, not much depth to
Tomy has a good record for Naruto games. Their Gamecube game, Naruto:
Ninja Taisen and Naruto: Ninja Taisen 2 have filled the void in the
fighting game genre. Although, the Game Boy Advance action game they
designed, Naruto: Ki no Ha Senki didn't fare so well. The third Naruto
game for Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, Naruto: Saikyo Ninja 2 is also an
action game. Unlike the second Naruto GBA game that was more of a
tactics game. Did Tomy fix its mistakes this time around?
been following the series at all this game picks up at the start of the
Chunin exam. More specifically the game starts with a fight against Rock
Lee. I don't want to spoil too much of the story if you haven't seen the
series, but I will say it follows the story pretty well. Familiar
battles in the Forest of Death against Orichimaru and Zaku feel like
they are straight from the series. Tomy focused on covering Naruto's
team, which of course includes Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura.
In the game you have control of all three of the main characters. By
pressing L you can switch characters on the fly. Each character also has
their own life bar, which means you have three lives to complete a level
before having to restart it. To keep continuity with the story there are
some battles which force you to use one or two characters. All of the
characters can jump by pressing A and do a basic combo by pressing B. By
mixing directional buttons with both A and B you have the ability to
control your characters to do super jumps, teleport behind the enemy and
even do a variety of attacks. For the most part through the game the
standard combo, which is done by mashing B, will defeat most normal
enemies. To fight powerhouses, like the known characters from the anime
you'll have to utilize chakra moves. Chakra moves are the character's
signature special moves shown on the show like the Sexy no Jutsu, the
Lion Combo and Inner Sakura. There are three different chakra moves per
character that you can use. These moves can be performed by pressing down
down then B, up up then B and down up then B. Each combination performs
a different move.
The overall structure of the game is a mix between a platfomer and a
fighting game. To break it down more specifically the game pits you in
one of three situations a one on one fight, running through the levels
and battling random enemies. When you're with in a level you can choose
to fight enemies or you can simply avoid them. Running is a good
strategy because you can clear ground much quicker compared to walking.
For some areas you're forced to run because you need to jump over large
gaps that only running and then jumping can clear. Throughout the levels
you will reach various points where you can't move anymore and enemies
will start appearing. This part is the battling random enemies mode
where a number of idiotic computer controlled enemies will attempt to
attack you. Most of the enemies won't attack and stand idle while you
pummel them to the ground. The one on one battles are based upon classic
battles in the anime series. All of the one on one battles pits your
team against a foe, sometimes foes, that actually attack back and have
chakra moves as well. During the one on one battles the game feels much
more like a traditional fighting game than the platform level design.
Tomy has given Naruto: Saikyou Ninja 2 a graphical upgrade from both
of their other Game Boy Advance games. Most notability are the larger
sprites. Since the sprites are larger you can see a little more detail
put into the characters. For instance you can see the logo on Sasuke's
shirt and the kunai holder on Naruto's leg. All of the characters have a
sort of cute look to them, similar to the other Naruto GBA games. The
background graphics have a good upgrade to them as well. One of the cool
effects is during one of the chakra moves the traditional flashing light
background appears to emphasize the power of the move. The stage
backgrounds are pretty detailed and they don't repeat as much as other
Game Boy Advance games. The only area in the graphics department that is
lacking is the cut scene graphics. Completing a level will reward you
with some words from characters told in a standard GBA cut scene format.
Character sprites are placed above the text to emphasize some emotion.
In most games there are a wide variety of sprites used, to simulate the
level of detail you would see in a console game. However, Naruto: Saikyo
Ninja 2 doesn't have the same level of detail as other GBA games. They
reuse the same character portraits over and over. At times they even show
uninspired static backgrounds instead of characters.
Presentation wise the worst part is the music. Instead of converting
the traditional Naruto soundtrack to MIDI Tomy offers an all new
soundtrack. There is nothing wrong with the approach and it would have
been great to hear some new songs, if they didn't sound terrible. The
tunes in the game sound worse than the beeps and bops of older Nintendo
games. Thankfully, the GBA does come standard with a volume control so
you can choose to not pay attention to the background music at all.
After you complete the single player mode, which isn't too long the
game still can keep you interest with it's multiplayer mode. Up to four
people can fight in a style, more similar to Naruto: Narutimett Hero or
Super Smash Brothers. The four player fighting mode would be better if
each character had a wider set of moves. Although it is fun, it also
ends up being a little simplistic. Naruto: Saikyou Ninja 2 will appeal to
fans of the series without question. For gamers looking for a decent
action game or a beat-em up Naruto: Saikyou Ninja 2 is a good choice.
The game is simple enough to learn on your own, without all of the
popups that show commands. People without any Japanese knowledge may
have some trouble navigating through the menus and will miss out on the
Until there is a North American release of Naruto don't count on
any Naruto games coming to North America.
Even though Naruto: Saikyo Ninja 2 is a good playthrough it
doesn't have anything special to make the game stand out.