I just finished up a call with Andrew Davis the localization specialist at Namco Bandai Games handling Naruto Ultimate Ninja 2. I’m sure most of you know about the story and the gameplay from our previous playtest. So I’m going to get right to covering the answers to the reader submitted questions and new details. The target release date for Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 is June 12th, so expect it to hit store shelves around then. Andrew mentioned that the one of the localization challenges was coordinating 9,000 different audio files and how these connect to the “choose your own special attack” system where you learn additional jutsus from other characters. Unlike Naruto: Ultimate Ninja, Cursed Seal Sasuke and Nine Tailed Naruto are not going to be separate characters. Instead they are going to be incorporated with the regular characters like the Japanese release. So Naruto’s third level ougi and Sasuke’s third level ougi activates their transformations. Ryne11 informed us that a trailer has been floating around with Japanese voices and English text, but there is no Japanese voiceover option in the game. Andrew explains, "I think I saw that trailer. I don’t think it was actually one of our official trailers taken from a press build. (It was) from one of our temporary internal QA builds and we don’t, unfortunately, offer a Japanese voice track. We would like to look into doing this. There are lots of technical limitations that involve adding new programming that wasn’t in the Japanese version. You have to add subtitles to the areas that weren’t subtitled before and it makes it extremely difficult." Sorry everyone! But Andrew also said, "Personally, I would like to look into that in the future if we can (find a way to do it)." Perhaps another Naruto game in the future will be built from the ground up to support dual languages.
Are there any new secret characters that weren’t in the Japanese version?
"We won’t be having any secret characters that weren’t in the Japanese version. We did make a few changes. The secret techniques in the Japanese version had either the button pounding or the analog stick twisting, but we also liked the system in the first game where you press buttons in a certain order. We worked with the developer to put that into some of the secret techniques. Now there is a bit more variety, there are all three input systems, and I think that makes it a bit more fun."
Something I noticed that Andrew said during the call when he was introducing the game was there were only 32 characters, opposed to the 33 in Naruto: Narultimate Hero 2. So I asked a question about it and discovered that Dotou from the Naruto movie will not be in the game. Andrew explains why, "We didn’t know when the movie was going to come out here. So to be safe we did have to cut out the character. And we found out only way too late that the movie was going to be released around this time. It would have been great to keep him in. That was unfortunately a scheduling issue." Sorry again! But if you enjoyed the first Ultimate Ninja game the second one is a lot better, even if it’s minus one character. More characters and the single player mode is longer with the original storyline featuring Kakashi.