The two player versus mode in Ubisoft’s Naruto game was playable, but it’s probably going to disappoint fans. There were four characters that you can select: Naruto, Neji, Kiba and Kakashi. Each has his own set of punches and kicks that you can do with the face buttons. However, you can only do taijutsu (that’s hand to hand combat) without depleting your chakra. On the top of the screen there are two meters one for life and a blue one for chakra. Your chakra passively regenerates every second until it fills up to 1000. To use chakra powered attacks you have to pull the left trigger to switch into a mode where you do hand signs and this is where everything goes downhill.
Instead of using standard 2D fighting motions like quarter circle forward A or an easy to use one button special, Ubisoft’s game has players point the analog sticks in different directions. If you want to do Naruto’s Sexy Jutsu you hold down the L trigger, point both analog sticks up then the left analog stick left and the right analog stick right (read: both outwards in the opposite direction). It’s not complicated, but the system requires memorization. After you make the hand signs your ninja starts charging their chakra. A little meter over their head indicates how strong the attack is going to be. If you hold down the L trigger the attack can power up three times at the expense of more chakra and time. When the super attack powers up to the maximum level, it will automatically connect regardless if you’re close up or far away.
You don’t need to worry about comboing into specials or getting up close to use Neji’s Eight Trigrams, 64 palms combo. He can hide in a corner, charge his chakra at a safe distance and then launch his ultimate move. If you get hit with Neji’s attack you start up a mini game where you try to dodge Neji’s palms by moving your character’s body with the analog stick. The mini game is a nice addition, but being able to hide in a corner and use specials means you don’t need a lot of skill to play the game. Also the characters end up feeling the same because the general strategy is the same: hide, charge, chakra attack. You don’t have a sense that Neji is a close range fighter or that you can dodge Kakashi’s lightning edge by sidestepping.