Coming out in November is Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles (aka Naruto: Uzumaki Ninden in Japan). As most of you guys know it’s a 3D rendered adventure / brawler game instead of a straight up fighting title. You control Naruto from the Leaf Village, but you can switch it up by calling partner characters like Sasuke and Neji to help out. Some partner characters like Choji have skills necessary to progress through the game. Choji’s human boulder can breakdown walls so Naruto can move forward. Uzumaki Chronicles also has a unique geometric jewel system that gives imbues Naruto with more powers. Each jewel has different powers, maybe a bonus in attack or a new move like an instant jump. By rearrange these jewels into a plate Naruto can get a bunch of bonuses.
We asked Brian Glazebrook (localization manager) and Andrew Davis (localization specialist) questions that you guys submitted.
Is there going to be a Japanese language option in the game?
It’s something that we’re interested in doing, but we weren’t able to do it with this title. But this is something we’re considering for future titles.
Are there any improvements over the Japanese release?
Some of the things that might have been frustrating have been changed. For instance collecting orbs, they don’t “wink” out as quickly so it’s not as frustrating to collect them.
Read on for more Q&A and the answer to the burning question the name of “Rasengan”?
Which characters are playable?
Predominantly you are controlling Naruto, however you get seven partners throughout the game. Based on the missions you get access to certain partners. (Editors note: Sasuke, Neji, Choji, Kakashi and Shikamaru were mentioned in the conversation… there is one more playable character and if the game is the same as the Japanese release it isn’t Itachi. Sorry!)
Will be a side story or part of the actual story?
Andrew: How much can we divulge into?
“Let’s give a tidbit, like a reason to why Naruto is doing his thing”
Andrew: There is a problem with the leaf village. There have been more and more crises that keep drawing all of the high powered ninja away from the village and they are neglecting their duties. Naruto and other genin are taking on higher ranked missions because they need to help out their higher ranking buddies.
Will the game have spoilers?
Brian: There won’t be spoilers for fans of the series since it is an original storyline. It isn’t too far into the story line in the anime. So there won’t be any spoilers or anything like that. (Editors note: The localization directors were crystal clear about how the storyline is separate from the main anime series.)
Exactly what part of the anime series is the game set in?
Essentially it is within the same time frame where we are now leading up to the chunnin exam. Characters that appear now are in the game, however this doesn’t follow the anime series. It’s with in its own timeline and it’s on offshoot with original content. The characters personalities are the same, but it is separate from what you see on TV.
Is Tsunade the Hokage?
We are not discussing that at this point.
Is Naruto’s Rasengan (spiral wave) attack called Rasengan or Spiral Wave?
That’s something we’re not discussing right now.
As you can see Namco Bandai is being pretty secretive about the game’s setting. If you’ve seen the Japanese version of the game it is set around the Search for Tsuande story arc. In fact the game was released in Japan when the rescue Sasuke arc was airing, even though Sasuke is in the game. As for the Rasengan it really does look like it is going to be in the game irregardless of where the North American dub is. The cover art strongly suggests this and plus the rasengan attack is integral to gameplay. One possibility is that the game has been tweaked significantly to fit the timeline of the North American show. Who knows maybe the Third will deliver the missions instead of the Fifth. Or maybe the Fifth will be the Hokage’s “temporary replacement”? Here’s something else to consider, both localization managers kept saying that Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles was set around the Chunnin exam timeline. This might suggest that Namco Bandai is giving the game a massive overhaul to fit it in where the anime is currently running.
While we’re waiting in suspense what do you think is going to happen to the game?