Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising takes players through the Rescue Gaara arc of the anime, but not through a series of one on one matches. This Naruto game is a 3D brawler.
At E3 I played Akatsuki Rising and punched my way through an unrelenting group of inept ninja. Mashing square usually did the trick. If you want to do something more flashy Naruto has his trademark jutsus linked to the R button. The game felt a lot like Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles 2 right down to the plastic-y 3D models.
In this game you don’t have to be one of the heroes. You can see the other side of the story and play the game as an Akatsuki member like Itachi. Screenshots show Sasori, Kisame, and Deidara will be in the game too. Namco Bandai says the total roster has over 15 characters. The game also supports ad-hoc play — cooperative and competitive. Players can fight each other in the game’s versus mode.
Unlike last year where a slew of Naruto games popped up during the holidays, Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising is the only Namco Bandai game starring the orange ninja scheduled to come out later this year. North America gets it on the PSP this fall. It seems like Namco Bandai developed this game specifically for North America. Akatsuki Rising is not a localized version of an existing Japanese game. Actually, Akatsuki Rising doesn’t even have a scheduled release date in Japan.