I talked about the versus mode before, but Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm has a lengthy single player story mode that goes all the way up to the rescue Sasuke arc. And yes, Sasuke transforms to cursed seal level two. I’m getting ahead of myself because I didn’t get up to the fight at the Valley of the End. I fought Gaara when he released Shukaku instead.
The battle uses the same engine used to power Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, but you can’t rush Shukaku since he is humongous. You can throw chakra charged shuriken while Shukaku spits bursts of sand. Projectiles damage Shukaku, but a fist to Gaara’s face is much more effective. When Shukaku lowers his head or punches the ground you can directly attack him. After you whittle down Shukaku’s life bar Naruto goes into quick time action mode where you follow commands similar to God of War. You follow a series of buttons to make Naruto summon shadow clones and barrage Gaara. Mashing a button makes Naruto push through a sand wave and slam Gaara in the face. The dramatic presentation does the anime justice and fans are going to love the little details CyberConnect2 kept in the quick time events. Shukaku is one of the David vs. Goliath fights. I think you can figure out the others. One involves a purple snake that rhymes with Panda.
Afterwards I played as Gaara who uses his sand burial as one of his ninjutsu attacks. As expected, Gaara has much more range than other characters since he attacks with swirling waves of sand. He also has the added benefit of occluding the camera’s vision with sand clouds. Tenten is usually one of my favorite characters to play as and she feels lightning fast in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm. Instead of fighting with her fists Tenten summons weapons similar to Naruto Shippuden: Gekitou Ninja Taisen EX. From a distance Tenten uses her chain staff. Tenten’s fully charged ninjutsu unleashes a torrent of kunai, knives, blades, and other pointy weapons at an enemy. Shino’s ninjutsu is a bug tornado attack. The announced characters thus far are all of the genin. Namco Bandai hinted new characters may be available as downloads, but this isn’t a guarantee since they are still making decisions regarding downloadable content.
Images courtesy of Namco Bandai.