Since the Naruto games have been selling well, Tomy and D3 Publisher are taking a chance to bring out an entry from the Naruto RPG series. The first one is due out in October for North America and we have Jon Baumgardner, Associate Marketing Manager at Tomy, to answer a few questions about Naruto: Path of Ninja.
What game from the Naruto RPG series is Naruto: Path of Ninja pulling the story from?
Jon Baumgardner: Naruto: Path of the Ninja is America’s first role-playing video game experience that embraces the story content that flows through Shonen Jump’s Naruto Manga and Anime series. It combines all of the best elements of the Naruto Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS RPG games in Japan delivering a brand new portable RPG game for North America.
Naruto: Path of the Ninja is a solid RPG game that tells a story that even people not familiar with the Naruto series can enjoy. It follows along the storyline with many in-between game-only moments. Hence, fans of the series get to experience the series (in an interactive way) while at the same time fill in gaps that the series doesn’t cover. This game is a great way to introduce anyone new to the Naruto series as it explains a lot about the Naruto world.
Can you tell our readers a little about the story?
The story spans from Kakashi’s beginning lessons with ninjas Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke and continues all the way through the exciting Chunin Exams and finally, the epic battle between Naruto and Gaara.
What original content is North America getting?
The Naruto RPG game that originally covered this story arc is on the Game Boy Advance platform in Japan. For the US, it’s being done on the DS platform. Along with other visual and mechanical improvements, the US game will implement dual screens and the touch screen interface using a stylus. We’re making a solid RPG game and not a simple port of any existing games from Japan.
What is the battle system like? Is it turn based?
The battle system is based on the traditional timed turn based system fans will recognize from grand RPG games such as the Final Fantasy series. Strategically place your ninja team in an offensive or defensive position and carefully target your character’s unique special Jutsu attacks based on what you’ve learned about your enemy. The type of weapons (for example: ranged or melee) for the general attacks you use will be affected by the strategic positioning of your ninja.
What kind of jutsu can Naruto and his allies use in battle?
There are over 90 jutsu that playable characters can use. Of course there are also a wide range of jutsu and other special attacks that will be used against you in the game. This all ties into paying close attention to story and conversational elements throughout the game in order to learn and understand what types of attacks work against different enemies encountered along the way.
Among the different kinds of jutsu are the typical elements; wind, water, fire etc. You’ll encounter signature moves like the Rasengan, Chidori, Sharingan…even the Thousand Years of Death move by Kakashi.
The press release mentioned six characters, we've seen four in screenshots what other characters will we be able to play?
Fans will be excited to see many familiar faces and settings as well as story scenarios they love in the series. Among which Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke, Neji, Rock Lee, and Shikamaru are playable party characters for a substantial part of the game.
How does Naruto: Path of the Ninja use the DS unique features like the touch screen and microphone?
Touch screen functionality will be used in menu selections and also when powerful jutsu are activated. You’ll have to perform some stylus input to maximize the result of a special technique. The microphone use isn’t planned for this game.
If "Path of the Ninja" sells well will D3 Publisher consider to bring out the other Naruto RPGs at a later date?
As long as the Naruto Brand keeps fighting, TOMY and D3 Publisher will be doing everything we can to release the best in Naruto video gaming experience – Believe it!