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Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker Review — Either Love it or Konoha-te it.

 
thumbnail naruto final
thumbnail naruto final
thumbnail naruto final

 
Overview
 

Published by: Bandai Namco
 
Developed by: Soleil
 
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
 
Genre(s): Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, Action, Anime
 
Mode(s): Single, Co-op, Multiplayer, PVP
 
Game Type: , , , , , ,
 
FG RATING
60%
60/ 100


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Raves


Visuals, Customization, Diverse Jutsus, Music & Voice Acting

Rants


Matchmaking Issues, Lack of Content, No Story Mode


0
Posted September 16, 2018 by

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Naruto is a Japanese Manga written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto, which was later adapted to an Anime series. The manga and anime alike are well received in Japan and in many countries as well. The success of the franchise later produced Several game titles.

The series launched its first game title “Naruto: Clash of Ninja” for the Nintendo Gamecube, which received good remarks. The Naruto Game Franchise only flourished through time jumping from platform to platforms. One of the most notable series titles of the Naruto Game franchise is the “Ultimate Ninja” series which started out for the PlayStation 2, and now it’s available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Microsoft Windows.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is the latest installment to the game franchise following the previous title “Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4” which was for the PlayStation 4, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows. This latest game title is a separate standalone game and is not part of any game series released on the game franchise. It introduces a new concept to the franchise, which involves Multiplayer PVP Team battles and other new mechanics.

STORY

NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER_20180915182020

The timeline of the game takes place when Naruto is the current 7th Hokage of the Konoha Village and are hosting the Chunin Exams. The events that take place in the game are in no way canonical or does not affect the on-going story of the anime and manga. Missions are undertaken in a technology developed for the village known as “VR Arena” where various data are placed. There are zero stories or campaign-related gameplay. Shinobi striker is a full-on Multiplayer Battle Arena game (MOBA).

GAMEPLAY

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Despite being the first of its kind for the game franchise, Shinobi Striker does not really fall far from the tree. The fighting mechanics and concept are still really quite close to the previous Naruto titles. The main battle mechanic of the game is quite similar to the story mode battle for random ninjas or hoodlums in the past Naruto game: Naruto Shippuden: Narutimate Accel 2 or also known as Ultimate Ninja 5. It uses the same or similar formula in terms of view, controls, and mechanics.

The difference of Shinobi Striker from previous titles aside from being a MOBA game is the battle environment itself. Compared to different titles, the battle Arena is relatively large and diverse in terms of design. Interaction on the battlegrounds is quite fun and engaging, like being able to jump long distances and heights, wall and water running. Ninjutsu usage also has been changed. Chakra points or amount are disregarded, instead, cooldown systems are implemented for Jutsus used.

NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER_20180915181816

Players are gathered in a Hub which is represented as a common area in Konoha. Missions are undertaken on the VR Arena. The Missions that can be taken may seem diverse at first glance, but in summary, it can be classified into three types: Retrieve or Capture Points, Normal Horde battles with or without Bosses, Defend Missions. The Missions are classified into different ranks, and you can choose to partake as Solo or Co-op mode.

PVP Battles are undertaken upon going the Hokage’s chambers, there you will be accommodated by Shikamaru. You can either enter through specific leagues or just use the quick matchmaking option.

Character Customization is also a new feature in the game series. It has a decent amount of options. Most items are based on existing character designs of the Naruto world and effects vary mostly per item. You can customize your avatar with different options namely: hairstyle, accessory, upper garment, lower garment, weapon, item, two Ninjutsu, and one Ultimate move. Items are rewarded from missions which follows a loot box or a Gacha system. One scroll contains only one random item or it could be in Currency (Ryo).

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The Battle system for Shinobi Striker also introduces a new feature called “Role Type”. Basically, you can play as four different Roles: Attack, Ranged, Defense, and Heal. These roles vary in terms of Jutsu and items that can be used. Strategic Party role formation is a vital part in partaking PVPs. The Chosen default role type could be customized upon interacting with Sakura, here you can also change character presets and equipment as well.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

 

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The visual art style and execution for Shinobi Striker is the first of its own kind. Unlike most of the previous Naruto game titles which use a cel-shaded style that is faithful to the anime. Shinobi Striker adds its own unique twist by using the same 3D feel of the previous games but mixing the notable Art Style of the creator of Naruto, Masashi Kishimoto. The Mangaka’s Signature art style fits surprisingly well, gameplay, cutscene, and still images wise;  a mixture of the old formula and a new style. This latest title is probably the best one of the series so far visually speaking.

There has never been a MOBA Naruto game up till now. The concept of the latest game installment is good and the first of its own kind. In terms of Execution, Shinobi Striker feels a bit lackluster or may even be a step-down for the franchise. There are a number of issues that should be addressed to give players a better experience of the game.

Matchmaking for PVP is unbalanced and seemed a bit random and not really based by levels. The waiting time for other players to join your created mission for co-op play is relatively slow. The Combat system feels a bit stiff in comparison to previous titles. Battles are also prone to spamming Ninjutsu and other attacks both AI and Players alike. Unlocking new missions are also unclear, beginners might find themselves lost on where to go to next.

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Even Though the game has issues it also has its pros. The Diverse Ninjutsu and character customization item options are decent in numbers. Environment interaction also had no issues and was actually one of the most fun things to do in the game.

VERDICT

Coming from a Naruto fan, I tried to enjoy the game for what it is. It’s true that Shinobi Striker is the first of its kind in the Naruto game franchise and it’s a good concept. Although all-in-all execution-wise, it’s still rough around the edges. The lack of content may turn players off for both current and future players alike. Even the upcoming DLCs feel like there is not enough content to go through. It’s true that there are many missions and are categorized by Ranks but if dissected thoroughly, the different missions are actually just repetitive. Visually, however, I have to say that this is the best one yet out of all the Naruto games so far. The integration of Masashi Kishimoto’s art style is just perfectly captured in the game.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is a good and fun MOBA game for the Naruto game franchise. It had a strong appeal back from its trailer but performed poorly in beta tests and actual release. It’s a fun game to go back to once in a while and is not a type of game that you can get invested in a really long while. The game can do better in improving DLCs, updates, or perhaps a sequel that would contain more content.

Reviewed by FlipGeeks Contributor, Ian Matining

[This review was done using a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher]


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