NARUTO: Ninja Destiny – NDS – Preview

Tomorrow,
February 26, marks the release of Naruto: Ninja Destiny, the long-awaited
fighting game for Nintendo DS. GameZone will have a full review of the game to
commemorate its launch, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you in the
cold until then. Today we’re examining Ninja Destiny’s speedy combo system. From
Naruto and Sasuke to Neji and Jiraiya, find out how this 3D fighter will play
and feel when it’s released.

 

Naruto
Uzumaki, the young warrior leading this franchise, has a multitude of
speed-driven moves that translate well in the world of combos. His most basic is
executed with just two button taps: Y and Y. First Naruto spins around with a
backhand punch, catching the opponent off guard. When the second Y is tapped, he
jumps into the air and slams the bottom of both fists into the face of his
vulnerable opponent.

Before
combining that attack with others, you should notice that the B button is also
functional on its own and can be used as a combo catalyst. Without any other
buttons involved, players can achieve a five-hit combo. The first move is a
low-striking punch. Press the B button again and he’ll follow up with another
hit; same low stance, opposite fist. Tap it again for the final hit before
Naruto repositions himself. Being the agile ninja that he is, Naruto thrusts a
jump kick into the chin of his enemy.

Though that
could be a solid finisher to any combo, he’s not done yet. Before the battered
warrior has a chance to fall, Naruto adds one last attack: an uppercut that
knocks the receiver into the air and pushes him or her back several feet. It’s
an extremely cool and satisfying combo to execute, and is a blast to watch (so
long as you’re the one performing it).

You can
change this combo by replacing the second B button with two taps of the Y
button. Just after the second Y, follow up with the B button for a four-hit
combo. This move has Naruto start with a low punch and quickly adjust for a
higher assault. He throws another punch, unleashes a spin kick, and ends with a
lunging blow that’ll push back intruders.

 
Choose your destiny.

Naruto’s
first combo (the one with just two hits) can be extended to five hits with the B
button. After the second Y button is through, press B for an uppercut. Tap it
again and Naruto will lunge forward, differently from the previous lunge, and
bash adversaries with his head. Hit the B button one final time and Naruto will
perform one of his coolest moves: a forward flip that ends with his heel diving
into the opponent.

The other
characters follow a similar combo theme. Sasuke’s single-button combos include a
three-hit high punch, high kick, low punch assault, and a five hit multi-punch,
triple-kick whirlwind that’ll make the receiver cringe. Those combos may be
changed and/or expanded by replacing consecutive Y and B button taps with
executions that go back and forth.

Aesthetics,
animations, and move performance helps differentiate each character, carving
nooks of individuality in a game that was designed for mainstream appeal (and
thus cannot be too difficult). As such, you’ll notice that Jiraiya’s moves are
stricter, and perhaps stiffer, than the smaller, more agile fighters. He hits
slower and harder, which looks interesting but doesn’t mean you’ll inflict more
damage.

Neji, a
warrior less likely to copy others, is a little different with his move and
combo execution. He has just one single-button combo – a four-hit beast that
starts with a single punch, pauses briefly, unleashes two quick punches, throws
a kick to the opponent’s ankle, and concludes with a double jump kick that’ll
remind hardcore fighting fans of Tekken’s finest moments. That move is executed
with the B button – pressing the Y button alone unleashes just one attack: a
double-fisted body bash.

 

That’s all
we’ve got today, Naruto enthusiasts. Come back tomorrow for our full review to
find out if Naruto: Ninja Destiny lives up to the high standards of this beloved
anime series.