PAX 2007 Preview
With the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja
series being big business on consoles, the PSP entry is sure to turn a few
heads. And rightly so, as Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes is a pint-sized blast
that brings all of the action, speed and intense fighting of the popular series.
The game is an easy to grasp fighting game that can be wildly engaging and fast,
making it one PSP game that no Naruto fan (or possibly fighting game fan) will
want to be without.
The gameplay is pretty easy to
grasp, considering that there is only one button. However, that doesn’t mean
that “Heroes” doesn’t yield spoils for seasoned fighting game fans. Pushing in a
different direction will let you perform a tweak on that attack, performing an
uppercut or a low attack depending on the direction pressed. You can also
teleport right to your opponent by double-tapping the jump button, giving you
the element of surprise (or possibly getting your butt handed right back to
you). You also have the ability to perform a super-charged attack on your
The Hero mode was on display at this
year’s PAX, which works as a tournament mode of sorts within the game. At the
beginning of the mode, you choose three characters from the roster, and select
the order in which you go. Then you must face off against other teams , gaining
points as you go that allow you to upgrade your fighters’ attributes.
Graphically, the game almost
perfectly mirrors the PS2 versions. The cel-shaded models look fantastic, as do
the big environments and crazy special effects. The game also moves at a
blistering pace, which actually manages to not get all “ghosty” on the PSP’s
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Heroes is
shaping up to be a great portable incarnation of the series, and should be one
that Naruto fans will want to get their hands on.