Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Nerd Side #1

Today I am going to be discussing and rating one of my favorite video games and guilty pleasures, so get ready to get your ninja on because we're talking Naruto today!

Last year, around this time, I bought the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 video game for Xbox 360.  It is a fighter game, however it also has a story mode that takes you through basically two full seasons of the anime.  In the story mode, the graphics are amazing and overall the storytelling really grabbed me.  Even Heather, who's not usually a "story mode" sort-of-gal when it comes to fighting games, enjoyed watching me play during the story mode.  The story mode is actually what got us to start watching the anime itself (which you can watch on Hulu Plus).

I had a companion on my mission in the Dominican Republic who was a huge Naruto fan--both anime and manga--and he said multiple times that when I got home I needed to watch it.  However, it had never really interested me because Naruto is one of the longest running animes ever.  No joke, there are currently 17 seasons and 384 aired episodes.  Yeah, it's sort of an investment to start at square one.  It wasn't until I purchased Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3  that I finally decided to give it a shot.  Now over a year later, I'm all caught up.

Going back to the video games, the fourth installment of the Ultimate Ninja series came out this September, Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution (these titles always make Heather laugh because they're so "anime-y"), and I am loving it.  They did things a little differently than prior installments, but man, it's a good thing.  It isn't so cookie cutter, there's an added game mode called the Ultimate Ninja Tournament where you can unlock customization items for you favorite character.  (For example, totally have a plush dog on Itachi's arm.  It's basically awesome.)  There are three story modes that have three fights each; not as long as previous games, but as the tournament mode has six or seven ranks to work through there is more than enough to do.  Plus the online battle mode pits you against other players from around the globe in multiple modes, including tournament and even four-played-esque fighting.

I give it 7 out of 10 only because I don't think it's incredibly replayable and I do wish the story mode had more to it like Ninja Storm 3.  But, still, I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys fighter styled games.  The controls are easy to learn and allows you to easily reel out combos.  Heather has even been able to branch out past ranged characters because she was able to quickly learn other styled fighters (this is a big deal, trust me).  There are also enough attacks and counter attacks to make pretty much every match unique, which I appreciate.

As an end note, I also stamp this game as a highly Dad Friendly game.  I am not trapped in this game or left with a million penalties if I walk away (this is something I have a hard time with when playing, say, League of Legends or even Starcraft or any console first-person shooter game).  If Heather has run out after George is asleep in bed, it's easy--and fun--to build my own tournaments against the computer characters, which allows me an easy pause if I need to dash away to aid the George Man.  Overall, this is what we appreciate the most about this game, that we can easily step away, there's not freak out from teammates for going AFK, just fun game play without the stress.

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