Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive
will be most appealing to existing fans of the show. Even though the story presented in this game is original, there is very little actual character development, so only experienced Naruto
followers need apply.
In Kizuna Drive's Story Mode, Naruto and his friends are fingered for an attack on a remote village and you must shed some light on the goofball ninja's good name. In the process, you will unlock new fighters from the show, and pretty much everyone of note is here. Before each mission, you will not only be able to setup your four-man squad, but you will also be able to customize your characters with any number of scrolls and abilities you've been able to win in your previous missions.
Unfortunately, the missions themselves are very generic and, with the exception of big boss fights, you will be dumped into one small arena after another only being allowed to progress once you've cleared out the current wave of enemies. As I mentioned when talking about the game's backgrounds, this gets redundant.
Where Kizuna Drive gets interesting is the fact that you and your three squadmates will be in the same arena fighting the same enemies. Where it falters a bit is the fact that the A.I. that guides the unmanned characters aren't all that good. Unlike teaming up with four human-controlled characters (which requires a UMD for each player), you will have to use in-game commands to call for help or direct your allies. There are times when this kind of wasted time hurts, and that's provided the A.I. characters actually do a good job performing the action you requested.
The game also offers a Free Mode that lets you try out non-Story based missions in order to try and earn more Kizuna points, the points that unlock various scrolls and jutsu. Again, these can be played solo or with a team, but much like the Story Missions, the A.I. isn't very good and the best playing experience will be gained from playing co-op with other actual humans.
Even if you are playing solo, the game does a good job of rewarding you for teamwork. As you fight, you can assist other fighters in attacks or even heal them if they are hurt. As you do tasks like this, you will earn Kizuna points, and the higher the points at the end of the fight, the more scrolls you unlock and the better you can customize your fighters.