Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations
's gameplay varies only slightly from the past two Ultimate Ninja Storm
games. Like the past titles, the 3D open arena really gives you the freedom to pull off some spectacular moves, but still keeps you close enough to your opponents to keep the action up. As a result, the fights keep their high-energy feel from beginning to end.
Many features like support characters and items return for this newest title, but it seems the developers wanted to add just a bit more strategy into the mix. Where Substitution Jutsus have pretty much always been an automatic move when you block attacks at the right time (in most, if not all Naruto fighting games), you now have a limited number to use before they have to be recharged. While this buys you the ability to easily back away from your opponent in order to pull off some big attacks, it also means those players who are used to the Substitution's automatic benefits (like popping up behind your enemy) might have to rework their strategies.
Another addition, though by no means a new one in fighting games, is Awakened or Beast Mode. Much like in the series, when your character is at the end of his/her line, they will explode with power and transform into a stronger and faster fighter. For Naruto, this means releasing his Nine Tails Chakra, for Sasuke, it's the summoning of Susanoo. Regardless, fights tend to end in fast and powerful moves that capture the Naruto feel like few games have done before.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations's roster is pretty impressive. With over 70 characters available, you can expect quite a lot of playtime simply in unlocking the list alone. Of course, as the name might suggest, you will find that there are variations on the same characters. Since Generations spans both parts of the Naruto story, you can expect duplicates of many of the main characters ... at least those who changed noticeably between the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden.
What is interesting about the game's story is that it doesn't try and rehash the same arc in exactly the same way as most other games in the franchise have. While Naruto's story is there, there are also several other side-stories following other characters that fill in the backstory and paint a much fuller tale than you see in either the anime or the manga. While players who aren't already familiar with the overall story might still get lost, those that know what should be going on will get a lot from these side-stories.
Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations also offers the standard fare of non-Story Mode options. Tournaments and Vs. Modes are available, along with a shop and training. Generations even offers a variety of online fights to bring your characters into a bigger arena. All that being said, a small but interesting feature added to this title is the ability to put in a code found on the Naruto Collectible Card Game cards in order to unlock a variety of content and bonuses for your game. While not a lot, it's a nice reward for those gamers who also follow the CCG.