It’s a sad fact that among the constant flood of games based on popular anime series, many succeed at delivering lots of characters, music, and other content that appeal to devoted fans, but can’t manage to support all these goodies with a compelling gameplay experience. It’s refreshing, then, that the Ultimate Ninja Storm series continues to deliver moments that capture the bristling energy and excitement of Naruto. Unfortunately, these terrific bits are separated by a great deal of dull filler, but the intensity Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 delivers at its best makes enduring these tedious stretches worth it in the end.
The tale you experience in the Ultimate Adventure mode is told with a great deal of dramatic flair, and it’s clear that a lot of care went into doing these characters and events justice. As the hotheaded young ninja Naruto and his friends struggle against evil forces to protect Hidden Leaf Village, moody music, effective camera movement, and great voice acting all enhance the impact of their brave struggles and the poignancy of their noble sacrifices. Unfortunately, the story also casually throws around so many characters, organizations, and obscure terms without explanation that much will be lost on those who come to Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 without knowing their Akatsuke from their Kazekage. This game is unapologetically one for the fans, and it makes no effort to embrace anyone else.