Ever since October 23rd, 2003(June 26, 2006 for America); fans of the popular anime, Naruto, were able to fight with their favorite characters too become the ultimate ninja. This retrospective will go into detail of the Ultimate Ninja series, from Ultimate Ninja 1 to Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja: Starting its series on the Playstation 2, Naruto Ultimate Ninja was a very good game with a small roster. The game’s story mode only lasted until Orochimaru invaded Konoha, but you were able to play within the perspective of each character. The battle system is very simple and easy to get used to, and was staple throughout the series that worked. Characters battled on foreground and background planes, unleashing combos and Ultimate Jutsus. For a small game, it was very fun to play with friends when not playing the story. To go back and play it now however, isn’t something you should do.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2: Right in the year after, a sequel title to Ultimate Ninja was released. Personally, this was my favorite out of the Playstation 2 titles. Unlike Ultimate Ninja 1, Ultimate Ninja 2 changes up a bit of the formula. Instead of having the story mode similar to a manga, story mode was made to be like an RPG. Not only were you able to just play the story this way, but you could also have other characters challenge you to gain money or items. The roster was made bigger, from 14 to 32 characters and a bit of the battle system was changed. You were now able to choose any characters as a support character and you could also transform in battle. Another big change was with Ultimate Jutsus, originally when it was activated both players had to input button commands quickly in order to take less damage or continue onto the next phase. In Ultimate Ninja 2, a lot more phases were added and 2 different ways to stop them were added: button mashing and analog rotation. Even with the release of Ultimate Ninja 3, this game still remains my favorite on the Playstation 2.
Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3: Ultimate Ninja 3 was the last game that followed the original story, until Storm began. The only differences made between this game and the last ones were the removal of phases in Ultimate Jutsus, removal of the support characters but the ability to customize your characters was implemented and you could use the summoning jutsu to enter a giant battle. The story mode was no longer like an RPG, it was broken down into arcs. However, there was a new mode implemented: Ultimate Contest. This mode was given the RPG playing style, where you battle other characters for their crystals. After completing the contest, you are allowed to roam and continue playing freely. 10 new characters were added onto the roster, and this isn’t counting transformations. With this game, you’re sure to have a great time fighting your friends and with Ultimate Contest.
There are 2 other games that followed into the Ultimate Ninja series. However, with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 4 being difficult to find and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 5 never coming to the Americas, I won’t be able to cover them. However, I will say that Ultimate Ninja 5 has the best opening. The next parts of this retrospect will talk about the Ultimate Ninja Storm series and the upcoming Ultimate Ninja Storm 4.