Review: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PC Version)
I’ve been following the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series since the very begining and have definitely enjoyed the ride for as long as it lasted. As the sequels were releasing after Storm 2 I was led to believe that CyberConnect2 could only go up from here. While Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 brings some great ideas to the table, it’s also lacking heavily in many areas.
My Rig: Intel i7 3770K 3.50GHz, 24 GB of RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 670, Windows 10 Pro
Note: Before I begin, for most people (including myself still sometimes) have been experiencing a huge amount of slowdowns on the title screen and menus even when you put the lowest settings available. I had to do a few tweaks and update my graphics card before the latest patch to get the game to stop (well, more like greatly reduce) menu slow downs.
The fighting system has stepped up from Revolution now that you are no longer forced to choose between three types of combat options. In the previous entry the three options that were given to you was “Ultimate” type, “Drive” type and “Awakening” type, but now you’ll be able to do all of this once again without the separated options.
Other than that, a great feature they implemented this time around was the “Leader Swap” ability which allows you to switch between characters during battle. If you’ve played Revolution in the past then it will be very easy to pick up and play Storm 4, but if you skipped on the last game it’s going to take some time getting used to how the game plays at its current state.
The game’s story is set into multiple connect-the-dot like branches which often split apart to tell a story from different perspectives as you progress. Playing through most of the story segments you’ll get greeted with some amazing in-game cutscenes followed by a lot of very boring anime-stills that will make you want to skip ahead especially if you already are up to date with the manga.
Most story objectives will have you fight an opponent or a boss which also gives you a chance to earn bonus material that can be traded in for items at the in-game shop. When you put aside some of the faults like the anime-still story telling, you can clearly see the love and effort that was put into the cutscenes especially once you get to the final battle between Naruto and Sasuke.
I haven’t gotten any frame drops during the story like I have with the PS4 demo, but there was an odd audio glitch that only had voices coming out of one ear which has now been patched over a week after release.
Admittedly, Storm 4 has one of the best free roams in the series especially when you put it next to Storm 2, 3 and Revolution. While in comparison, it looks to be an improvement, it’s still a big set back from Storm 1 and especially when looking at how a nine year old game like Naruto Rise of a Ninja has done it.
This mode will have you walking around doing errands for other people, fighting battles and even find random encounters of Naruto’s friends asking for favors like item requests that you have in your inventory or cash to trade for things like Title Cards or other items. There are also various text side stories that aren’t cannon like in one mission, Sai recalls when Hinata and the rest of the girls talk about Naruto’s faults, but Hinata doesn’t see him in that light.
You can’t dash, climb on buildings or jump at all in this mode. Luckily this mode is optional and not needed to unlock anything special, but you would think that if they added an Adventure Mode that they would at least make it a lot more appealing. The only group of people that I could see completing this mode are the one’s who are after the easy achievements.
The online portion of this game is probably the most disappointing of all the modes I’ve played (yes, probably even more than Adventure Mode). The online mode took a huge step back from Revolution. The spectate mode has been removed so instead what was done is that whoever isn’t playing in an endless match for example will have to sit and wait until it’s their turn to fight.
This mode alone has heavily discouraged many YouTube anime gaming channels and Twitch streamers from making any videos related to this mode because of how boring it is to stare at a lobby for so long. Hopefully they patch this in eventually, but to do this at launch is baffling.
Other than that your standard modes are there, online related events and the Bingo Book was a nice touch to encourage players to hunt down other characters while fighting.
Leader Swap Mechanic Is Great
No More Combat Types
Adventure Mode Is Stale
No Spectator Mode
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release Date: February 5, 2016