Eric Kelly On April 7, 2016 at 10:37 am

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Ultimate Ninja STORM 4 Logo smallNaruto has had a very long print run as a manga, with the anime version running behind it for not much less. The manga first ran in 1997, with the show airing in 2002, it has about nineteen and 14 years to their respective media to show for it. Now that the series has finally come to an end, the most successful videogame series based on it also must follow suit. While the game doesn’t change much and its budget is lower than previous games, it still manages to go out with a bang.

The game actually doesn’t take place right after the events of Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, or Full Burst. Since the show and manga’s storyline had yet to be finished with the Fourth Great Ninja War, the game had a non-canonical ending point. While this isn’t really a problem normally, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 doesn’t add content that recaps the events leading up to its new canonical starting point. So if you hadn’t read the manga or watch the show but played 3, you’d be a bit confused as to what’s going on. The new point just starts where Naruto and Kakashi make their final confrontation with Tobi, and there is a path split where you can play the game from Sasuke’s perspective. His story starts with his post-confrontation with Kabuto. After reconciling with Itachi, he seeks advice as to what he should do next. Despite making a vow to defeat Madara in order to save Kanoha, he’ll likely still have to settle the score with Naruto. Since there is so little in the way of story to play through the game, the campaign is shorter than the last game. There is an Adventure mode, which lets you play some story DLC though, so it’s not a total shortchange.

Gameplay is mostly unchanged from Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, but there are some tweak added from Revolution like armor and weapon breaking. In addition, you can also break an enemy’s guard. The substitution jutsu gauge also seems to charge faster. Awakenings are still present in the game, although a few more characters like Sakura possess them. It’s s till pretty fun, especially in the multiplayer modes, and the game boasts pretty much the entire roster from Revolution, making the number over 100.

The only biggest shortcomings would be the lack of in-game engine cut-scenes. Instead, most out of battle cut-scenes are abbreviated, but barely animated anime videos that detail the plot. It looks pretty bland, and it’s a far cry from the ones seen in Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. It’s a shame too, as the game’s engine is beautiful looking during the story battles. This indicates that the budget for this title was either smaller, or most of the funds went into other resources. At least Cyber Connect 2 really put effort into the game: I just wished they could have flexed their development muscle a bit more. The music and English voice acting are decent, although some voices aren’t as good as others. If you are a fan of the series, there’s a fair bit to like here, even with the smaller amount of content. But with a larger roster, online play will at least be strong. It’s not much of a fighting game, but it might make for good party gatherings. Hopefully there will be some DLC content that fills in the missing story gaps, but otherwise, it’s a good way to end the series.


Battles have a few tweaks from Revolution, and the large roster can make for some fun multiplayer play.


The visuals are still impressive as ever, proving that Cyber Connect 2 still knows how to make games look good.


The dub work is decent but it’s got some voice talent that’s sometimes off.


While lacking the budget to afford more in-engine cut-scenes, the cinematic battles have enough much flair to see the series go out with a bang.

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