The Naruto: Clash of Ninja series, known in Japan as Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! (ナルト-激闘忍者大戦!?, lit. Naruto: Great Ninja Battle!), is a series of 3D cel-shaded fighting games based on the popular manga and anime series Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. They are developed by Eighting and published by D3 Publisher and Tomy. Various installments of the series have appeared on both Nintendo's GameCube and Wii. Four games are available for the GameCube and five for the Wii. Naruto: Clash of Ninja 1, 2, Revolution and Revolution 2 are available in the US. Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 and Revolution are available in PAL regions. Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 was released in Europe on February 13, 2009. All installments, excluding the Revolution series, have been released in Japan.
Each installment of the series has had numerous methods of play with varying types of modes. New games have introduced additional modes that generally appear in subsequent games. The player directly controls a character taken from the Naruto series, and uses their unique abilities to battle and defeat an opponent. New games in the series include more of the Naruto plotline in a "story mode," and it generally stays true to the source material. As a result, the character selection increases with each installment due to the inclusion of more of the Naruto plotline. With the newer games incorporating Naruto: Shippūden, the second part of the Naruto series, many of the characters have been substantially redesigned, and the selection correspondingly limited. Reactions to each installment have been mixed, with many praising the simple and easy-to-learn fighting system, with others lambasting the fighting system, and the lack of significant unlockable content.
In each game of the series, the player controls one of many characters directly based upon their counterparts in the Naruto anime and manga. As in practically all fighting games, the player then pits their character against another character controlled by the game's AI or by another player, depending on the mode that the player is in. The objective of each game is to reduce the opponent's health to zero using basic attacks and special techniques unique to each character that are derived from techniques they use in the source material. For instance, Naruto Uzumaki is able to use his signature Shadow Clone Technique, and Rock Lee utilizes many of his Strong Fist style techniques. To use these techniques, characters have available a chakra bar, which depletes upon the execution of a special technique. Each game in the series also possesses numerous modes that offer different styles of play. The game's story mode generally follows the plot from the anime and manga, with a versus mode pitting two players against each other also included. Each game in the series adds new modes, as well as incorporating new features into the game. Early games feature unlocking characters by using a Shop and obtaining money in fights. Most of the games feature an 'Omake' bonus section which contains music, sound effects and character models.
Naruto: Clash of Ninja
Naruto: Clash of Ninja (known in Japan as Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen!) is the first installment of the Clash of Ninja series and the first Naruto game released in Japan and North America. It was released in Japan on April 11, 2003. The game was announced along with its sequel, Clash of Ninja 2, on October 27, 2005 for a 2006 release in North America, which was released on March 7, 2006. The game's plot follows from Naruto's graduation from the Academy to the start of the Chunin Exams.
Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2
Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 (known as Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 2 in Japan and Naruto: Clash of Ninja European Version in Europe) is the second installment of the series. It was released in Japan on December 4, 2003. It was announced alongside its prequel, Clash of Ninja, for a 2006 release in North America, which was then released on September 26, 2006. The game follows the plot of the series, in story mode, starting from Naruto's graduation from the Ninja Academy to the end of the Chunin exams. The game retains the characters from the first installment, and added characters from the Chunin Exam arc. This installment allows four players to fight in multiplayer at the same time. Unlockable features in this game are acquired by accomplishing certain tasks to add them to the game's shop, and then using money won in fights to buy access to the features.
Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 3
Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! 3 is the third installment of this series. The game was announced on August 3, 2004, and released in Japan on November 20, 2004. The game covers the events of the anime from the Chunin Exams to the Search for Tsunade arc. This installment introduces the ability to change forms during combat and gives some characters a second special attack. In addition, the game adds on to the tag-team mode from Clash of Ninja 2, granting the player the ability to use team specials. This game was released exclusively in Japan.
Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 4
Naruto: Gekitou Ninja Taisen! 4 is the fourth installment of this series. It was released in Japan on November 2005. It covers the events from the Return of Itachi arc to the Sasuke Retrieval arc. The game also introduces the ability for multiple characters to fight one another at once, ranging from a 2-on-2 match to a 4-way brawl. Most noticeably, the game does away with the shop feature, and unlockables are now acquired by simply meeting certain criteria in the game's new Mission mode. Mission mode forces the player to fight increasingly stronger opponents under specific circumstances and with different methods of winning in order to complete each mission. This game was released exclusively in Japan.
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX is the fifth installment of the Clash of Ninja series. This game is the first game in the series to be released for the Wii, and was released in Japan on February 22, 2007. The game uses the Wii Remote by waving the controller in different directions, but the GameCube controller and the Wii Classic controller can be used with the game as well. The game takes place during the Naruto: Shippūden series, specifically the Rescue Gaara arc. The game replaces the cast of characters in the previous games with a new set based specifically on the Shippūden series.
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 2
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 2 is the sixth installment of the Clash of Ninja series. It was released on November 29, 2007. This is the first Naruto Shippūden game to feature Sasuke Uchiha as a playable character. All characters are playable in their timeskip forms, while Naruto and Sasuke are also playable in their pre-timeskip forms. Two new features are included in the game. The first, "Danger Zones", are hazards on stages that can hurt the player's character when encountered (for example, spikes on cliff walls). The second feature included is a new hand seal mechanism, which can be used by the player to raise their character's attack power or chakra, and for some characters, an in-game transformation.
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 3
Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 3 is the seventh installment of the Clash of Ninja series. It was confirmed on August 29, 2008; it was released on November 27, 2008 in Japan. A new mode called 'Hurricane Clash mode' has been added, where players take on hordes of ninja in levels based on the series locations. Another feature was added, called "Senzai Ninriki", in which players gain a new power when they reach Critical Mode. This game includes an original Naruto: Shippuden story line and the beginning of the Hidan and Kakuzu arc. There is also a tag team mode.
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution is an installment of the Clash of Ninja series and was released on October 23, 2007. Clash of Ninja Revolution covers the events of the Chunin Exams arc to the end of the Search for Tsunade arc. Clash of Ninja Revolution uses the same gameplay engine as Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX. The game utilizes the Nunchuk accessory for the Wii Remote, for basic attacks and for special attacks that require specific movements from both items.  The Classic controller and GameCube controller are also compatible with the game. It was nominated as Wii's Best Fighter.
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 is the fourth English installment of the Clash of Ninja series and the second installment in the Revolution series. It was released in the US on October 21, 2008, in Australia during Q2 2009 and came out in Europe on February 13, 2009. The game features an original storyline that was never shown in the anime or manga, set after Sasuke Uchiha betrays the Hidden Leaf Village in search of power. In addition, the game introduces new gameplay modes, such as a new Mission Mode with three-hundred missions, with its gameplay as ten missions for each character; and bring back others, such as Oboro mode, now renamed Kumite Mode, among other minor tweaks. All control schemes from the original are available, and the game features a reworked team battle mode, although online play was ruled out in favor of balancing out the characters and perfecting the game's story mode. The game introduces for the North American audience the hand seal mechanism from Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX 2, which characters can use to gain chakra or boost their attack power temporarily. It was nominated for Best Fighting Game on the Wii by IGN in its 2008 video game awards.
Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3
Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is the fifth installment in the Clash of Ninja series and is the third installment to Revolution series. It was released in America on November 17, 2009 and on April 9, 2010 in PAL territories, as Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 European Version. Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 covers the Rescue Gaara story arc and features 40 playable characters and fighting environments as well as Wi-fi multiplayer matches, co-op matches, latent ninja powers and an overhauled combat system. This game has a new feature: the ability to call on your teammate in team battle to help. The PAL version features minor bug fixes, minor character re-balancing and also Japanese voice acting everywhere but for the main menu and the Story Mode cutscenes.
The characters in the Clash of Ninja series are directly based upon characters taken from the Naruto anime. Each game introduces a new set of characters, with their appearance and abilities derived directly from the source material. As Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX and its sequels take place during Naruto: Shippūden, which is two and a half years after the initial storyline, the characters' appearance is significantly different. As such, many characters in the GameCube games differ drastically from their Naruto Shippūden: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! EX, EX2 and EX3 counterparts.
- 1. ^ This marks an in-game transformation of said character.
- 2. ^ This marks a character playable in both post and pre-timeskip forms.
Clash of Ninja has received mixed reactions from critics. Metacritic, a website that compiles scores from numerous video game publications, gave Clash of Ninja a 72/100. IGN lauded the game's battle system as "very balanced, amazingly quick, and still a lot of fun." In addition, IGN commented on Clash of Ninja's "impressive visuals" and "strong audio." Conversely, GameSpot provided a more negative review, deriding the game's different modes as "seriously boring and predictable," as well as criticizing the lack of significant differences in the playing style of the game's characters. G4's X-Play gave Clash of Ninja two out of five stars, lambasting the fighting engine as "ridiculously basic," and "shallow." It also criticized the lack of a story or use of cutscenes or extras. GameSpy also commented on this, noting that "considering the charm of the source material, [the game] is really a disappointment."
Critical reaction for Clash of Ninja 2 has been similar to its predecessor, with mixed opinions from critics. Metacritic compiled a "universal score" of 74/100 from 22 reviews for Clash of Ninja 2. X-Play criticized the game for its limited two-player game and similar fighting styles of the characters. They did, however, praise the game's four-player mode and animation, commenting that it "[nailed] the look of the cartoon characters," and referred specifically to the characters' special techniques animation as "remarkably impressive." IGN agreed with this assessment, noting the game's "sharper look" and "overall depth." GameSpot, echoing its sentiments with Clash of Ninja, called the fighting system "simple," to the point that it made the game's expanded roster "irrelevant," and the game "not very satisfying to play." Although GameSpot remarked favorably on the game's "high-energy Japanese-themed background music," it criticized the "obnoxiously repetitive" voice acting, and its constant presence in the game. GameSpot went on to remark that Clash of Ninja 2 "ultimately [did] little to improve upon the original," and felt more reminiscent of an "upgraded game than a true sequel." IGN heavily disagreed, claiming that although the game was similar to the original, it had a "ton of added depth" in the fighting system and character options. IGN lauded the game's characters' "depth and complexity" as "awesome," and "a blast to play." GameSpy focused on the game's four player multiplayer, comparing it to the best-selling Super Smash Bros. Melee and that it was a "recipe for plenty of fun." Like its predecessor, Clash of Ninja 2 achieved the 250,000 unit sales benchmark, earning it a spot in Nintendo's Player's Choice games.
As with previous incarnations of the series, Clash of Ninja Revolution received a high score from IGN, who noted the game as "fun whether you're a fan of the anime or not", and went on to name it the best Wii fighting game to date, giving it an 8.4 as the final score. The publication Nintendo Power gave Clash of Ninja Revolution a 7 out of 10, calling the game a mere roster update from previous versions.
Nintendo Power also gave the sequel, Clash of Ninja Revolution 2, an 8 out of 10 for its new modes and refreshed gameplay, and also called Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 the "best Naruto fighting game for Nintendo to date." IGN gave the game an 8.2 out of 10, saying "new characters, new stages, same feel. Fans will love it, but not everyone will want to buy it all over again."
IGN gave Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 an 8 out of 10, praising game to have the most balanced cast of characters and best game mechanics of the series. IGN also criticized Story Mode and laggy online play.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Torres, Ricardo (2006-02-24). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Updated Hands-On. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-09-08
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bozon, Mark. Naruto: Clash of Ninja Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-18
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Davis, Ryan (2006-03-21). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-07-18
- ↑ Bozon, Mark (2006-02-24). Naruto: Clash of Ninja. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-09-08
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Naruto: Clash of Ninja - Game Profile. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Surette, Tim (2006-09-01). More Naruto coming to North America. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-07-18
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 - Game Profile. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ Casamassina, Matt (2006-02-14). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Interview. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-23
- ↑ Bozon, Mark (2006-07-26). Hands-on: Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-09-23
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 IGN Staff (2004-08-03). Naruto: Clash of Ninja 3 Announced. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ Bernsten, Andreas Misund. Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 4 Review. Gamershell.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-23
- ↑ Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution - Game Profile. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 (in Japanese) V-Jump. Shueisha. 2007. pp. 54–55.
- ↑ http://gonintendo.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/60521520071126_115754_0_big.jpg
- ↑ Morcos, Antoine (2008-08-29). Naruto Shippuden Gekito Ninja Taisen EX 3 first pics. gamekyo. Retrieved on 2009-07-03
- ↑ Casamassina, Matt (2007-05-31). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution Wii movies. GameSpot (2007-07-13). Retrieved on 2007-08-27
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Casamassina, Matt (2007-05-31). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ Australlian Wii game releases. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-04-19
- ↑ Preview: NARUTO: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2. Electronic Theatre (11/09/2008). Retrieved on 2009-07-03
- ↑ McInnis, Shaun (2008-06-23). "Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 Hands-On". GameSpot (GameSpot): p. 1. http://www.gamespot.com/wii/action/narutoclashofninjarevolution2/news.html?sid=6192867. Retrieved 2008-06-24.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 22.5 22.6 Bozon, Mark (2008-06-17). "Hands-on Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2". IGN (IGN): p. 2. http://wii.ign.com/articles/882/882328p1.html. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- ↑ IGN Wii: Best Fighting Game 2008. IGN.com (2008-12-18). Retrieved on 2008-12-19
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3. Takara Tomy. Retrieved on September 9, 2009
- ↑ Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 European Version. Nintendo. Retrieved on March 8, 2010
- ↑ 26.00 26.01 26.02 26.03 26.04 26.05 26.06 26.07 26.08 26.09 26.10 26.11 Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 First Impressions. GameSpot. Retrieved on July 16, 2009
- ↑ Tomy, ed (2005) (in Japanese). Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen 4 Japanese instruction manual. Tomy. p. 5.
- ↑ Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution. Tomy. Retrieved on 2008-08-02
- ↑ 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Bozon, Mark (2006-09-29). Naruto: The Complete Fighter Profile - Page 1. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 30.4 30.5 30.6 30.7 30.8 Alfonso, Andrew (2004-09-26). TGS 2004: Naruto Gekitō Ninja Taisen! 3 Hands-on. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 31.7 31.8 31.9 "IGN - Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 Images". IGN (IGN). 2008-06-03. http://media.wii.ign.com/media/965/965447/imgs_1.html. Retrieved 2008-06-19.
- ↑ 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 32.5 32.6 Bozon, Mark (2006-09-29). Naruto: The Complete Fighter Profile - Page 4. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ 33.0 33.1 Nintendo Power; volume 230, pg. 32-33.
- ↑ Naruto Revolution 3, Nine-Tailed Transformation image. IGN (October 12, 2009). Retrieved on October 13, 2009
- ↑ Tomy, ed (2005) (in Japanese). Naruto: Gekitō Ninja Taisen 4 Japanese instruction manual. Tomy. p. 25.
- ↑ "Naruto.TOMY-USA.COM - Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2". Tomy (D3 Publisher). http://naruto.tomy-usa.com/game.php?id=10. Retrieved 2009-07-01.
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- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 Bozon, Mark (2006-09-29). Naruto: The Complete Fighter Profile - Page 3. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-25
- ↑ IGN Video: Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 Nintendo Wii Video-Tenten Shippuden(Tag Battle). Retrieved on July 18, 2009
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- ↑ Magazine Scan. Retrieved on May 25, 2009
- ↑ Revolution 3 Ranking Image. IGN (October 12, 2009). Retrieved on October 13, 2009
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- ↑ Vasconcellos, Eduardo (2006-03-21). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-07-18
- ↑ Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 (cube: 2006): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ Smith, D.F.. Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Review. X-Play. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ 52.0 52.1 52.2 Bozon, Mark (2006-09-22). Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ 53.0 53.1 Davis, Ryan (2006-09-28). Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ Villoria, Gerald (2006-10-09). 738064p1.html Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Review. GameSpy. Retrieved on 2007-07-24
- ↑ Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 Reaches Sales Milestone. GameSpot (2006-04-03). Retrieved on 2007-07-23
- ↑ Bozon, Mark (2007-10-19). "IGN - Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution Review". IGN. http://wii.ign.com/articles/828/828965p1.html. Retrieved 2007-10-22.
- ↑ Nintendo Power magazine, volume 222, page 84
- ↑ Nintendo Power magazine, volume 235, page 102
- ↑ Mark Bozon (October 20, 2008). Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 Review. IGN Wii. Retrieved on 2008-11-03
- ↑ Ryan Clements (November 12, 2009). Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 Review. IGN. Retrieved on November 14, 2009
- Official Naruto Nintendo Games site (English)
- Official TOMY Publisher site (English)
- Official D3 Publisher site (English)
- Official D3 Publisher site
- Official Eighting site