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The Broken Bond picks up where Naruto: Rise of a Ninja left off, taking place between episodes 81-135 of the anime. It contains the Return of Itachi, Search for Tsunade, and the Sasuke Retrieval story arcs. There are 30 playable characters, a new tag-team system and original voice acting and music from the original Naruto anime.
The game was first revealed at the E3 2008 Convention, although work on it had started before the release of the first game. According to team member Masao Kobayashi, the developers wanted to bring something new to the franchise but still keeping the same feel of the anime that the first game had. The art direction of the sequel was definitely one of the biggest factors taken into consideration for the development of this new game.
The environments were a big part of the first game and one of the things they wanted to make sure was that the environments in The Broken Bond would support the exploration factor by being very “rich and dense.” The lighting of the game was improved to complement the dynamic story, adding a new casting system, allowing the creation of maps with a more watercolor feel. Unlike the previous game, where the cutscenes were 2D, The Broken Bond now has 3D cinematics. There are also a lot more NPCs. Within the adventure mode, there are now over 70 unique character models.
The developers for The Broken Bond have also decided to keep the multiplayer system like Rise of a Ninja, but have improved upon it in several ways. The online format has been overhauled with a new ranking system, the fighting system has been greatly tweaked, and there are now 30 characters to choose from, 28 different characters and 2 bonus variations of Naruto, Sasuke and one for Itachi.
Naruto: The Broken Bond reveived mildly positive reviews from critics. Gamespot awarded the game 7.0 out 10 and said "The saving grace of this package is the fighting modes". IGN awarded the game 8.3 out of ten and said "Much of Broken Bond improves on Rise of a Ninja, but there are a few areas that seem worse." The website Total Video Games awarded it 9 out of ten. Games Master UK awarded the game 81% and said that the game is "Not great for newcomers, but the ideal follow up to "Rise of a Ninja's" abrupt finish". X360 Magazine UK and Official Xbox Magazine both awarded the game 80%. The game has an 80% rating on metacritic.