What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon fighter looks and feels similar to the popular TV series. The game doesn't show blood, gore, or intense violence, but it's a fighting game. Also, the "mild suggestive themes" warned by the ESRB come out of the clothing worn by the female fighters, which is short and tight.
What's it about?
Not surprisingly, the mega-popular Naruto animated television show on the Cartoon Network -- based on the Japanese manga (comics) series -- has spawned many successful DVDs, action figures, video and card games, books, and more. Now, Nintendo Wii owners can test their skills as a young ninja with NARUTO: CLASH OF NINJA REVOLUTION, a fun and fast-paced video game that, while not doing much to push the fighting genre forward, delivers a fun and frenetic brawler for you and up to three friends. Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution lets you play as or against more than 20 familiar characters including Naruto, Sasuke, and Sakura, plus lesser-known fighters such as Tenten and Temari.
As with most fighting games, all of the characters have special powers to master. While a bit confusing at first, you can control Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution by holding the Wii Remote horizontally; using the Wii Remote and tethered Nunchuk controller (recommended); or using the Wii Classic Controller ($19.99) or the original GameCube controller. The game doesn't take full advantage of the Wii's motion-sensing technology, but the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo is still the best option. Along with button presses, you can move the two controllers through the air to enhance basic and heavy attacks or to deflect projectiles.
Is it any good?
Naruto: Clash of Ninja Revolution offers eight fighting arenas -- which is plenty -- though we've seen a few of them in past Naruto video games. In this Wii exclusive, however, each stage has two areas you can fight in, therefore you can toss an enemy off to one side of the ring and it might lead to the secondary location to continue the clash. And thanks to nine game modes, you can expect a lot of bang for your buck. The single-player options include training, a story-driven mission mode, player vs. CPU, time attack, survival mode, and fun (but basic) mini-games. Multiplayer modes are two-player head-to-head or one-on-three -- against each other or against computer-controlled fighters -- and a cooperative survival mode against computer-controlled opponents.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether this game would be fun to play if it didn't have the familiar Naruto faces, voices, and locations. Is this game taking advantage of the TV show's popularity, or does it have its own legs to stand on (or both)?