A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is an action/fighting game based on the popular Naruto anime/manga series. Players can choose from more than 100 characters from across the franchise to fight in arena-style hand-to-hand combat, using various martial arts skills and supernatural abilities. Violence against other human characters is the core of the gameplay. There's regular use of blood and violent scenes. While there's no overt sexual activity, some characters are shown wearing revealing clothing and in suggestive poses. Up to eight players can fight via online play, which could potentially expose younger kids to offensive conversations in party chats.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
In NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 4, fans get to tap into the spirit of the Nine-Tailed Fox and relive the series' epic finale. They say all good things must come to an end, and even though Naruto Uzumaki's adventures are winding down, he's not about to leave without a fight. Fans can try out their own ninja skills in battle with or against any of the game's more than 100 playable characters pulled from the complete history of the Naruto franchise. Run up walls, channel your chakra, and fight against the computer or online with up to eight players to prove your worth and become the greatest hero (or villain) in all of the Shinobi World.
Is it any good?
After more than 15 years, the story of Naruto Uzumaki and the ninja of the Hidden Leaf Village has finally come to a close, and the end of an epic tale needs an epic finale. For gamers, that's where Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 comes in. From a presentation standpoint, the game is top-notch. The characters look as if they've been pulled straight from the series and brought to life. It's genuinely like you're playing an active part in the anime. With its massive, more-than-100-strong roster of characters from the entirety of the Naruto franchise, as well as a story that recounts the conclusion of the Shippuden series, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is bursting at the seams with content and fan service. As great as this may seem at first glance, you might realize too late that it's too much of a good thing.
Unfortunately, much like Naruto has learned over the years, it takes a lot of practice, as well as trial and error, to be effective in battle. Controlling the on-screen action with any real skill requires a good sense of timing and being aware of your surroundings. When characters start pulling off huge moves, running up walls, or otherwise flooding the screen with action, there's simply too much going on at once to keep track of. And with so many characters in the game, fans are likely to fall into one of two distinct categories. On one side of the spectrum will be the fans that pick only one or two characters to try to master, thereby missing out on all the unique features of the rest of the fighters. On the other side will be the fans that try out all the characters and, without taking the time to learn the intricacies of the sometimes-confusing controls, fall back to simple, repetitive button-mashing. The result is a fighting game that's an embarrassment of riches, falling just short of achieving balance despite itself.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in entertainment. How does violence in cartoons or in video games compare to violence in the real word? Does seeing it in video games reduce its impact?
Talk about friendship and helping others. How important are the bonds of friendship, and what are some ways to help out your friends?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: February 9, 2016
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.