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 Road to Buroto is a downloadable expansion pack to a story-driven fighting game released in 2016. It also can be purchased as a complete collection with both the original and the downloadable content (DLC) added. Players punch and kick opponents, as well as use blades and magic, to defeat multiple enemies throughout the game, whether in one-on-one fights in an area or in larger group battles. While clearly an animated adventure, the game is rooted in combat. Along with violence, there's some blood and gore. but it appears more in cut scenes than during actual gameplay. Some characters are stabbed or impaled. The game also lets you summon creatures to help in battle, as well as a bikini-clan harem with busty women who caress the opponent.
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What's it about?
Those who might've fallen behind with one of the more beloved Japanese fighting adventure series today might be able to catch up quickly with NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: ULTIMATE NINJA STORM 4 ROAD TO BORUTO, which includes the previous year's Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 as well as all the DLC (downloadable content) packs for the game, previously exclusive preorder bonuses, and, perhaps most importantly, an all-new adventure. Road to Boruto is a multi-hour single-player adventure that focuses on Naruto's son (and it's tied to a 2016 anime movie). Rather than follow in his father's footsteps, Boruto wants to carve his own path as a warrior, as he sets out from Hidden Leaf Village to seek out a menacing new threat in the shinobi world. Perhaps by training and mastering new "jutsu" moves and combinations, and by joining forces with other playable characters, including Sarada and Mitsuki (and others), he'll be powerful enough to defeat this threat -- even without his father's vast experience.
Is it any good?
For newcomers, this collection is a comprehensive adventure, but for fans of the franchise, it's just more of the same fighting game. If you haven't yet played one of these Naruto Shippuden adventures, these are story-driven fighting games with side quests. Those who love the characters and storylines will get more out of this fiction, but the actual fighting mechanics aren't anything too deep or unique (though it's fun and accessible). The locations don't seem any different than in the previous game, which is disappointing. There's a good amount of variety in the number of playable characters, though, and they can punch, kick, use swords, and use supernatural jutsu abilities to inflict damage on opponents via fireballs, magic blasts, or conjuring help from another world. Controls feel good, and it's fun to fight one-on-one or between groups at other times, as you'll need to shift your tactics accordingly.
Many of the side quests seem like an afterthought and include meaningless actions such as smashing open boxes, so you'll find yourself looking forward to the next fight scene. The tension between Naruto and Boruto grows nicely, too. So, if you already own last year's main game and perhaps some of the DLC, then the $20 price for this new mode is reasonable for the three hours or so of extra content you'll have access to. The entire $60 collection also is a good buy for followers of the series who haven't yet indulged in the latest Naruto Shippuden game, plus all the add-ons. But those who aren't franchise fans will find this a good but not extraordinary anime offering.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in entertainment. How does violence in cartoons or in video games compare with 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
- Price: $49.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: February 7, 2017
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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