A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is based off the Naruto cartoon on television. Naruto and friends battle enemies with an array of punches, kicks, and throws. Players can also use a dagger to throw or slash opponents, and can throw bombs. Some elements of Broken Bond are a bit risquu. For example, one of Naruto special powers is distracting opponents by summoning a naked girl appropriately covered by clouds. One of the themes is about seeking vengence against a family member who slaughtered the other members of the family. The game is also playable online, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for children under the age of 12.
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What's it about?
Teen ninja Naruto returns to the Xbox 360 with adventure NARUTO: THE BROKEN BOND, a satisfying combination of puzzle-solving, platforming, and hand-to-hand combat. Naruto must aid a ninja master named Jiraiya in finding the next Hokage, or leader, of the Leaf Village. The story also focuses on Naruto's friend Sasuke, who is seeking vengeance against his older brother Itachi after he slaughtered their family.
Broken Bond is a hybrid of multiple video game genres. Some platforming is involved. Role-playing elements come into play through random encounters as well as the ability to earn points to bolster your skills. There is some puzzle--solving as well. Combat is handled much like a fighting game, where Naruto or other players will square off against the other, unleashing a bevy of combinations and special attacks. A meter measures your Jutsu, a ninja power Naruto and others can use to unleash powerful attacks. Once you complete the single-player adventure, you can then select between the game's 30 fighters and battle friends locally or online via Xbox Live.
Is it any good?
Broken Bond, much like previous titles in the series, are suited perfectly to the hardcore Naruto fan. The game offers a nice blend of multiple genres that keeps the experience fresh. Graphics are almost identical to the cartoon series, showcasing sharp, colorful animations. Puzzle-solving often involves utilizing a character's Jutsu to advance. For example, Naruto can use his Shadow Clone Jutsu to create clones of himself, which he can use to form a bridge.
The fighting is pretty solid as well. Players string together a series of horizontal and vertical attacks for lethal combinations. Using the Jutsu requires some strategy as well, since attempting those moves leaves you prone to opponents' attacks. There are moments where the fighting can devolve into frantic button-mashing. However, the more skilled fighters force you to tactically use moves like block or counter. While this game might not appeal to every player, it's the ideal choice for any Naruto fan.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this Naruto game compares to the cartoon. What elements make the game better or worse than the television series? Did you buy this game because you are a fan of the TV show? Can you think of other licenses that increase their audiance by creating video games featuring a popular TV hero?
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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.