Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker Game Poster Image
Fun multiplayer ninja action held back by technical issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This is an anime fighting game. There are no messages to take from it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

This is a multiplayer-heavy game that lets players battle as a team of four, and compete against other teams online. Those familiar with the Naruto series may recognize the characters and teams you can play as, each with their own abilities. But you won't learn anything new about these characters as there's virtually no backstory here, nor do we get a glimpse into their personality, character traits, habits, and attitudes.

 

Ease of Play

This third-person action game is fairly easy to pick up and play -- especially for those comfortable with these kinds of action games, but there are some camera issues to wrestle with.

Violence

While there's no blood or gore, this is a fighting game with frenetic melee-style combat. Players complete missions -- such as guarding a base or defeating a boss -- and mostly punch, kick, and use various special attacks (like fireballs) to defeat enemy ninjas and creatures. Players can use blades, throwing knives, and shurikens (throwing stars) to inflict damage on characters.

Sex
Language

"Ass" can be heard in the dialog.

Consumerism

This game is based on the popular Japanese anime series, Naruto, which includes television series, manga comics/graphic novels, apparel, video games, and more. there is also the option for in-game purchases, for real cash.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is an action fighting game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This is the latest title in the long-running Naruto game franchise based off the anime, which has also included anime, movies, toys, and other products. Focusing mostly on hand-to-hand combat and other forms of melee attacks, players compete to win the Ninja World League Tournament. Gamers mostly punch, kick, and use various special attacks -- like fireballs, shadow possession and clone attacks -- to defeat enemy ninjas (and some supernatural creatures, too). Players can also use blades, scythes, throwing knives, and shurikens (throwing stars) during combat, although no blood or gore's shown. The word "ass" is heard in dialogue, but other than that, there's no inappropriate content in the game.

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What's it about?

NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER is a multiplayer-centric action game where up to four friends online can team up and battle another team of four. Your goal is to see which ninjas are the best of the bunch by leveraging your skills, weapons, movements, and chosen play styles (Attack, Defend, Ranged, or Heal). You can choose from familiar ninjas and teams in this universe (including Naruto, Sasuke, and Team 7) or create your own avatar with more than 200 customization items and abilities. This third-person action game has a new "cel-shaded" graphic style -- featuring brighter and more vivid colors for characters, maps, and ninjutsu-- plus the emphasis on vertical play makes combat extra fun as you run up walls or scale buildings while throwing deadly shurikens at enemy ninjas.

Is it any good?

Although this multiplayer action game is mostly fun, It's technical glitches keep it from being a fully polished, enjoyable experience you'll return to if you're not a major Naruto fan. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobt Striker lets players go on missions alone to get a feel for the fast-paced movement and fighting, but this game really shines when you look for others to play with and against in an up to eight-person battle. Trash-talking while battling opponents proved to be fun (and funny); it takes time to learn what works and what doesn't to defeat enemy ninjas, master your skills, and winning matches as a team in these vertical urban environments. Co-op missions gives you some purpose to your adventure as well, instead of keeping gameplay as a straightforward fighting game. The action is fast-paced, and seeing multiple ninjas fighting simultaneously is a blast. Timing of your moves and chained combos, use of jutsus is all incredibly important, as well as summoning help when you need it.

Sometimes, though, the action slows down, or there are other technical issues, mostly tied to the camera not following you properly or losing you in a close-quartered environment. These glitches are incredibly frustrating during combat. While there weren't any problems with finding people to play with or against, there could be some synching issues at the start of the match that you may need to wait to the game to fix itself before you take on a co-op mission with your crew. Overall, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is fun and frenetic, but you need to have to patience to get through the technical shortcomings. But fans of this franchise will enjoy this fast-paced ninja brawler.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the violence in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker affected by the lack of blood and cartoonish presentation of the gameplay? Would the violence be intensified if the visuals were more realistic?

  • How important are the bonds of friendship, and what are some ways to help out your friends?

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