The Ultimate Ninja Storm series has been providing fun anime fighting since its debut in 2008 and now, the most recent entry is finally available for Switch in a comprehensive package that contains oodles of DLC. But, is it any good? Believe it!
Back in 2017, I played and reviewed Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy for Xbox One which contains all 4 mainline Ultimate Ninja Storm games as well as DLC for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 including the Road to Boruto pack and a few other packs. So, what's different with this release? Well, it contains everything that was in the Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy bundle plus a new piece of DLC called the Next Generations Pack which includes 11 new costumes and Momoshiki Otsutsuki and Kinshiki Otsutsuki as playable characters. In other words, if you don't yet own Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 then this is certainly a great excuse to finally get it. Thankfully, it plays impressively well on Switch. Of course, it looks better on Xbox One but a game with as beautifully animated visuals as this running well on Switch is still fantastic. Also, the music and voice acting are wonderful and meet Naruto's established high bar.
The Ultimate Ninja Storm games have been a blast to play since the beginning yet this sequel manages to outdo its predecessors by offering over-the-top battles that'll frequently make your jaw drop with a consistent display of crazy special moves, action-packed exchanges, and plenty of supplementary mechanics thrown in just to keep you on your toes. Whether you're using substitution jutsu to evade a powerful blow or transforming into a giant neon monster, there's a ton of fun to be had with the combat here.
Fortunately, there's a wealth of modes to enjoy the fighting gameplay within. For starters, there are 2 story modes to play through with one featuring Naruto and friends and the other starring his son in Road to Boruto. There's also an adventure mode which offers a bunch of missions and acts like a nostalgia-fueled romp for fans. All of this will take about a dozen hours to play through but if you want to collect and master everything, you're looking at about 40 hours which is a lot of gameplay time for a fighter.
Besides the story-based content, you can also challenge others via online multiplayer with up to 8 player tournaments and challenge free battles such as survival mode, practice, local multiplayer, and more. As you play, you'll fill out a collection and earn Ryo that you can exchange for unlockables. Customizing things such as substitution jutsu items and your online ninja card can be quite rewarding.
Finally, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto has its issues although they're far from game-breaking. First, the enemy AI is pretty easy to exploit after you play for a while because opponents seem to only behave according to how you're playing. For example, I found the best way to topple tricky enemies is to simply perform unpredictable actions such as cancelling my combos then getting a few quick hits in. It definitely doesn't feel like you're playing against an actual player. Also, as with a lot of these kinds of games, some battles and missions can be rather monotonous. Whether you're chipping away at an easy boss or carrying out a boring fetch quest, things can become tiresome quickly. I'm glad to say that at least these moments are few and far between.
As of this moment, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is the best game in the franchise so if you enjoy anime fighting games and want a great one on your Switch then you should definitely give this a go.
- + Fantastic visuals and sound / performs rather well on the Switch
- + Excellent and refined fighting gameplay
- + Oodles of content to play through
- - Doesn't contain much new compared to previous versions
- - AI can be fairly dumb
- - Some missions and battles are tedious