Because of the cutesy nature of the show Naruto Spin off!: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, I assumed this game was going to be really simple. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find out it’s actually more complex than I thought.
In the game, you play as one of the two stars of the show, Naruto or Rock Lee. Each of them even has their own storyline that, according to the PR lady, follows the anime story very closely. The game is broken up into cut scenes that tell the story with fighting in between. And the fighting’s not limited to just other ninja, you’ll be taking on scary wolves, angry birds (not those kind) and other manner of human and non-human foes.
The combat seems simple, but once you get into it you’ll find there’s a bit more to it than what appears at first glance. Both Naruto and Rock Lee have a variety of attacks, super moves, and defensive moves. You can also call support characters in to help you during battles. Some of the moves are super easy, and others will require a little more dexterity and timing. I was actually surprised at the complexity of a few of the moves.
The game has a pretty cool difficulty adjustment system that allows for the wee ones to play, as well as older fans. When you enter a battle you can adjust the difficulty setting during each fight. There are five levels of difficulty, and each has a higher XP reward. But choosing a harder difficulty doesn’t actually make the enemies harder to defeat, just the conditions.
For instance, to clear the easy difficultly, you have to have 50% of your stamina. Relatively easy. On the hardest difficulty, you have to clear by taking no damage. A much harder feat. However, even if you don’t meet any of the conditions, you can still pass the level by beating everybody up and not dying. Kind of a neat way to adjust the difficulty as well as provide replay value.
Although I didn’t get that much time to play it, the game's depth surprised me. Looking forward to spending more time with it when it comes out March 5. Oh! And the game’s cute. Like really cute. Like SUPER CUTE.
NARUTO Spin-Off: Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals artwork and elements © K.TAIRA, M.KISHIMOTO/SHUEISHA, TV TOKYO, PIERROT
Namco Bandai Games Website
by Urian Brown