Ultimate Ninja Storm Bonds: A Hit Formula Sells Out

# CyberConnect2 Continues to Raise the Bar with “Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections”

## A Decade of Dominance in Anime Gaming

The CyberConnect2 studio has unquestionably played a fundamental role in elevating the quality of anime-based games. With more than ten years of experience, the studio has pioneered arena fighter games and delivered captivating products such as “Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot.” However, it is their Naruto saga: “Ultimate Ninja Storm” that truly revolutionized the anime fighting game genre. Boasting four mainline titles and two spin-offs, the franchise now welcomes “Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections,” more than seven years after the exceptional fourth installment. Its ambition? To offer the ultimate “Storm” gaming experience.

## What’s New in the Ultimate Ninja Storm Experience?

“Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections” introduces a slew of exciting features, such as ten new characters from the Boruto series and an original story mode plot. Beyond the inclusion of new characters, the game also promises adjustments to the existing roster and gameplay elements. Although the game represents a pinnacle in terms of gameplay, its overall package, introductory price, and perceived lack of passion from a seemingly autopilot CyberConnect2 makes it difficult to wholeheartedly recommend.

### Accessible Yet Profound Combat

For newcomers to the series, “Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections” is a 3D fighting game where players manage a team of up to three ninjas. With the ability to switch between team members and have reserve ninjas perform assist actions, the combat system thrives on the idea of “easy to learn, hard to master.” One notable addition is the “simple control scheme,” which leans toward a more hands-off fighting experience, allowing the game to handle character movement while players focus on attacks. Though simplified, this optional control scheme is a fantastic gateway for learning the ins and outs of combos and combat strategies.

The game has undergone several gameplay advancements; for instance, each character now boasts two jutsus in addition to their special attack. Combo execution is much more accessible, the chakra bar has been revised, and overall adjustments lead to a much fresher, offensively-oriented, and exhilarating gameplay experience.

### The Highs and Lows of the Latest Installment

Although “Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections” dazzles with its enhanced gameplay, the traditionally strong aspects of the series, such as graphics and narrative, have become its Achilles’ heel this time around. Graphically, it feels outdated, failing to match or surpass the visuals of “Storm 4.” The special attacks, while still spectacular, lack the former impact, exposing the graphics engine’s age.

Content-wise, the narrative disappoints. The traditional story mode lazily recycles old battles and scenes with no substantial updates, while the Boruto-based characters are underutilized, with none of their stories adequately adapted into the game. Additionally, the special story mode offers a narrative reminiscent of filler content or secondary movie plots, lacking the innovative battles and gameplay elements that once made “Ultimate Ninja Storm” games stand out.

### A Dedicated Fan’s Treat with a Rich Roster

Where the game excels is in its comprehensive encyclopedia, detailing the series’ universe and an array of character customizations. With 130 characters on the roster, the game provides an extensive selection unrivaled since the likes of “Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi 3,” ideal for long-time fans and those particularly invested in the series’ online modes.

“Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections” is best suited for die-hard fans seeking the ultimate gameplay refinement in the series. However, those yearning for the epic story modes of yesteryears, a deeper dive into the Boruto storyline, or substantial new content might feel let down, as the additions feel more like an expansion than a full new entry.

In the end, despite the polished formula that once revolutionized the genre, “Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections” arrives with a bittersweet taste. A culmination of excellence in gameplay overshadowed by a disappointing lack of innovation in graphics and storytelling.

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