Naruto fans rejoice, the fighting game based on the hit anime and manga will have 70 playable characters, which covers a massive amount of the cast, and a recent screenshot shown in V-Jump has The First Hokage fighting The Second Hokage and shows that 70 playable characters are available. If you don’t follow Naruto, the Hokage are basically the elite of the elites, and leaders of Konoha. Scan after the jump (Japanese only, sorry).
The overall list of Naruto characters in the series itself numbers in the several hundreds, including non-humanoids, non-combatants, and some who are simply not important at all, so obviously having them all in a single fighting game would be utterly absurd. Regardless, 70 playable characters is a very large sum and is likely enough to cover the entire important cast for the part of the storyline that UNS will take place in.
Unfortunately I’m not a Naruto buff at all and I can only name around ten characters total and that’s if I really strain myself, so I can’t identify the characters in the screenshots posted all that well. If you can however, brilliant.
Since I’ve not covered this much, I’ll give a rundown of the game’s details. Naruto Shippuden: UNS is a fighting game that loosely covers the events of the anime from the first episode to possibly the Five Kage Summit or Confining the Jinchuriki arc, which is a sizable amount of the series. It plays like most anime-based fighting games, but has some additional quirks to make it stand out among the rest. For example, the Awakening Mode which is from the previous UNS will allow a character to sharply increase their power once they start to lose health, with the requirements being different between each character and between each transformation. If you have played the Budokai DBZ games, you pretty much have a good idea of how this system works.
Playable characters include Naruto himself in both young and older incarnations, same with Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi, Sai, Deidara, Orochimaru, and many others who have made an appearance in the series. Some characters however like C or Ao are only available as support characters, and are not directly playable in any way.
Known playable stages include the training field, a grassy plain, the Kage Summit Hall, and a destroyed version of Orochimaru’s hideout. If the previous versions of the game are anything to go by, these areas will be fully destructible as high-level ninja powers go flying in all directions. The game will also support worldwide online multiplayer matches through the PS3 and 360 online capabilities.
It’s not fully known yet what features from the previous games will be retained, but I find that most anime games follow an approach that involves heavily tweaking and improving as many aspects of the game as possible, creating a successively better game that makes the previous pale in comparison. Features from earlier games included things like free roaming around the region, team jutsus and team combos, as well as powerful ultimate attacks that call upon your skill to input functions before your opponent can to deliver a killing blow in the middle of the match.
I’m not even a fan of Naruto at all and I’m considering getting this because it looks just damn awesome. Ultimate Ninja Storm will be released for the 360 and PS3 in Spring 2012.