Recently I was lucky enough to sit down for a Q and A with three of the very talented staff from Tomy about their upcoming game Naruto: Ninja Destiny. This is one of the first 3D fighting games for the DS that was released in Japan several months ago. This version of the game boasts improved frame rate and several new characters that are available for the first time in this release.
The game will have 16 playable characters. The Japanese version of the game had 13 characters, which include Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Kakashi Hatake, Gaara, Neji, Rock, Might Guy, Shikamaru, Itachi, and Nine-Tailed Naruto. With the three new characters added for the American version being Tsunade, Jiraiya, and Orochimaru. Nine of the sixteen characters will be locked at the beginning of the game. The sixteen characters will have a move set of between 8 – 10 moves/combos and one massive cinematic jutsu to draw from for the gameplay experience.
The game also features a power up system that ranges of 15 different items that can be activated by pressing the touch screen. The items range in power from healing health or chakra (the power used to do moves), making attacks stronger or stopping the opponent from using a jutsu (moves). Only a certain amount of items can be taken into battle at a time, which adds a level of strategy. Since the items are meant to be used in the heat of battle with the player’s thumb the buttons have been made large, taking up a good portion of the screen, for easy access.
The game features three modes, single player (story mode), a single player battle mode that allows the player and select to either fight against one computer controlled character or a series of them, or versus mode where the player can battle against a friend that is in the same room. When playing against a friend in the same room another cart will be required to battle. Sadly this fighter does not allow for internet battles.
The story mode of the game allows players to play through most of the story from the most currently released episode of Naruto in the United States. The story mode starts towards the end of the chunin exam and ends at roughly episode 100, right around where the American series is currently at, but for content of the game draws from the 140 story episode of Naruto. The story scenes of the game will not feature any voice acting, but fortunately the battles will.
Besides the improved frame rate over the Japanese version of the game the developers have been hard at improving the responsiveness of the game. Besides an improved responsiveness the battle pass has been sped up to create a more frantic feeling. Added on top of all of this is a different story mode than the one that was featured in the Japanese release of the game.
Naruto: Ninja Destiny is set to be released on the last week of February, and with new characters, and improved single player experience, and a much improved frame rate the game looks to be one of the best fighting games that has been released on the DS.