The Perfect Storm
As a long standing fan of Naruto in all of its forms, I was extremely excited for the conclusion of the Storm games. Storm 4 being the 6th and supposedly final entry into the series, expectations are high for what CyberConnect2 call “The Perfect Storm”. So does Storm 4 meet these expectations and serve as a fitting conclusion to the series? I’m glad to say that it sure does.
Because We’re Friends
There honestly isn’t all that much to say for Storm 4’s story mode, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Storm 4 picks up just after Storm 3, still following the same story line and events of the manga. Of course we knew this would be the case and i’m happy to say that its nearly identical to the manga in its own way. The end of the story is told through outstanding cut-scenes, images and CGI. The voice acting is excellent in both language options (English and Japanese) however I would recommend setting it to Japanese. This is not only because it’s more authentic, but also because the lip syncing in the cut-scenes is only done for Japanese, so I found it annoying and odd when playing in English. For those who are unfamiliar with the manga or anime, but have been following the games, Storm 4 is a fitting ending to this expertly crafted story even if it isn’t as detailed as the manga or anime.
A Formula Perfected
Storm 4 features 4 main modes from the get-go: Story, Adventure, Online Battle and Free Battle. Story mode gets rid of the open world that Storm 2 and Storm 3 used as a hub world for the story and instead uses a system that’s similar to Storm Revolutions Ninja Escapades mode. You move from level to level in a time line. This time line branches every now and again, telling the stories of Kakashi and Obito, Hashirama and Madara and the overall conclusion to the series. This worked better than I thought it would and is incredibly accessible. Any cut-scene or fight can be replayed from this timeline, meaning you don’t have to sit through battles to get to a particular section you want to revisit. I found this incredibly useful, simply because I wanted to go back and do some of the quick time events again. I finished the story mode in around 6 or so hours and estimated times are shown for both cut-scenes and battles. Adventure mode is set after the story mode and consists of the open world from Storm 2 and Storm 3. In this open world, quest like events can be taken on to earn goodies. Most of these events consist of fighting, fetch quests or a bit of both. You only control Naruto in the open world, but when you pick up memory fragments across the world you enter a battle as whoever that fight is based around. There is also a fast travel system implemented which is a lot more useful than I thought it would be. I managed to do all the events in Adventure mode in 7 hours. Adventure mode was definitely an interesting experience, but I did prefer Story mode. Free and Online Battles are exactly what they sound like. Free Battles allow you to play against computers or a second player as characters of your choice. It certainly adds a lot of replayability to the game and is tonnes of fun to play with friends. The Online Battles are the same, the main difference being is that it’s Online. My only gripe with Online Battles is that they can lag, even if you’re hosting the session. Some games it was fine but others it got in the way completely and ruined the experience. I’m sure some people don’t have these issues and hopefully it’s fixed for those that do. I can see many people sinking hours into both of these modes, hopefully providing longevity to the game. The combat system that the Storm series has returned once again and it is flawless. It plays almost identically to Storm 3 with a few new additions. The ability to synchronize awakenings based on support characters is awesome and the team ultimate jutsu are back too with a few new ones. The character roster has also been expanded once again to 147 ninja, making it the largest roster in the series.
The Smoothest Storm Yet
Like most other franchises, Storm 4 makes the jump to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and it benefits greatly. The game looks amazing in 1080p and runs at a smooth 60 FPS with almost no hiccups. There was one noticeable drop in frame-rate in one of the Story Mode missions, but it never caused any unfair deaths or annoyances. Every arena and open world the game has to offer is faithful to the manga and they look beautiful. The CGI and cut-scenes are exceptional and this makes the quick time events amazing. Yes I did just say quick time events. A staple in the Storm series is what they’ve always been, but they’ve also always been jaw-droppingly awesome and Storm 4 is no exception. I found myself in awe after seeing any one of them play out and even went back to revisit a few of them just to experience them again. The sound effects and music are also amazing, with some themes from older Storm games returning, especially in the Memory-Fragment battles.
Verdict: Very Good
If you’re a fan of Naruto, the Storm games or anime you have to give this one a go. This is one of the best entries into the Storm series and serves as an extremely fitting conclusion to a thankfully excellent franchise. The Storm series as a whole has been excellent, and i’m sad to see them come to an end. Hopefully CyberConnect2 work on more Naruto games in the future with the same love and care that they have given to the Storm series. If they choose not to continue with Naruto, I wish them the best of luck and can’t thank them enough for doing justice to the series.
– Largest roster in a Naruto game
-Fitting conclusion to the series
– Looks amazing
-Spectacle is awesome
-Fighting system is perfect
-Minor frame-rate drops in certain missions
Thanks for reading guys, a review for XCOM 2 will be up hopefully in the next two weeks, so keep an eye out for that!