|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: 8ing/Raizing||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: TOMY||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
October 19, 2009 - While the Naruto: Clash of Ninja franchise was a fan favorite during its run on the GameCube, the franchise started slipping on the Wii. Though the first was certainly a good effort (and jam-packed with content), the second iteration seemed like it merely recycled much of the content from the first and didn't have any new material worth fan attention. However, now that the third offering is in the works, can we expect anything new? Well, from the looks of it, the answer is a resounding "yes!"
We recently got a chance to catch up with the folks at TOMY, and they assured us that Clash of Ninja Renoultion 3 will restore its rank as the best fighting experience on the Wii, and it will be including plenty of new modes, characters, and match types to keep fans' attention.
Like most other Naruto games that have been released in the past year, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will take place during the start of the Shippuden saga, taking fans all the way through the Rescue Gaara story arc. Although this certainly isn't the first game to tell this part of the story (its more like the fourth), it is the first on the Wii, and if you haven't played any of the other Naruto Shippuden games, then the story will be new to you, and that's what counts.
Aside from the new storyline, there will be plenty more for fans to lap up in Clash of Ninja Revolution 3. One of the biggest modifications will come from the battle system, which has been improved greatly. While the battle system in previous Revolution games has been fairly good, there were certain actions, like knockdowns, sidesteps, and blocking, which didn't feel natural. Senior producer Mike Jones said that all of these mechanics have been fine-tuned to give the user the kind of control that they've come to expect from other fighting games on different consoles.
In addition to the tuned controls, the core battle system will also sport some improvements. One of the biggest changes for Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will be the inclusion of new Latent Ninja Powers. These powers are designed to replace Crisis Mode from previous iterations and are a series of passive abilities that will strengthen characters as their life dwindles. While previous games just saw a state change for characters, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will unlock new jutsu and, depending on the character, better blocking or stronger attack power. Another improvement that the latent ninja powers will have over the previously-used crisis mode is that each character will have a latent ninja power specific to them. For instance, if you are playing as Gaara and your latent ninja power is active, you will be able to block using your sand shield without chip damage. If you are playing as Kisame, your latent ninja power will give you the ability to make water clones without using chakra.
As far as fighting modes are concerned, all the fan favorite modes from previous entries will be making an appearance, including the standard versus modes, mission mode, kumite mode, and score attack. However, there will be two new notable additions to the mode roster. First up is a two-on-two option that will allow up to four players at once to participate in a tag-team-style match. Although only one character at a time will be able to fight, you can do special assist attacks at certain strategic moments in the battle.
However, the most anticipated new mode for Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will be the Wi-Fi mode. This will allow players to fight one-on-one battles with players from all over the world. It is the first Clash of Ninja game to feature an online mode, and it is also the first Shippuden game to feature it as well. Players will be able to fight random matches, ranked matches, and also keep track of friends and rivals who are playing online. While there won't be too many robust playing options within the online arena (we were told that WiiSpeak is definitely out and there is only one match type) the fact that the online modes exist and can allow you to build rosters of friends and rivals you frequently battle with is definitely a cool facet, and it should keep the online component immersive and memorable.
Like all Shippuden games, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will feature a character roster filled with the older versions of characters from previous games. Interestingly, there will not be multiple versions of each character (one from each side of the time change) in this title, and the producer we spoke to was able to confirm that all of the characters will be from the Shippuden world only. Despite loosing the little versions of the Naruto characters, there will be several new characters for Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 that have not been in any other US-based Clash of Ninja game. This includes Akatsuki members Deidara and Kisame, Granny Chiyo, and Sasori. Although the full character roster has yet to be revealed, we do know that the finished game will feature over 35 characters.
Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is definitely looking like it will rectify the mistakes of its predecessor. While Clash of Ninja Revolution 2 featured recycled content and old gameplay, the third iteration is revamping the controls, gameplay, and adding new modes to keep eager fans happy. Although we've seen the story before on other consoles, Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 will be the first Wii title to feature the Shippuden saga, and it looks like it could possibly restore the series as the Naruto fan favorite when it releases this November.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor