Game: Naruto Shippuuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles
System: Nintendo Wii
Review by: Denoch
The craze for the ninja Naruto and all his companions has taken all over the Americas with children and grown men alike (myself included). We all imitate their hand signal jutsu, the way they run, and possibly sneak around the house just to be a ninja of the hidden villages. With all the Naruto games out on every possible gaming system, is Dragon Blade worth picking up or is it better to keep pretending to be a ninja at home? Most fans of Naruto, aka Narutards, will be pleased and disappointed by my experience in this new journey.
Story- I will start by saying that this storyline is not part of the manga or the anime, all content is original to the game and has nothing to do with the writer, Masashi Kishimoto, creator of the series. There is a new enemy that threatens the hidden leaf village, Kuroma, one of the last dragon guardian’s has taken upon himself to gain the power of all five Dragons and seek revenge on all the world who has shun him and his younger sister Akari. Looking for refuge and a way to stop his brother, Akari turns to the leaf village for help but is followed by creatures of Mount Koryu where the dragons reside. With Akari and the ninja village teaming up, Naruto gains a blade that can help destroy all the dragons, and different elemental scrolls to defeat enemies along the way. With the premise in place, the story is very boring and has very little spice to keep the player from pressing the skip button. The younger crowd might not care, but the older guys might want to throw the Wii mote at the tv for allowing a lousy storyline go into production.
Graphics- It is quite difficult to screw up the visuals on a game like Naruto since most games are either cell shaded or animated. With that being said, most of the graphics in Dragon Blade Chronicles are very similar to that of the Clash Ninja games. With few exceptions of course, one of the new elements presented is the new armor that Naruto and team 7 wear, it is a combination of samurai and ninja clothing.
Gameplay- Unlike Naruto Ninja Storm, Dragon Blade is an open, free roaming hack-n-slash game that can be mostly played by just running past certain AI and proceeding to the next area. Certain fights are insignificant and can sometimes cause you to think why you are not playing a different Naruto game instead. There are different jutsu at your disposable besides your blade, and then there is your back up like Sakura who can heal you, Yamato who can restrain enemies, or Kakashi who can cause offensive damage. All back up can be very repetitive after a while and they do not provide that great satisfaction like in other Naruto titles.
Sound- Every single actor reprises their respective roles on the translated English version, which is always a plus in my book. You never want to hear someone who does not sound like the person you are used to hearing. The editing however is poorly done and the production makes the voice actors sound like amateurs. Between conversations and/or dialogue there is a 1 to 2 second delay which is very noticeable considering the cut scenes are lengthy.
Wishes or Changes- It is virtually impossible to have changes on a game that is very badly made. My only wish is that TOMY should go back to the drawing board, make a new game from scratch, and consider doing a better audio editing on the voices. They should focus on the original story that we all are used to and love. Last but not least, is to create a game that is at least a little challenging, and not so boring.
TQ bottom line- The bottom line is that Dragon Blade makes me mad for picking up this game. Players will see right through the flaws as a gamer, but also as a fan of the series. Young kids who are fans will only care that they have a Naruto game in their hands and will be easy to please till the next installment is out. Grown men stay away from this one, any kids who don’t read blogs will most likely have it because it has NARUTO on the cover.
-FINAL SCORE: 2 out of 5 Michelas!
Naruto Shippuuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles