(image credit: Naruto Storm 4)

There’s big news for the Na­ruto fanbase this month. While the manga ended on November 10, 2014, the video game series following the knuckleheaded ninja’s story, Ultimate Ninja Storm, has finally caught up and wrapped up its series with the re­lease of “Naruto Shippuden Ulti­mate Ninja Storm 4” February 9.

Minor spoiler alert: “Na­ruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4” picks up where the third game ended, in the middle of the Fourth Great Ninja War at the point where it informs gam­ers of Hashirama and Madara’s past with Naruto fighting Mada­ra alongside Kakashi attempting to reveal his true identity.

Storm 4 is the first title in the series to take on next generation consoles, it has been released for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and they have taken full ad­vantage of the new hardware.

The game consists of over 100 playable characters with some having various costumes to wear. Improvements have been made to the game’s mechanics allow­ing you to choose a character’s

Ultimate Ninjutsu from the list of the techniques they know before battle, and also allows you to switch places with one of your support characters mid-fight. Some teams have also been given a special Team Finish move, so battling with different teams can be rewarding.

The game also comes with several modes. Story Mode is a branching timeline of battles and cut scenes from the fight between Hashirama and Madara all the way to the final moments of the anime. Adventure Mode is un­locked after completion of Story Mode and allows players to ex­plore the world after the events of the story completing side quests and interacting with some of the game’s many characters.

Just like games prior, Storm 4 has an online battle mode where players can connect to other gamers across the globe and battle it out in with their favorite teams in a Best of Three competi­tion.

No game is ever perfect. The challenge of acquiring the Secret Factor in quick time events has been made significantly easier by requiring less stars in order to obtain it. This change allows for slower reaction times, lessening the feel of immersion in the com­bat. Also, the online sometimes experiences problems connect­ing to a match.

Storm 4, overall, has really improved on some core concepts fans have been asking for. With great replay ability, improved hardware, and a smoother expe­rience, finishing off the franchise could not have come in a better way.


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