| paleface [sys=GC; cat=Fighting; loc=JPN] |
|Surprisingly fun anime-based cel-shaded fighting game. 3D, but plays mostly 2D aside from using the shoulder buttons to dodge to the side. Very simple controls with B for hand/foot attacks, A for projectiles or weapon attacks, Y for throw and X for super. All the characters are ninja kids so of course they have throwing stars, daggers, teleport moves and all that sort of thing. They all seem to have at least one counter move. Graphics and sound are way above par, really surprising quality for an anime game, and you've got a good variety of modes with Vs, Story, and Survival. The cast is quite tiny, unfortunately, with only seven or so characters, and a few of them share rather similar moves, but they all play pretty well.|
Super meter builds quickly and supers cannot be blocked, so they're generally the match-breakers, but each character has a couple chain combos that can be quite nasty as well if they go the full distance. Vs play is particularly fun here since, because the controls are so easy, it's very "pick up and play," and yet you have to have a handle on timing, spacing and countering to succeed.
Turning around is clunky, unfortunately, and you'll often find your character with his back to the enemy and just not feeling like turning around--sometimes the best thing to do is just to double-jump backwards and get back on the right side of them. This sounds lame, and it is, but it affects everyone equally and doesn't come close to ruining the game. The unblockable supers can be abused, I think, particularly if someone doesn't know how to get up in an evasive manner after being knocked down. However, most supers have a pretty long charge-up time, and super-counters are quite exciting to watch.
Story mode is just talking heads and text between bouts, and with the limited cast it's quite short, without even a boss fight. If you aren't a big Naruto fan and don't have others to play with, you might want to pass this one by, but it makes a great casual party fighting game, and controls well on a Wavebird if you haven't got arcade sticks. Supports progressive scan.