Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
|Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3|
|Publisher(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
|Series||Naruto: Ultimate Ninja|
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, known in Japan as Naruto Shippūden: Narutimate Storm 3 (Japanese: NARUTO-ナルト- 疾風伝 ナルティメットストーム3? Hepburn: Naruto Shippūden: Narutimetto Sutōmu 3) is the fourth installment of the UltimatStorm series, is a fighting game developed by CyberConnect2 as part of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja video game series which is based on the successful Naruto manga by Masashi Kishimoto. It was released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by Namco Bandai Games on March 5, 2013 in North America, March 8, 2013 in Europe, and April 18, 2013 in Japan. A re-release, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst was released on October 22 and 24, 2013 in North America and Japan, respectively, while Europe saw release over three months later, on January 31, 2014. A sequel, called Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, was released in 2016.
The game has 80 playable characters and 7 only support characters (81 playable characters and 7 support characters in Full Burst)  The fighting system has been modified, with the Awakening Mode, a state that gave each character enhanced abilities when their health was low, being possible to be used at anytime during a fight, for certain characters. As in the previous games, the player can choose two characters to assist the player character in battle. The assisting characters now can also aid the playable one through the use of thirteen different types of combos. There is a new addition in the Team Attack System as the player can now use their support characters to get ready to charge and attack. Additionally, the assistants have health bars, losing health whenever they get hit, ultimately being unusable when their health bars deplete. If the player has one support character, it has ten health bars. If the player has two support characters, each has five health bars. Several arenas have become interactive, making the player automatically lose a fight if they leave a specific area.
The story mode is similar to that of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 rather than the previous game Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations as it features boss battles that include quick time events and require the use of strategies to defeat the opponent. It also includes the "Ultimate Decision Mode" which gives the option to change the result of the battles.
The plot takes place after Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and it begins with the leaders of all villages, the Kages, gathering to discuss the recent terrorist attacks by criminal organization Akatsuki and the involvement of former Konohagakure ninja Sasuke Uchiha on the latest one. Sasuke's group go to attack the Kages as they seek to capture Danzo Shimura, Konohagakure's current Hokage who is responsible for the Uchiha massacre years ago. As Sasuke is weakened in combat against all Kages, Akatsuki's leader Madara Uchiha (Obito Uchiha) rescues him and request the Kages to hand him over Killer Bee and Naruto Uzumaki as they are the last hosts they need to fulfill their ambitions. The Kages refuse and Madara announces a new shinobi world war as he leaves.
Shortly afterwards, Madara brings Sasuke to Danzo which results in a duel where the Uchiha is victorious. He is then confronted by his former teammates, Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake and Sakura Haruno who seek him to stop his fights, but Sasuke claims his desire to destroy Konoha. Naruto then proposes Sasuke one last final fight to see if he can make it return to the village or the two would die. As the two separate, the new formed Shinobi Alliance has Naruto and Killer Bee be sent to an island to keep them away from Akatsuki. In the island, Naruto confronts his inner darkness allowing him to control the power of the Nine-tailed Demon Fox sealed inside him. He does it before learning from his mother's spirit that the Fox was released sixteen years ago by Madara to generate chaos and that his parents sacrificed their lives to pass him the Fox's chakra.
Meanwhile, Madara reunites with the criminal Kabuto Yakushi and forms an alliance with him as Kabuto creates an army of reanimated dead bodies. Combined with Madara's army of Zetsu, these forces start clashing against the Shinobi Alliance's forces. After the first day of the war, Naruto learns of the battle going on outside the island and escapes with Killer Bee to help their allies. The two manage to defeat the Zetsus and Kages reanimated by Kabuto. With the Shinobi forces taking the upper hand, Kabuto reanimates the real Madara Uchiha, revealing the other as an impostor. The five Kages take on Madara until his departure while Naruto and Bee clash against the fake Madara who is controlling the hosts of the other Tailed Beasts. Joining forces with the Fox, Naruto takes down the hosts and forces the fake Madara to escape.
A sidestory and the DLC expand on Sasuke's appearance in the war. He meets the corpse of his older brother Itachi and both unite forces to defeat Kabuto and have him undo the summoning of all the reanimated army.
Non-Canon Game Ending
As the war was still on-going at the time, a non-canon ending to the story was made.
Defeated, Tobi, Madara and Kabuto fall back, thus giving victory to the Allied Shinobi Forces. The Five Great Shinobi Countries return to their villages while Kage discuss on preparing for a counter-attack against Madara's group along with bettering the peace between them and their countries. Naruto is congratulated for his victory upon awakening from his battle with Tobi in Konoha and is spurred by the spirits of his parents to join his friends.
Sasuke, however, leaves the Mountain's Graveyard to find Naruto.
Leaks of a new Naruto game were first shown online through the Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine in June 2012 with Namco Bandai Games confirming it was Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 shortly afterwards. Alongside the official announcement, Yusuke Sasaki from Namco Bandai promised improvements regarding the fighting system and the story mode. In order to make areas more interactive as well as to add more strategy to the fights, the staff added the ring out option.
The story mode was developed to be accessible to people who are not familiar with the Naruto series. CyberConnect2 CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama also promised the return of "epic boss battles" that were absent in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations. Bandai promoted a vast improvements in the graphics the game would use in the first trailer which was released in July 2012. Two of the alternative costumes available for Naruto Uzumaki, a samurai outfit and Goku's uniform were based on illustrations by Masashi Kishimoto published in a Shonen Jump issue and an artbook. The two of them attracted producer Yuki Nishikawa who consulted other members from the company in order to include them in the game.
In August 2012, CyberConnect2 started a new suggestion forum in their official website, requesting players from all over the world to share their opinions regarding what they would like to see in Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and upcoming Naruto games they would release. The feedback was used as a reference in creating the game. At Comic-Con International July 2012, Namco Bandai Games America representatives confirmed plans for a March 2013 release in North America. First run copies of the game include a code to download six exclusive costumes; a Goku's costume from Dragon Ball, a samurai suit for Naruto Uzumaki, Road to Ninja costumes for Hinata Hyuga and Sasuke Uchiha, a kimono for Sasuke, full piece swimsuit costumes for Sakura Haruno and Tsunade, a Japanese school uniform for Sakura, and ANBU costumes for Kakashi Hatake and Itachi Uchiha.
On July 4, 2013, Namco Bandai Games Europe announced the official debut of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst, which comes in a retail pack or downloadable add-on and with support for PC. The game itself contains numerous additions such as enhanced cinematics from the original game, 38 additional character costumes, more missions and one playable character, and an additional chapter in the game's story mode. It was released on October 22, 2013 in North America (PS3 & Xbox 360), January 31, 2014 in Europe (PS3 & Xbox 360), and October 25, 2013 worldwide (Microsoft Windows PC & Steam).
Downloadable contents are available for the game, a new addition to the series. All contents released are new costumes for existing characters. Pre-orders for the game included a code to download a Goku-inspired costume for Naruto Uzumaki. Players who subscribed to the Weekly Shonen Jump or Neon Alley in North America would receive a code to download samurai costume for Naruto, kimono costume for Sasuke Uchiha, school uniform for Sakura Haruno, swimsuit for Tsunade, and ANBU costume for Itachi Uchiha, while these costumes came together with the Goku costume in Europe. On March 26, 2013, a "School Uniform Pack" was released in the North American and European PlayStation Store containing school uniforms for Hinata Hyuga, Kakashi Hatake, Ino Yamanaka, Naruto, and Sasuke. Akatsuki straw hats for Deidara, Itachi, and Kisame Hoshigaki, as well as a torn cloak for Pain were released on April 2, 2013 as part of the "Akatsuki Hats Pack". Five costumes for Naruto and one for Sasuke were released on April 9, 2013, each based on traditional wears from cultures around the world. On April 16, 2013, new costumes for Hinata, Jiraiya, Kakashi, Madara Uchiha, Orochimaru, Sasuke, Yamato, and Tsunade were made available for download, some of which were taken from the ninth Naruto cinematic film, Road to Ninja: Naruto the Movie. April 23, 2013 saw the release of a Hello Kitty-inspired costume for Sakura, as well as the "Swimsuit Pack" containing swimsuits for Hinata, Ino, Sakura, and Temari. The final DLC for North America and Europe, the "Kage Hats Pack", was released on April 30, 2013, which contains Kage hats for Danzo Shimura, Gaara, Mizukage, Raikage, and Tsuchikage. Most costumes released in bundles in North America and Europe are also available for purchase individually in the Japanese PlayStation Store.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: Full Burst is the re-release of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, which includes revamped visuals, all costumes previously available as, DLC minus the Naruto (Goku) and Sakura (Hello Kitty), a new character (Kabuto Yakushi sage mode), a new story chapter and a new Challenge Mode, which consists of 100 missions. Each mission has varying objectives that unlock various in-game items and HD illustrations. Also newly added is Decision Mode, which allows the player to choose one's fate; the player is given two options of fates to choose from. The player can choose from either Legend (hard) or Hero (easy). It was released in October 22, 2013 (October 25, 2013 for PC via Steam) in North America, October 24, 2013 (only for PS3 and Xbox 360) in Japan, and January 31, 2014 (October 25, 2013 for PC via Steam) in Europe.
It has been well reviewed also holding an average score of 77 on metacritic.com. IGN gave the game an 8.6/10. Gaming XP scored it at an 89. PlayStation Universe gave the game a 90.
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