Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is the latest installment in Bandai Namco’s Naruto Ultimate Ninja video game franchise. The game is released as part of a 20-year celebration of the anime series from Naruto to Naruto: Shippuden and Boruto. As such all the characters introduced from the previous installments will return and be featured along with many of the features from the past.
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is more of a tribute to the long-running series than its own unique installment. While there are several new features added including new characters for the roster and a story mode centering around the Boruto series, the game feels more like a way to combine all the major parts of Naruto and Boruto together into one large collection, especially for new fans of the series.
Relive the Story Of Naruto and Adventure Through a New Story
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections contains two special story modes — each can be played for 8 to 10 hours. The first and most expansive is History mode, where you relive a summarized version of Naruto‘s entire story from his Genin training days to the climatic Fourth Shinobi War.
The story is 8 chapters long and is told through still images of significant anime scenes with voice acting peppered here and there along with sections where you play as one of the characters in a battle from the anime. Examples would be the fight between Kakashi and Zabuza and Naruto vs Pain.
The second story mode features Boruto and is a wholly original story for the game, following the threat of a Fifth Ninja World War and Boruto’s efforts to prevent it from happening. The story mode for Boruto is roughly the same format as History mode, where there are several game-exclusive cutscenes with battles intermixed.
Both story modes feature a ranking system for special rewards, unlocking entries in the Naruto Encyclopedia, and offer players to share an emote reaction to memorable scenes from the anime series, whether they were thrilling, sad, or anger-inducing.
Familiar Gameplay and Engaging Ninja Action
The Jutsu-centric and dynamic combat known in the Ultimate Ninja series is back along with the usage of ninja items and strategically wielding ninja techniques. The entire roster of the Ultimate Ninja Storm Series is back with over 130 unique characters and abilities along with dozens of unique animations and team-ups possible. There are several new characters to add to the roster, the brothers Ashura and Indra who were the first forefathers of the ninja clans along with Kawaki, Jigen, and a new form of Boruto.
A new simple control mode is introduced that simplifies much of the busy work during battles, from chakra dashing with a single button command to flawlessly engaging in a combo attack that flows into a jutsu attack. Simple control mode is recommended for newcomers to the series as they go through the story modes and battle the CPU-controlled opponents and even experienced players can utilize this control scheme for strategies against other opponents in competitive online multiplayer.
As with many Bandai Namco games with multiplayer, connection and frame rate can fluctuate and either bear some success with moderate frame rate issues to be a crashing festival of annoyance.
A Necessary Addition to the Series?
Now the big question is, is this truly needed experience for longtime fans of Naruto? By this point in time, the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series has several entries in the series, all of which are currently available on all available consoles released and cover more aspects of the source material individually.
The other games also have a fun addition to them that’s outside the simple fighting game elements such as a hub world where you could explore The Hidden Leaf Village.
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections by comparison is disappointingly bare bones in content outside of History mode, Boruto’s new story, and Free battle/Online. If you are a longtime fan of the franchise and have purchased the previous installments of the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, then there’s not much content being added for this one.
An Endearing Tribute to the Long-running Series
Regardless of a lack of new content and a simplified story mode, the game contains a very impressive roster of characters and multiple ways to customize your own setup of characters.
As a tribute to the highly acclaimed anime series, Naruto X Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm offers the best ninja action for the most recent consoles released with improved CG work and a higher frame rate to work with. Fan-favorite team-ups and iconic match-ups are bound to create several incredible gameplay moments for fans and can make up for the otherwise lackluster amount of new content.
This game was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the game's publisher,public relations company, developer or other for the express purpose of a review.
- This article was updated on November 17th, 2023