Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles PS2 Review

Naruto is one of the most successful anime series’ with the kids right now, so it’s hardly a surprise that there’s some games just waiting for the obsessive fans to hurriedly snatch them off the shelves. Naruto: Uzumaki Chronicles is far from the first game of the popular anime, but, as is the tradition with most anime based games, at least it’s not a regular fighting game this time around.

Uzumaki Chronicles follows the boy ninja, the titular Naruto, as his skills are tested with more serious missions. Fans should enjoy the storyline and many will be glad of the presence of the voice actors featured in the show, even though they’re a largely comically inept bunch, good for a laugh though.

The game is somewhat of an action RPG, with a mission based structure. Essentially, you’ll be getting missions from town, then heading out on to the RPG like world map. As you move around the map, you’ll often be interrupted by the discourteous old random battles, which upon winning, you’ll be rewarded with items and experience with which you can improve Naruto’s skills with.

The fighting itself is handled in real time fashion, so no polite turn taking here. All of Naruto’s familiar ninjutsu moves are here, such as the shadow clones, which allow you to unleash multiple clones of him, to assist you with the pummelling. The power strike meanwhile comes in useful for damaging multiple enemies, whilst the seriously bizarre Sexy Jutsu transforms Naruto into a bikini-clad woman, to knock out his opponents, sheer madness!

Later on, you’re able to take other familiar faces from the show with you. Pleasingly, you are able to take control of these – and better still, they’re very different from Naruto, giving you a welcome change from his crazy ninjutsu skills.

The combat is fun, particularly so for the young fans of the show, who are looking to recreate the action scenes of the hit cartoon series, but due to the sheer amount of it and the repetition of the missions, the game can begin to fill a bit weary after just a short while playing it.

Interest is retained somewhat by the skill plate system, giving you something else to think about, aside from just beating generic ninjas up. With this, you are able to set skill chips, which have a range of differing effects, such as increasing your stamina (which, by the way is used for Naruto’s ninjutsu techniques) or raising your health, so that you’re able to take more of a beating before dropping. Throughout the game, you’ll gain differently shaped skill plates, which can house different chips, resulting in a pleasing amount of customisation options.

But it’s not quite enough to lift Uzumaki Chronicles to anything other than average. The heart of the game – the combat and the missions – begin to feel monotonous after just a couple of hours of play time and there’s just not any one standout feature about it. Fans of the source material may very well garner much enjoyment from it, but we just found it to be merely ok.