Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst proved to be a surprisingly engaging 3D fighting game. The controls were designed in a way that pick-up-and-play is possible for novices, and yet there’s a lot of hidden depth for fighting game veterans to discover and exploit. Also, the Story Mode is amazing. I’d even go as far as to recommend that fans of the manga just skip the anime altogether and just play through the single-player campaign for an interactive, filler-free, and wholly cinematic experience.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution, the next game in the franchise, has its charms (a crazy big roster, for one), but ultimately, it doesn’t offer as much value-for-money as NS: UNS3FB. The plot for the single-player campaign doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (Mecha Naruto is just too implausible given how the Naruto world works). The Type System, instead of aiding game balance, only ends up limiting combat expressiveness and creativity. Spectating was removed from Online Tournaments, which made live streaming or video capture of complete tournament footage difficult. There’s also the much-vilified Counter System, which, although interesting, granted too much dizzy time and practically invited abuse.
CyberConnect2, the developer behind the series, has stated that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 will be the last game in the franchise, and is serious about getting things right for the final installment. It’s said that aside from in-house discussion and playtesting, they’re collecting community feedback as well to make the title as eSports-friendly as possible. It looks like they’re taking a leaf out of Capcom’s book, seeing as Ultra Street Fighter 4 really did end up becoming the ultimate version of SF4 after the combined efforts of its coders, community managers, and fans.
There’s not a lot of definite details available at this point however. Here’s the little that I’ve gathered off of interviews and articles:
- The game will most likely run at 60 fps in full HD (as opposed to NS: UNS3FB, which ran at 30 FPS max).
- No crossplay between PS4 and PC (Microsoft doesn’t allow crossplay at all between Xbox One and PC).
- Largest number of selectable characters in the history of the series.
- Destructible weapons and armor are a possible feature in Story Mode.
- No Jutsu clashes for now (this feature was present in NS: UNS1).
- Counter mechanic from NS: UNSR will be included, but with some modifications.
- No confirmation on whether NS: UNSR’s Type System (having to choose between Ultimate Jutsu, Awakening, and Support Drive) will make a return, or if NS: UNS4 will revert to NS: UNS3’s Unified System (the Wikipedia entry on NS: UNS4 says that the Unified System is slated for a comeback, but doesn’t cite a verifiable source).
- Quick-Time Events will be implemented more seamlessly during Story Mode battles.
- A character’s moveset from NS: UNS3 / NS: UNSR will only be updated for NS: UNS4 if the character is shown to have evolved in the Naruto manga.
- No formal release date yet, just that it’s tentatively scheduled for Autumn 2015.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: UNS4 PROMO VIDEOS
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Official Trailer (A Last Storm)
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Official Trailer (A Reformed Friendship)
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Official Trailer (Team 7 Strikes Back)
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Official Trailer (A Crumbling Friendship)
CYBERCONNECT2 AND BANDAI NAMCO STAFF INTERVIEWS
CyberConnect2 CEO Interviewed on Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 CyberConnect Producer Interview
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Bandai Namco Community Manager Q&A
ONLINE TOURNAMENT FOOTAGE (NS: UNS3 FB)
Kinggoken’s Online Tournament 41 (Pre-Time Skip Characters + Their Shippuden Versions)
Kinggoken’s Online Tournament 42 (Sharingan Users Only; No Awakenings)
Kinggoken’s Online Tournament 43 (No Holds Barred)
ONLINE TOURNAMENT FOOTAGE (NS: UNSR)
Kinggoken’s Online Tournament 1
Kinggoken’s Ultimate Online Tournament Finals
Kinggoken’s Online Tournament 2