The next generation of Naruto is making its way across the pond. Though are we getting a little teaser just to see if anyone cares?
Road to Boruto is an expansion for Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 which came out last year. It’s a fighting game which covers the final bits of the Naruto manga storyline.
The best way to describe the main game is the mix of a fighting game and a beat ’em up. After you completed the main game. The most dedicated and fondest of players could treat themselves to the Adventure, a very unpolished and basic sandbox mode following Naruto on a very basic nostalgia-driven adventure. The same can be said for the first two expansions, though it does give you a good excuse to keep playing it.
Road to Boruto on the other hand, while it sets up camp in Adventure Mode, you get a very polished version of this mode offering better cut scenes and refined menus, so there’s improvements all round.
Overall, the combat in the fights is pretty much the same; epic and easy enough to make your character use their unique and zany abilities.
Of course, some of it’s more ambitious fights let it down, especially when you have to fight as a giant energy monster and you move as slow as a giant monster that’s trying to move through a swimming pool.
It just feels likes these kind of battles need more Quick Time Events to keep the pace up. It just feels slow and your attacks are very limited with energy blasts and a slow swing of your blade.
Meanwhile, outside of the fights, the mini sandbox does try to be a bit more challenging in comparison to the original story and expansion packs. One challenge where you have to race around like a slower Sonic is pretty engaging and presents some actual use of the sandbox, other than stretching the game out and giving fans a chance to visit the world they’ve only seen on TV or in the manga.
Fans will be rewarded as I was dragged back to school for a test on Naruto trivia to progress the campaign, of course the answers are easy to get, but me being the cool super nerd trivia man I am, refused them and was determined to get them correct using my own knowledge.
Now for the story. The expansion loosely adapts the Boruto: Naruto The Movie which tells the story of Naruto’s son who is trapped in the shadow of his successful father.
You’ll spend most the campaign playing as him and with a basic attack set which gradually improves with the story, you won’t find him a difficult weapon to use. He may start with very basic melee attacks, but trust me, things will get more interesting.
If I had to point our certain key moments, I’ll probably highlight the first battle with Sasuke where you get spoiled with Quick Time Events where the brooding dreamboat gets to knock his opponent into a mountain a few hundred times. And of course, the final battle with Boruto, where the little boy who could, does.
Overall, I was happy to see that new content has come out for the game as I had so much fun playing it the first time round. I mean I broke my unwritten rule where I actually used my console on a weekday evening and even rushed home from work to get it downloaded.
Though I enjoyed it, it’s very short and it took 4 hours to complete the main campaign, and what I predict to be a weekend of bumming around doing the side quests.
To wrap up, this feels like an early and very polished demo for an upcoming game. It’s got me excited about the future of the Naruto franchise as the fighting system can only get bigger and better on a new system.
Though like the mentioned flag mini-game and some of the more experimental fights, like the giant monster battle, it feels like an early beta test for a game that Cyber Connect 2 are aiming to bring out at some point.
Whilst the storyline of the movie has been very condensed, the studio almost tries to justify it with open-ended voiceovers that talk about how the story isn’t done.
I guess the Boruto story has just started, and it feels like Naruto’s presence on the next generation consoles has also just begun.