Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive - It's Never Ending
Another Naruto title in which very little was done right.
Published: April 29, 2011
So you figure that even if a story is kind of crappy, the gameplay is what really makes the game, right? So it's still possible that Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive isn't a dud, right? Let's explore that thought a little bit. Gameplay is quite simple. At the beginning of each mission you select your four person ninja team. The first frustration is here because the first character you choose is the character you control and you CANNOT switch the character you control during the mission. What is the point of taking four ninjas with you if you can only control one of them? Anyway... once your team is chosen you begin your mission which will vary between: get to the next check point, kill all the bad guys or kill this big bad guy. Original, right?
Fighting is kept quite easy and will remind some of the popular Dynasty Warriors series. You mash the attack button to perform combos - and it should be noted that each character's combo (and basic attacks) are unique. For example, Kakashi-sensei's combo contains more hits and does more damage than Ino's combo which is only two hits and does very little damage. However, you can choose to tap the triangle button to perform a finisher instead of mashing out the whole combo. And depending upon how many normal melee hits you got in before hitting triangle, your finisher will change. And one of the few things done well in this game is that everyone's finishers are unique to themselves and are some kind of statement of the character's personality. To perform finishers, however, you need chakra. Chakra is easily regained by holding down the square button for long enough for your chakra bar to recharge. Chakra can also be used to perform jutsus, which are similar to the musou abilities from the previously mentioned Dynasty Warriors series. Unlike the DW series however, NS:KD offers team attacks. If you daze an enemy your four person ninja team will converge on that target and beat them to a pulp. To do so, you'll find yourself having to tap a certain button when it flashes on the screen. Then once you've racked up as many hits as you like (or the buttons begin flashing more quickly then you can handle) you can tap X to complete the team attack in an explosion of ninja coolness. While cool in concept, these team attacks are quite lackluster. It's really just four ninjas standing in a circle punching some poor schmoe from person to person.
Battle is customizable as well in the respect that you can equip characters with extra items and boost their abilities. At the end of a mission you'll be rewarded with tomes, scrolls, bombs and many other trinkets. These can be equipped to increase your character's defense, attack, health, amount of chakra, and do add extra abilities. During battle these equipped items that provide abilities can be used to add status effects to the enemies or do little bits of extra damage. Generally you'll find that you won't want to waste your time with those though. You'll find yourself wanting to fill your equipment slots with the tomes and scrolls that add to your stats and occasionally add status effects to your attacks.