Morphin Reviews: Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 (2002, GameCube)
Jesus Christ, I knew I'd have to get to this one eventually...
Welcome to 2009, when it's perfectly fine to dress like a Square Enix fever dream's idea of a ninja at Comic-Con and expect to return home with your nose completely unharmed.
So, anyone who remembers the mid-to-late 2000s and was on the Internet for longer than 4.2 picoseconds will probably remember a little thing called Naruto, a manga about a young boy who is a ninja and behaves suspiciously like Son Goku after a full frontal lobotomy.
And of course, like any shonen anime from the period, it got a video game or twenty, and we'll be looking at one of them today.
This game is a 3D fighting game in the tradition of Tekken or Virtua Fighter, where you play as various characters from the Naruto universe.
This game is best played with the mute function activated on your TV, because whenever you navigate the main menu, Naruto's nails-on-a-chalkboard voice will be there to patronize you through EVERY. SINGLE. OPTION. What's that? Multi-player is for 2 or more players? Gee, I wouldn't have guessed!!
So there's a free fight mode, a VS mode, and an arcade mode based on the first few arcs of the anime. Graphically, it's cel-shaded and manages to replicate the anime's character designs well enough, but then again, this is an anime license on the Nintendo GameCube were dealing with here. Gameplay is incredibly tedious, as no matter who your character or opponent is, all you have to do is mash the B button (or hold it down if you have a turbo controller), occasionally tap left or right on the D-pad or analog stick, and you'll win without fail, every single time.
As to be expected from Naruto, the story is clichéd, narmy, and terrifyingly similar to that of Dragon Ball, and the dialog is among the most stilted and idiotic this side of the Star Wars prequels.
Overall, the game is bland, boring, and uninspired. I suppose fans of the franchise will like it, in much the same way that Law & Order fans will enjoy jury duty.
And now, it's time for the traditional closing thiughts from seven horses you may or may not be aware of:
...that is, it would be... if the game hadn't put them to sleep.
FINAL RATING: bleh/10@Tyro D. Fox IT HURTS TO CORNFLAKES
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