Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections Review
Story And Setting
Visuals And Performance
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections doesn’t set itself apart from its predecessor and ends up feeling like an overpriced DLC.
- Beautiful Visuals
- Amazing Special Story
- Great Performance
- Bland History Mode
- Minimal New Characters
- No Free Roam
- Glorified DLC at $60
Step into the universe of Naruto to experience the Shinobi world again, with new faces and an even newer story. As the next entry in the iconic Ultimate Ninja Storm series, Connections boasts tons of characters, improved gameplay, impressive visuals, and a decent bit of lore.
But how does it stack with its predecessor and is it worth the $60 price tag with what it brings to the table? Tag along as we dissect the full packing in our Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections Review.
Story And Setting
It’s an obvious giveaway that the game is set in the world of the famous anime series with the overall narrative arc being expanded to include the initial stages of the sequel manga Boruto. Its story mode itself, however, is split between “History” and a “Special Story.”
What I’m disappointed by the most is the former History mode. Previous entries in the franchise, excluding Revolution, have provided a rather active take on the saga, allowing players to explore the various locales of this world, interact with NPCs, engage in sequential battles, and experience an extremely coherent package.
Connections, on the other hand, threw it all outside the window in favor of a visual novel style with only battles in between. I didn’t get to explore villages anymore, instead, there’s a lot of reading to do, and it feels like an uninspired attempt at replicating something similar to the narrative of the Dragon Ball Xenoverse games.
I didn’t get to explore villages anymore, instead, there’s a lot of reading to do.
Furthermore, iconic battles in the franchise fail to deliver the impact we got from the anime. One of my favorite battles from Part 1 is the Gaara fight, and how Naruto trained to control the Kyuubi’s chakra and summoned Gamabunta against Shukaku.
Connections did a fantastic job of ruining that memory by delivering a washed-up version of the fight that wasn’t even fun to experience.
Having said that, Boruto’s Special Story is pretty good even if its premise is rather hilarious. Without getting into any major spoilers, the Naruto universe discovered VR tech, and things didn’t go all that well for them.
I had a great time working my way through this mode but was unable to shake off the feeling of being robbed, having paid $60 for 6-7 hours of narrative combined with the same game I played back in Storm 4.
When talking about the gameplay of Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections, there’s not much to say here other than the fact that it’s decent. But that’s exactly why it feels like I’m playing Storm 3, Revolutions, and Storm 4 all over again.
Despite the fluidity, the gameplay is bland, and boring, and fails to win me over even with all the flashy ninjutsu animations.
But its combat system is more fluid, which is a plus to be fair. But at its core, the template is the same as every other Storm entry. While the addition of a “Simple” control scheme is worthy of praise, there’s not a lot of new stuff to see in this department.
Despite the fluidity, the gameplay is bland, and boring, and fails to win me over even with all the flashy ninjutsu animations. See, the problem here is not the gameplay itself, but rather the lack of innovation.
Even in terms of the character roster, we’ve only got ten new additions in this entry after Storm 4. It’s clear that the game is Shueisha’s attempt at generating more revenue via the Naruto IP and that holds the whole experience back from what it could have been.
It’s clear that the game is Shueisha’s attempt at generating more revenue via the Naruto IP and that holds the whole experience back from what it could have been.
It’s certainly not Storm 5, and maybe it was never supposed to be given that the Boruto manga is ongoing, but Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections takes a few steps back overall compared to the last entry.
Visuals And Performance
Visuals are perhaps the one avenue where Connections shines brightly without any additional baggage. Beautiful cel-shaded visuals accentuate the modern characters and their movesets along with turning a bland retread into something more bearable.
The overall aesthetic of the game, including its presentation and soundtrack, improves its chances of retaining players who would otherwise stop playing. However, the portrayal of blood in cutscenes is extremely underwhelming.
Beautiful cel-shaded visuals accentuate the modern characters and their movesets along with turning a bland retread into something more bearable.
On the performance side, CyberConnect 2 has done a great job of ensuring a smooth experience with minimal technical problems. During the many hours I’ve invested in Connections, not a single glitch, crash, or bug has reared its head. Moreover, framerates have been consistent with no noticeable drops during gameplay.
While it may be true that the game itself isn’t very demanding, it doesn’t take much to deliver a half-baked product at launch, especially in this day and age. That said, most mid-range PCs should be able to run it without any hiccups.
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is not a bad game, but it doesn’t do anything that sets it apart from its predecessor, making it feel like an overpriced expansion instead of a new game.
While the entry provides a comprehensive roster of characters, an average trek through the history of Naruto, and a few hours of quality story, it ultimately fails to live up to previous titles in the series. Given the ongoing events in Boruto, the next Storm game should have focused on shaking things up a bit at least.
And though I had a bit of fun during my time with Connections, I cannot, in good conscience, recommend purchasing this title at $60 to anyone.
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