|Developer: Tomy||Publisher: Tomy|
|Release Date: September 23, 2008||Also On: None|
The last thing one ever expects when hearing about a licensed game is to hear about a game that sounds like it is going to provide a truly engaging experience. Indeed, for the most part, licensed games tend to be mere cash-ins aimed at the hardcore fans of the license in question. Luckily, exceptions exist, and, in many ways, Naruto: Path of Ninja 2 sounds like one of those exceptions.
I recently had the opportunity to receive some information on that game which is scheduled to come out later this year, and a lot of what was said has me excited at the potential of the game. Sure, it's not much more than a port of a game already out in Japan, but that doesn't mean much. What does mean much is what the game brings to the table in terms of features, and, by the sound of it, by DS standards, this game is chock full of them.
Start with 30 playable characters, and no, I did not accidentally type an extra zero, that is the real number. Add to that an encounter list compassing far more characters than even that. Indications are that each of these 30 has his own individual fighting style and jutsu set, so there are no "clone characters" and you have the makings of a game that can be approached in many different ways. The good just gets better since these characters are customizable with items that they can equip depending on their level and available equipment points.
The story mode sounds like it is going to employ scenarios in many different types of environments which will require different preparations for battles, at least for those who take their RPGs seriously. At the same time, it sounds like such complexities are optional for those who'd rather not make things complex. No comment was made on an estimated length of the story mode, but since the story is original and not a part of the Naruto TV canon, occasional exploration to figure out to do next sounds like it may be necessary.
Indications are as well that the limitations of the original Path of Ninja due to the fact that it was originally a GBA game are not present in this game since it was originally made for the DS. That should equal a higher graphical threshold for this game than its predecessor. In addition, Path of Ninja 2 will also employ a multiplayer mode which can be played through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or through multi-card play, and a demo of the game can be downloaded through single-card play as well. The multiplayer mode will pit each player's party against the other player's, a mode which will definitely be a plus for those people who enjoy not knowing what their enemy is about to do by analyzing enemy attack patterns.
Other features of this game include an increase in party size from three characters to four, the ability to change the members of the party easier than in the original game, and the implementation of different bonuses depending on which member of the party is the squad leader of the group. Add all of this to the extra control options that are opened up by this game being a DS game from square one and you've got the makings of an RPG that could appeal to any fans of strategy RPGs, not just those who are fans of Naruto. I personally am excited to see what the finished version of this game will look like.