Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is the latest and last title in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series and the first to be released on new generation platforms. Developer CyberConnect2 takes full advantage of this, with enhanced visuals and some of the most epic battles ever seen in the Storm series. With a plethora of features in this new game, it's hard to choose a place to start from. So I took a deep breath and went head first into Story Mode...
From playing the other games in the Storm
series I had a vague idea of what would be happening in Story Mode. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. This mode plays through the main story starting from where the last Storm
game left off. We are now into the last arc of the Shippuden
series, which means all the best battles are to be included in this game.
Spoiler warning for people who are watching the anime and have not read the manga - this mode tells the entire story including the end, which has not yet been released through the anime. Some elements of the story have been changed slightly to make the battles more epic but the main core of the story still remains.
There are various chapters to work through in this mode - you can speed your way through the main episodes or take your time and also explore the few side episodes that can be unlocked. These are a lot like the flashbacks in the Shippuden
anime series: little side stories with a battle or two. Most of them felt like just playing through filler episodes... thankfully you can skip all cutscenes if you wish (some of the cutscenes can be very lengthy) and just fight your way through.
The battle system in place is pretty much a copy and paste job from the previous [i]Storm[i] games. There is no tutorial stage in this game so I would suggest heading over to the Free Battle Mode to freshen up on those skills. Or if you're slightly impatient like me then just get on with it and you'll pick it all back up eventually.
The battles in this mode are intense - they include a lot more of the interactive cinematic battles that we had a glimpse of in previous iterations: timed actions that require you to press a certain button as quick as possible or at the right time, which then earns you stars which count towards your final battle score. I would sometimes miss these prompts as I was so taken aback with the sheer awesomeness of the graphics and the epic fighting that was unfolding that I would completely miss them.
Never before in the Storm
games has there been this level of epicness in the real-time battles. I was often left gobsmacked at how astounding the fight sequences were. These battles are fantastic! Grand spectacles worthy of conveying the astounding grandness of the culmination of the Shippuden
The interesting thing about Story Mode is that you cannot be truly defeated in battle. If you are KO'd, you awaken in the presence of the Rikudo Sennin who revives you and lets you choose to continue your battle with full health and either enhanced strength or defence, with the bonus of your enemies' health not being recovered... basically a glorified God Mode.
It's interesting that they chose to include this invincible mode into the story. Personally it doesn't bother me but I know a few people who might believe that this takes the challenge aspect out of this mode and so takes all the fun with it. Please don't let it bother you though - beautiful graphics and spot on sound editing make these Story Mode battles some of the best ever seen in the Storm