Excerpt: the show -- oh, I know the characters now (at least by name) and I've a basic understanding about the general plot and rivalries to the point where when they happen in game I have the context, but I have neither the interest nor the motivation to get any more involved than that. superfreak out there that just finished this 87th YouTube video of clips set to Linkin Park or something, but the fact that a non-fan can get wrapped up in scouring the Hidden Leaf Village for...
Excerpt: Naruto: Ultimate Ninja is the second Naruto title to hit the streets, and this cel-shaded fighter does a fairly good job of portraying the characters and environments found in the anime series. Characters like Naruto, Kakashi, Sakura and Rock Lee look just like their counterparts and each of the special moves comes off in the classic anime, over-the-top, super-flashy format that is a staple of the genre. Locations look pretty good as well.
Excerpt: Though he has yet to achieve the cultural ubiquity or pervasive merchandising of Goku and friends, there's definitely a strong correlation between Shonen Jump's Naruto and the Dragon Ball Z series. Both are solid middle-school power fantasies with a serious focus on straight-up combat, and they've both got a sense of humor and a certain winking acknowledgement of their more ridiculous moments.
Pros: Unique manga-inspired visual style, Gameplay is easy to pick up, Over-the-top special attacks are a blast to watch, AI opponents put up a good challenge
Cons: Gameplay modes are a little too pedestrian, Special attacks appear a little too often
Conclusion: Well well well, a licensed game that's actually worth the plastic it's burned onto. Hell, it's actually a decent fighting game. Shallow, perhaps, but still a great party game and solid enough that you want to explore the different modes.