Many popular anime series have come to console game life based on their popularity and the popular game type of the time. What’s hot right now is MMORPGs gamerype (Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) because of the growing net connection capabilities of the current generation of systems and player customization choice. The games series, based on the anime “Dragonball Z”, “Dragonball Xenoverse” (and its sequel Dragonball Xenoverse 2) was the first anime based MMORPG game series to hit consoles that allowed you to create a character of your own design and interact with legendary characters from the series such as Goku, Vegeta, and even the popular villain Frieza. Well this weekend the beta test for the new Naruto based MMORPG went live to the PlayStation 4 community. This beta’s availability dated from February 23rd, 2018 to February 26th, 2018.
Titled “Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker”, it is the newest anime game to release with the same premise of allowing you to create your own character in the world of anime’s most popular mainstream ninja. I have a few things on my plate game wise (Warframe, Dragonball Fighter Z and Destiny 2 when needed), but I gave the beta a few minutes of my time while it’s live for the weekend. Once you've logged in to the game, after the title screen and legal agreements, you have the opportunity to create your character. Your choices for customization include gender, skin color, voice representation and ninja village affiliation ranging from the Hidden Leaf Village through the Hidden Cloud Village. Once your character has been created, you arrive in an open area “Hidden Leaf Hub” server representing the hidden leaf village. Here, players can interact with their fellow ninjas with fixed messages and emotes, along with being able to speak to a handful of staple characters from the Naruto Storyline. You can see the Hokage Mansion in front of you, with the fabled “Hokage Rock” in the background behind it, and several shops represented around the map styled after buildings in the series.
Once you have examined your area and gotten use to being a boss ninja, you have two activity choices and one area of additional character customization. The activities are “training” and Online Multiplayer 4v4 player Battles. For the training mode, which you access through speaking to Kakashi Hatake (to the right of the main circle of the courtyard while facing the Hokage Mansion), you are shown the basic controls for the game, from moving around the maps to battle gameplay. For online multiplayer battle, speak with Shikamaru Nara (up the stairs to the north of the courtyard in front of the Hokage Mansion), who allows you into the Hokage Mansion to speak with Naruto Uzumaki (inside the mansion of the mode choice) for the mode choices. The only mode available for the Beta is a 4v4 capture the flag battle mode, for which you can choose your custom character or 4 other available characters from the show (Naruto Uzumaki, Sasuke Uchiha, Sakura Haruno and Kakashi Hatake) For further clothing choices and custom battle preset choices, speak with Sakura Haruno (to the left of the courtyard area while facing the Hokage Mansion) in the hub area. Sasuke Uchiha and Tenten are also available to speak to, but their activities are unknown and inaccessible for the beta. For my short time with the beta, it’s already impressive. The graphics are cellshaded in nature, reminiscent of the “Naruto: Ultimate Ninja” series from the playstation 2 era. Movement is decent and melee combos have potential. Aiming and enemy lock on needs a bit more attention, along with how to battle multiple enemies at a time. Of Course this is the beta test so the final product will be more refined, but just from what I experienced this game looks like it will be a good time and finally allow us to live in the Naruto World as our own character. “Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker” is set to release some time in 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows/PC. You can reserve the game now on the Playstation Store, Xbox Marketplace and GameStop.