Undeniably, one of the most popular ninja related franchises to date is Naruto. The manga and anime have become so popular that it has spawned several games across many different platforms. It comes as no surprise that a browser based role playing game (RPG) comes out based on the franchise. But is the game any good or does it fall flat on its face? Find out my Unlimited Ninja review!
Welcome to Naruto’s world
Unlimited Ninja is a browser based RPG based on the popular series, Naruto. It follows your character as you explore the world of Shinobi and explore the lore behind Naruto and his beloved Konoha (Hidden Leaf Village).
As soon as you are registered and selected a server to play, you will be brought to the character creation screen. Sorry folks, there isn't much customization available here when it comes to your character. You will be able to select among 1 of 6 available characters. They can either be Ninjutsu, Genjutsu or Taijutsu users. Then you can select if you want the male or female version. The last step is to choose a name. You can either use the name randomizer by clicking on the dice icon or you can go ahead and use a name of your own. I suggest you do this as the random names aren't really nice in my opinion.
Once character selection is done, you are brought into the village. First thing you’ll notice is that the actual game looks like a side scrolling platformer game. Unfortunately, the game doesn't really have great graphics and depends more on a comic book style feel. The characters and the background are all in 2D. But if you are a manga fan, I don’t think you’ll mind as much as they did an amazing job on copying and enhancing the art style from Naruto. It’s just that I really wouldn't consider this as “game graphics.”
A trip back to Naruto when he wasn't all that
Now if you are familiar with the Naruto storyline, you’ll quickly notice that the game is loosely following this storyline so the first adventure will be to discover who took the forbidden ninja scroll. Now since this is a combat oriented game, of course, you’ll end up fighting against the villain. Don’t expect much with the combat as its completely 2D turn based attacks. Also attacks are all automatic and the only control you really have are the skills that you assign your main character. After you finally defeat the culprit you will be rewarded.
Then there’s that thing with the quest rewards, I wasn't quite sure what they were and the game doesn't really properly explain what it is. In fact, my biggest complaint is that the game has so much stuff going on. There are so many icons and tabs and windows on the UI that you kind of get lost as to what exactly is going on. It was only after a few quests did I really understand what things did and how they worked as I really had to explore. It wasn't even until I completed most of the first level quests did I realize that I could actually equip characters with gear. Haha, I know.
The game does employ some of your favorite characters to guide you as you go along and level up on your journey. You’ll be able to talk to characters like the 3rd Hokage, Konohamaru, Iruka and Kakashi. These characters give valuable input to how you will progress in the game and mostly the source of your quests in the game. As you follow the storyline of Naruto, you’ll eventually lead a team that has Naruto and Sasuke in it. The first real story arc that you will be following is of course the construction of the bridge between the Fire and Wave countries. Here you will encounter Haku and Zabusa.
Kakashi, Sasuke and Naruto first appear as additional allies in this game as you are still developing your own team. You will start the game off with yourself and Iruka which will serve as your tank. When you get to level 10, Kiba will also join you as another damage dealer completing your 3-man team.
Leveling and Equipment
Now you have to make sure you are leveling up your characters as well and equipping them properly. As you progress through the quests, you will be rewarded with experience scrolls which you can apply to any team member including yourself. This will definitely be helpful as there really isn't a lot of grinding involved in the game. Don’t forget that you can also equip not just your main character but your allies as well with gear and to make yourself tougher when it comes to defense and having a stronger attack power. The first time I was trying it out, I had no idea what I was doing so I blindly went into a battle with a strong opponent and lost miserably. This is when I really started to explore all my options.
Once you complete the Great Naruto Bridge story arc, you should already be at around level 10 or 11 which should unlock new quests for you. This time, you’ll be introduced to the Chuunin Exam arc and come across a new NPC, Anko. She’ll allow you to join the Chuunin exam in the Forest of Death which Iruka states will help you move to the next rank of Shinobi. She’ll also introduce the tavern where you can recruit new party mates. Again at this point, there are so many things going on in your UI that you might actually miss that you can pick up new rewards for simply following the story path. There’s actually an icon on the screen that’s called the Hokage Path. This screen basically tells you what rewards you can claim as you progress through the Shinobi rankings.
[caption id="attachment_27454" align="aligncenter" width="676"] Damn it feels good to be a ninja.[/caption]
The game has many flaws in my humble opinion, such as a lack of actual gaming graphics and relying heavy on 2D manga art for the game. There is also a lack of character customization in terms of look and actual character development. The UI is so cluttered with so many icons, tabs and windows that it can be overwhelming for some players. But it is a Naruto game, and fans of the series will probably end up playing several quests as you get to relive some of the famous moments in the game. However, I wouldn't really recommend this game to someone who has no idea what the series are all about.