CyberConnect2 signed here the best installment of the entire saga. This installment comes to Nintendo Switch with all its DLC in a port of remarkable height.
That February 2016 is long gone, when Bandai Namco and CyberConnect2 put an end to a series of Naruto video games where, in their four numbered installments, they narrated with impeccable fidelity the history of the manganime of the character of Masashi Kishimoto; From the beginning to the end. Eight years between the first and the last part culminated with a kind of dessert, Road to Boruto, which served as an epilogue to complete not only the fourth numbered episode but also the entire saga.
Conclusions we were able to draw many, but we are left with two, which are the ones that help us to introduce the analysis that concerns us: the first, that CyberConnect2 is the study that has best managed to successfully transfer a series of success from the Shonen Jump to a video game both for the chosen genre and for the way of designing its world, its characters. It was, in its day, like playing anime. Second, that the thorn was always stuck to be able to play this story in a portable format and on a Nintendo console. Now, as happened with Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is coming to close the circle started a couple of years ago on the hybrid console with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, a remarkable conversion that incorporated the first three episodes in their full editions, although with certain problems and the feeling that they were somewhat behind their versions for PS4 and Xbox One.
With more than 10 million units sold together, together with Generations and Revolution, this success shows that many things have been done well along the way. Luckily, this version for Nintendo Switch is once again notable, better than the original trilogy, as more effort was made in the visual quality of its artistic and graphic section: more vivid colours, a little more definition, lighting … In part, it is logical because it is the latest instalment, one created natively in the current generation of consoles, but the treatment is given here of the cel-shading it is much better than in previous ports; it is closer to what is seen on the consoles of Sony and Microsoft. In short: it is a better port than the trilogy of a few years ago.
The best instalment of the best Naruto saga in video games
After making clear the first thing that you surely wanted to see answered in the analysis of a port like the one that concerns us, let’s talk about the game itself. Friends, acquaintances or readers of the magazine have asked us doubts about which game to buy of the four if you only get one; if it is a mistake to acquire a title that only covers the Fourth Ninja War – the last great arc in the series – or if nothing happens. Obviously, this title is not intended for neophytes in the Naruto universe, it does not fool anyone. However, the plot structure of the play is well constructed, with a correct narration in the main story mode to remember elements of the past, put antecedents and guide things to that great event; which, incidentally, is told in a more condensed way here than in the anime itself, which excessively lengthens the story of the manga.
If this seemed short, with a campaign that can perfectly last us eight or nine hours, we have Road to Boruto, an expansion that connects directly to the movie published shortly after the Naruto Shippuden anime ended, Boruto: Naruto the Movie. Wow, content is not exactly short and is, playably, the final installment. To make this analysis, last February we returned to play the three initial installments in their version for Nintendo Switch and, to be honest, the evolution is very big in the playable. It is a pity that it is only the first of all that allows total freedom of movement in the Hidden Village of the Leaf; the second chapter was more direct, with a more linear chapter design and certain quality of life details in combat and animations.
The third, meanwhile, took a great leap in terms of spectacularity and boss fights. It was here in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, where the Japanese studio went wild and put all the ingredients in the mixer to make a game close to excellence in its day. Understand excellence within its context: It is neither a reference fighting game in its genre nor does it have dazzling combat mechanics in depth. What this episode is, surely, is the best video game ever made of Naruto. It is not saying little.
Already from the beginning, with a combat in full climax between Senju Hashirama and Uchiha Madara, we are realizing that this installment is also the most ambitious, the one that most embraces in an almost literal way the concept of epic, drama, and tension. Next, the game places us right where Naruto UNS3 ends, so there is nothing left in the pipeline. We are not going to go into unnecessary storylines for this review, as there are also aspects that were amply explained and detailed in the original analysis of this video game.
Tolerable sacrifices to be possible on Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch port does not forget any content, there are no cuts in game modes. Regardless of whether we want to dive into the mode History, we also have Adventure, Free Combat and Online Combat. The latter, which can be one of the great attractions by making it possible to play with people from anywhere in the world, has the handicap that there are very few people connected. Even now, as the title has been on sale for a few weeks, it has taken us several minutes at times to find people, something uncomfortable that invites more to play against the CPU in any of the mentioned ways. Also, we have noticed some lag in games, although no signal cut or games interrupted unexpectedly. It is simply not very fluid.
As in previous chapters, especially from the second of the saga, the Story mode is by far the most fun and recommended because it has a total dynamism and it puts a constant pulse on the concept of boredom: it is impossible to get saturated because no two hours of play are the same. What may seem to be just one more installment, a succession of three-dimensional battles in closed environments with some freedom of movement, becomes here an action title, with battles, Quick Time Events well calibrated (not excessive), the odd mini-game and sequences of those that invite you to wish for a possible remake of the best moments of anime with this graphic engine. Nothing fails in that regard.
The problem is that some cinematic scenes have been cut out that they were on PS4 and Xbox One. We do not understand very well the reason, but it shows that this is where the port falters the most: the cinematics don’t look so good. Blur, lower quality and some Sawtooth in some of them they leave a little to be desired, although they are not so marked as to remove you from the scene. Luckily, the game maintains its production values in sound (a pity that the original themes of the anime are not there), an exquisite dub to Japanese and perfect translation into Spanish, which respects names in characters and territories as it was done in our country since the serialization of the Glènat publishing house. Also — and this is something that worried us after what was seen in the original trilogy— we have hardly noticed any falls in the rate of images per second, in a few constants 30 FPS except for some jerk.
On par with other great Bandai Namco ports on Nintendo Switch
Those who are interested in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto For Nintendo Switch because of the novelty of being able to play in portable mode, we have to say that the result is good, better than in the trilogy, but it is still not the best port in that sense. It still does not reach 720p resolution, but the result is very similar to what we have already seen in other Bandai Namco works on the console. For example, it’s not as brilliant a port as One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3; but it is equivalent to that of Dragon Ball FighterZ or Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2.
In Nintendo Switch (2017 model) the image is slightly more blurred in environments with a greater depth of field, there is more aliasing in the contour of the characters; luckily in Nintendo Switch Lite, where we have also played for several hours, as it is a smaller screen but with the same resolution, these cracks are less noticeable and are equally enjoyable. Thus, we believe that both options are equally valid.
We have analyzed this title in its version of Nintendo Switch through a download code provided by Bandai Namco.
Yes, it’s worth it. Despite its shortcomings and small visual cutbacks along the way, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto has aged well, remains a gift to a fan, and still maintains its strengths and weaknesses. CyberConnect2 went from less to more in all the deliveries of this particular series; It was improving its playable mechanics, the variety of missions and game modes, the depth and intensity of the combos and it was adding more and more content. Those who come from the PS4 and Xbox One version will see an obvious – never better said – difference in the graphic, but it is less than in Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, where there were many more problems. Any quintessential ninja fan of the Shonen Jump should have this title in their bookstore; be on the console whatever. Considering that this version can be enjoyed anywhere and that the conversion to portable mode is correct enough to raise the thumb up, both in 2016 and in 2020 this is still the most faithful and loving farewell that we could imagine to a saga of titles that perfectly understood what its author wanted to convey in both manga and anime.
- The combat system, while continuous, is a lot of fun
- Content: characters, settings and hours of play
- Story mode is still a delight; the perfect farewell
- Production values: dubbing, presentation, style …
- Visual cuts in cinematics and definition
- Online mode does not comply at all
- Some selectable characters are missing
It meets the expectations of what is a good game, it has quality and does not have serious flaws, although it lacks elements that could have taken it to higher levels.