Konoha: Ultimate Storm Review

A Classic Naruto Package on the Go

Konoha: Ultimate Storm is the latest entry in the long-running anime franchise, spanning across multiple manga series, anime series, and even several movies and video games: Naruto. This story has been told and retold numerous times in recent history, remaining to this day as one of the best-selling manga of all time. So, Konoha: Ultimate Storm’s name carries a lot of weight. But, does it stand up to its name? Yes and no. Simply put, it’s a gacha RPG using Naruto characters. It was made in Japan by the relatively unheard-of company, Game Syoko, its localization having been completed both recently and hastily. The game is very awkward at times, but it’s still a good experience.

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Faithful to the Show?

Konoha: Ultimate Storm is a seemingly a standard gacha game, where you play through quests to get currency to unlock new characters at random. In the title’s story mode, you begin as Young Naruto, when he was a 12-year old rookie ninja. His two teammates quickly join him, the brooding Sasuke and the energetic Sakura. The game eases you into its gameplay with these three characters, but you’ll eventually be able to unlock many more.
The game presents the story of Naruto through slideshow-like panels, colorized and taken directly from the manga. However, the English translation is shoddy at best, riddled with imperfect grammar throughout the whole game. Not only that, but the scenes progress too quickly, often leaving you unable to read certain sentences. If you’re brand new to the Naruto franchise, this is not the best way to introduce yourself to the story. With that in mind, the game is probably ideal for either hardcore Naruto fans who already know the story or just fans of mobile RPG who don’t care about the story.

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Action-Packed Combat

The gameplay revolves around simple and consecutive battles, which pit your team of at least three ninjas against an enemy team consisting of one to six ninjas. The combat is turn-based, but it features a time meter that determines how frequently ninjas can unleash attacks. You have the option to do standard attacks or, if you’ve built up enough chakra, special attacks called jutsus. Like most other mobile RPGs, you can automate this.
Each ninja has an Elemental Affinity that will come into play when considering the opposing team’s strengths and weaknesses. They possess varying stats that you can raise through training and item usage. Each of them specializes in a certain style, such as healing, head-on attacks, or even spread attacks through jutsus. Thanks to this, character diversity is plentiful, and it can be fun to mix and match different strategies to achieve victory in unexpected ways.
Currently, there are around 80 characters you can unlock. Because Konoha: Ultimate Storm is a gacha game, the characters you can unlock are effectively random. This has the side effect of making the story less effective than it should be. In addition to the poorly presented cutscenes, the individual missions often pit you against random characters, placing no restrictions whatsoever on the characters you can use. However, the difficulty and pacing are good. I lost to the Chapter Three boss several times and I had to rethink my character lineup to beat it.

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A Weak Rendition of Konoha

Konoha: Ultimate Storm is a gacha RPG similar to countless others you can find on your App Store. Though it uses plenty of assets from the Naruto franchise, it isn’t a very good retelling of Naruto’s storyline. With that aside, the characters are mechanically diverse, and the game is challenging enough to get you thinking about the best character teams. Remove the Naruto aspect, and it would still be a solid game overall.

 
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