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ups: Naruto Ninja Council, good animation, promising game mechanics, simple control scheme
downs: generic music, easy gameplay, typical combo

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Naruto: Ninja Council Review
game: Shonen Jump?s Naruto: Ninja Council
two star
posted by: RJ Brooks
publisher: D3 Publisher/ Tomy Corporation
developer: Tomy Corporation
ESRB rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older)
date posted: 07:30 AM Mon May 8th, 2006
last revision: 04:27 PM Sun May 7th, 2006

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Click to read.Shonen Jump\'s Naruto: Ninja Council is based on the the anime series Naruto. The series is very successful, having a large following in Japan, and a growing popularity in America. That growing popularity is the reason for the release of this game in America, as it is actually a two year old game.

This is a 2D platform fighting-adventure. Upon playing it, I was reminded me of the old school classics like Shinobi and Ninja Gaiden because of its themed backgrounds, weapons, and basic controls. However, this is a much lighter game in mood and tone, and is clearly geared towards a young audience.

Graphically, Ninja Council is very colorful and impressive. The characters are well animated, and the color palette really helps set the mood for the game.

The fighting system is slightly above average. You have your basic jump and attack buttons. The combo system is nothing special; press the same button three times and you get the same generic combo. The intuitiveness of the system comes from the magic that can be performed. The player has a meter that, when charged, a number of special moves that can be performed flashes on the screen. Depending on the timing of the button press determines what special move will be performed.

I like the fact that in the beginning you learn of new skills and weapons, which your character can attain as you progress in the initial stages. Sadly, there is an end to this form of discovery, and that is where the problem occurs in terms of the game\'s balance and fun factor. Had the developers continued with the idea of gaining new skills throughout the entire game, it would have opened the fun factor and quality level to something much higher than what it is now.

The music is generic. The first couple times I played Naruto, I listened to it, but ultimately lost interest and opted to listen to my CD player instead.

Naruto is one of those games that has all of the right elements but did not make full use of them, and as a result falls short of what could have been greatness. It is clear that it is targeted towards a younger audience and novice players. Both audiences will enjoy this game, especially if they are fans of the television series. However, for other gamers, if you need an anime-show inspired adventure fix for your GBA, stick with Astro Boy.

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