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Naruto Shippuden | Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 | review | game | Lollipop

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3

(Namco Bandai for PSP)
By Mike Delano

Naruto games have been released at an incredible pace across all platforms for the past several years. It's exhausting, even for fans of the series, and considering the likelihood that Naruto fans are also fans of Dragon Ball Z, a series with its own deluge of releases, it's downright wearying. Thing is, the games themselves are each pretty good, and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is no exception. It has the same sharp presentation, gorgeous graphics and music, and meaty selection of characters and collectibles that anyone who's played most any of the previous Naruto games should find immediately familiar. It's so familiar, though, that it doesn't take long for the mind to wander from what's here to what could be. What if the one-off side-scrolling sections were expanded into a deep, Shadow Complex-like adventure? What if all of the bells and whistles were trimmed and the development team focused solely on revamping the shallow fighting engine and created a system worthy of strategizing and character study? Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is solid (and really beautiful), and it gets so much right that here's hoping next time it gets it all right.


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