- System: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
- Developer: Soleil
- Release Date: Aug 31, 2018
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action, Fighting
- Players: 1 (2-8)
- Official Website: https://www.bandainamcoent.com/games/naruto-to-boruto-shinobi-striker
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
As we mentioned in our story section above, the main plot of Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is straight to the point. Players create their warriors and enter into the world from the Hidden Leaf Village which acts as their central hub of operation. The objective is to rise from a lowly shinobi to the top by playing against others and doing VR missions—more on both in a second—to gain experience, ninja skills and various cosmetics. If you look online, many will compare Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker to Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, and we agree as that is the best way to sum up what Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is at its heart. Yet, just like Dragon Ball: Xenoverse, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker also does something correct and falters in other areas.
First, we’re going to talk about the visuals for Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker. We rarely do that here at Honey’s Anime as visuals aren’t the end all in video games but in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker visuals are where this game truly shines brightest. From the various maps to the characters and ninjutsu you’ll be seeing on screen, everything in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker looks stellar. As fans of the manga and anime for Naruto, we hands down will say this is the best looking Naruto game to ever release and while the Ultimate Ninja series looks amazing from a different perspective, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker just feels like the manga has come to life within a game. The soundtrack and voice acting—of which both English and Japanese are included—also hits the perfect notes which makes our eyes and ears happy. From here on though is where Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker falters and we’ll begin by talking about the online first.
Online battles in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker can be quite fun but also insanely frustrating. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is a third person brawler/fighting game in unison where players choose from one of four classes—attacker, healer, defense and ranged—then unleash hell on their opponents. Players will use these classes to win matches that focus on team orientated battles like capture the flag. The problem begins with how battles play out. Each class has a various theme to it with skills and moves being earned by doing leveling up with a master—characters from the Naruto series—and earning scrolls that contain items, weapons or skills. Ultimately though, some skills will be spammed online as they are the go-to moves to win most battles against a player or team. We noticed people relying heavily on basic skills that can be unlocked early on that just are too overpowered and often are abused. With so many skills, we figured this was bound to be an issue in the final build of Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, but we do hope there are fixes where some skills are nerfed a bit as time goes on. Yet, if this was the only problem with Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, we wouldn’t make this sound so serious. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker suffers elsewhere and that is the actual gameplay systems.
Just like in the beta, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker’s biggest weakness is the lock on system. It’s pretty bad online—especially when you’re fighting against two enemies at once—but during the VR missions, it can be a lot worse. We mentioned that, at times, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker can feel akin to a brawler and that’s because a lot of the fights online and off echo how a brawler works. For example, VR missions usually boil down to killing a dozen or so enemy ninjas and will require you to hit with the same combos over and over again. The problem here though is that the lock on will often have you switching opponents even when you don’t want to. There was one mission where we legit failed because our lock on went from the big target who was almost dead to a new enemy and in turn caused us to focus on the lesser threat. This will happen a lot and it’s because the lock on system just doesn’t work as it should. We pray this can be patched but aren’t too hopeful as this is a gaming mechanic that might be here to stay.
To end on a brighter note, we thought to talk about the final elements to Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker and that is the VR missions and the customization. VR missions are the offline element to Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker—though many can be played online with co-op—and allow players to relive battles seen over the course of the Naruto franchise. These battles can be a bit repetitive—expect the same types of missions over and over—but are fun and allow for a much-needed relief when the online portion of Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker begins to frustrate you. Plus, you’re going to want to play a lot of VR missions as this is the way to unlock more skills and customization elements for your ninja. We loved that there are so many ways to create your perfect ninja with the classes allowing different weapons to be used—within the class guidelines though so defense will always have swords and such—as well as how your ninja looks. It might not save the gameplay in every measure but Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is to be commended for giving us so many ways to feel like the ninjas we loved in the Naruto world.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Easily the best-looking Naruto game ever made
- Rocking OST that keeps battles feeling epic
- Tons of ways to customize your ninja in both aesthetics and equipment
- Relive some cooler moments of the series with the VR missions
- Online battles tend to favor those who spam specific moves
- Lock on system NEEDS to be reworked
- VR missions tend to be very repetitive
- Lacks a lot of the freedom of other Naruto games
- Occasionally can suffer from frame rate issues and online latency problems