Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto Switch Review – Ninja on the Go

    Title: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto
    Developer: CyberConnect2
    Release Date: April 24, 2020
    Reviewed On: Switch
    Publisher: Bandai Namco
    Genre: Adventure/Fighter

Even if you aren’t familiar with the anime, I’m sure you’ve heard of Naruto Shippuden. The series has turned millions of anime fans into ninjas over the years, which it is still doing to this day. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto first released in 2017 as an expansion to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, and now, the title has come to Nintendo Switch. Surprisingly, the port holds up on the console hybrid as I was once against experiencing some of the most iconic moments of the Naruto series.

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto has a few modes that players can choose from, each offering their own stories and character development. An excellent place to start is the base Story Mode, where players will fight through a few intense arcs that lead up to the finale of Naruto Shippuden. The story is more-or-less linear as players will play as a variety of characters across a few timelines.

One thing that’s evident about this story is how it loves to throw nostalgia at the player and use that as a way to remind players of memorable scenes and also catch players up on the story so far. I enjoyed the way the story was structured and the pacing was decent. The only thing I didn’t like it when they would use anime stills during the story scenes, which looked offputting.

One element of this game that holds up well is the quick time events, which I usually never enjoy. They happen at some of the most epic moments of gameplay and only add to the immersion of the scenes. If you’re playing this game, you’ve most likely seen these scenes before, so having to interact with them is a considerable plus than merely watching the battle play out.

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The next mode available is Adventure Mode, where players can choose between a few characters to take on missions and explore Hidden Leaf Village. I found this mode to be decent, but it’s also rather dull at times and doesn’t offer anything significant to the story, whether it be main or side-missions. Still, I thought the addition to the mode worked as a way to give players more to do outside of the story, even though there isn’t anything substantial there.

After you finished with the base game offerings, it’s time to go into the Road to Boruto story. Similar to the Adventure Mode, players can explore Hidden Leaf Village as Boruto and his friends. There is a lot of content to dive into here as it is full of things to do at any given moment. I ended up really enjoying this expansion and the way the content seemed to show a slight evolution over the gameplay found in the base modes.

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The battle system in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is easy to pick up and challenging to master. Everything is mostly tied to one attack button as players balance their chakra and utilize each of the character’s abilities. Another feature is Ultimate Ninjutsu and Awakenings, which can power up the characters to cause series damage. There’s also a dodge and weapon throw action that players can add to their combos.

This system is reasonably straightforward, but when playing online, you’ll quickly know when you’re against a skilled player. Still, each character plays differently, so learning the combos and who to add as your support characters could create some interesting dynamics with your attacks.

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Ultimate: Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto has aged beautifully. The characters and environments just look great, even running on the Switch. There were a few times during raid missions that the game stuttered a bit for me, but other than that, the framerate felt consistent and smooth.

Furthermore, the cutscenes have some excellent voice over, especially if you’re a fan of the English dub. There’s also a lot of content unlocked in the Switch version of the game. I should also add that there were some moments where the cutscene wouldn’t play for me, and my game suffered a crash during the Story Mode, but thankful Auto-Save is a thing.

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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is an excellent port of a great fighter. While the adventure mode leaves some to be desired, the Story Mode of both the base game and the Road to Boruto expansion is there to offer plenty of content to dive into.

The Switch is a good home for Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto. I didn’t have an issue with online gameplay or any of the single-player modes, and other than a few frame drops, fights were fluid and responsive. If you’re a Naruto fan and have somehow not played this game yet, this is probably the perfect way to.

A review copy of the title was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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Azario Lopez

Hanging out max, relaxing all cool.