VERDICT: The game’s character is what will draw you in and keep you hooked on Naruto: Powerful Shippuden. Being based on the Rock Lee and his Ninja Pals series, the game is full of amusing cutscenes between missions and crazy conversations, which make the game instantly likeable and could attract a new section of Naruto fans who are more casual gamers.
This captures the essence of the series well – but the game is somewhat let down by the basic fighting system. Invest enough time in the upgrading and levelling up menus though, and your experience can be nicely customised to your preferences – and the fighting does take on a charm of its own. You won’t see the massive, bombastic special moves that punctuate other Naruto titles, but the system here is robust and easy enough to pick up and play almost straight-away – further aided by an in-game tutorial system. Powerful Shippuden won’t revolutionise the genre or break any new ground, but it is a clever combination of existing game mechanics in an appealing new package.