NARUTO STORM 4 : Road to Boruto is the expansion of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, the well received fighting game released on February 5th, 2016.
The expansion takes place several years after the events of Naruto Shippuden anime series, or after the events of the original games story mode. The expansion continues to show the dedication of CyberConnect2 and their efforts to recreate the story of the Naruto franchise using the medium of gaming; which is something they continue to do incredibly well.
The narrative comes directly from the movie BORUTO: Naruto the Movie. The eleventh Naruto film. Where Naruto has finally become Hokage, the world is at peace and technology has advanced. Due to the responsibilities of being Hokage, Naruto has hardly any time for his family and his son, Boruto is finally going through the Genin exam with his team – Ultimately, going through some of the trials which the original cast had to go through; if you’ve grown up with the anime or manga, that is.
This expansion also increases the already sizable amount of playable characters, including adults forms of previous characters with updated movesets – while this game isn’t the most balanced, it’s not going to be used for competitive gamers but is still fun with the sheer amount of variety in place.
If you have played the based game before, more specifically the adventure mode which was entirely optional content, you will be familiar with the type of content that is on offer here. You are able to run around the Hidden Leaf Village of Konoha picking up missions, smashing up boxes and buying extra stuff for your in-game collectible gallery.
Admittedly there is a lot of side content, especially if you’re a die hard fan. Being able to run around one of the main locations of the series and consume all of the fandom is outstanding however the quality of the content doesn’t match that of the main storyline of the base game; I personally prefer the way the main storyline is presented, just a series of battles with cutscenes which have been lovingly recreated, giving the main story line a new coat of paint… it’s awe inspiring.
The free-roaming combat is back and as strong as ever. Movement consists of using the left analog stick and jump buttons allowing you to fly across the battlefield. The controls are easy to pick up however it does feel like there is a lack of depth as you’ve really got two forms of attacking; an attack button and a ranged button – these can be enhanced by using utilizing your chakra and either doing a special ranged or one of your character’s signature moves.
As with all ninja media, there is a form of replacement (or substitution) technique which swaps you out with a log and can appear behind your enemy in an attempt to counterattack your opponent.
While playing through the storyline of the expansion, if you have seen the movie that its based on you will find that there are some slight deviations or differences between the two mediums and after playing through it; this was all done to turn it into a better gameplay experience.
As an example; there is a section where the characters are required to pass an exam before they are able to progress. In the anime, they have done this in a smart way which makes sense within the ninja world. In the game, you are required to answer ten questions correctly; This was quite possibly one of the more boring parts of the game but it only lasts a few minutes.
This game is at its strongest when it’s delivering the narrative Naruto and his adventures, and it continues to do that within the expansion. The only difference between this and the base game is the fact they have woven the narrative with the weakest part of the game which was adventure mode. If you’re intending on picking this expansion up you are going to a die hard fan of the franchise and wanting to receive more insight into the future of the franchise with Boruto.
Overall, I would give this a 6/10 and while I have gone into detail above regarding this; I just really didn’t enjoy the adventure mode of the game and was happy that it was classed as side content in the original version, having to do this to progress throughout the story for this extra content felt cumbersome. However, the more die hard Naruto fans will enjoy this content as it allows you to become more immersed in the world of Naruto.