We were given the opportunity to play NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS briefly ahead of Tokyo Game Show 2023.
We started off by playing the Special Story Mode for about 15 minutes. In this mode, you’ll get to experience a brand new original story with game original characters. The main highlight of the mode for us was the duel between Sasuke and Naruto, where you play as Sasuke and engage in a battle with a brainwashed Naruto with purple eyes.
As expected, CyberConnect2 yet again manages to create a top tier fight scene. The choreography of the fight was simply amazing. A new fight between Naruto and Sasuke after the end of the anime is peak fan service, and will sure to keep players invested in the story. The transition between cutscenes and fight were quite seamless, but it seems like mid-battle quick time events were removed.
During our time with the game, we noticed that the controls were automatically adjusted to the new “Simple” control option. In our experience, it is anything but simple. There are still many complicated input combinations that you have to execute, and it feels like an odd adjustment to the controller layout rather than a simplification. Another qualm we have is that some of the actions don’t work entirely, such as the important Chakra charge function, where the game says you need to let the controller be in an idle position.
Switching to the normal controls during our time with the Free Battle helped a lot. The normal controls are the same as the previous Storm Games, so it is recommended to stick to the default controls if you’re used to it. You’re given much more freedom to execute actions. With that being said, the simple controls might be a nice option for some players, and is probably just a matter of being used to it.
We were given access to the complete roster of the game in Free Battle, which included a whopping 130 new characters including a new variant of Naruto with Baryon Mode, which we selected. To be honest, we were a little underwhelmed with his animations, as it wasn’t as flashy as some of the other characters, especially considering Baryon Mode is Naruto’s ultimate form. But it can be understood as they’re going for a more anime accurate approach, which you can see in how fast and efficient his taijutsu is, especially when you go into the awakening.
NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS is set to release on November 16th, 2023.