As part of Tokyo Game Show 2023, we got the opportunity to speak with Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections Producers Hotaka Suto and Rokushi Suzuki in an interview.
Adding A Second Ninjutsu
One of the first questions we asked the producers was that since removing the tilt from Ninja Storm 4, how will that affect this game now that a second ninjutsu is added in.
“In the previous series, you were only able to set one ninjutsu. By having additional ninjutsu for the first time in this series, there were a lot of voices on the review side saying that people wanted to have two ninjutsu or a lot more ninjutsu than one.”
“So in this game, we’ve added two ninjutsu, and by having that, the way it expands, it would give a lot more options for how to battle and play the game strategically. And we’re hoping that players will have fun by enjoying that strategic value.” they replied.
History Mode and Story Mode
Another question we asked whether if the producers could clarify whether the History Mode and Story mode of Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections would also include stories from not only Naruto but Boruto as well.
To which, the producers replied by saying that in History mode, it’ll only include the Naruto and Naruto Shippuden anime series, and it’s going to cover the whole Naruto story. Aside from that, the producers mentioned that there will be a special story mode in which Boruto will be the main character.
“We would have the Boruto story and the history mode, but fans who love Boruto can also enjoy the special story mode. and it’s going to be a game original exclusive.” said the producers.
Following the Anime
As a follow up to our previous question, we asked the producers if the special story mode they brought up follows the anime, and whether the series’ original writer, Kishimoto helped write it.
“Yes, Kishimoto-sensei knows about this special story mode, but the supervision is actually done by Shueisha Company, the publisher who is publishing Naruto and Boruto. And also in the special story mode, we would have two original characters, Nanashi and Merz. These are the two key characters in the story. Those characters actually has not been written by Kishimoto-sensei, but it have been created by CyberConnect, which is the development team.” said the producers.
Another question we asked if any of the characters in the game receive any minor or massive revamps.
The producers replied by saying that there has been a minor adjustment in the previous characters that were in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series, and the characters that were adjusted were Mitsuki, Sarada, and Momoshiki.
“They would have new skills and secret techniques, and also for other characters, there has been a minor change in the skills, like the performance of the scale has been adjusted.”
The next question we asked was with the simple controls, how close were players able to get in terms of effectiveness to the normal controls.
“If you’re new to using the normal control mode, it might be harder, not harder, but it would be more advanced, and players might be good with the normal control. Simple control mode is for beginners. They’ve invented it for the beginner because previously we had to press multiple buttons and it was hard to remember, but with this simple control mode, you can emit a lot of combos by pressing one button.” said the producers.
One of the examples the producers brought up was if players were to perform a chakra dash, they had to press a lot of buttons, but by pressing the circle button on the PS4 or PS5, they can just emit the chakra dash instantly.
If players want to play easily, then the simple control mode might be suitable, but if players are looking for more technical mechanics, then normal mode would be better.
Fans had noticed from the previous gameplay video that the awakening mode seemed a bit shorter than the last game. We asked the producers if there was a reason for it.
“The awakening mode actually has not been changed from the previous series, but there are some shorter awakening modes for characters. And the reason is that if the awakening mode is too long, then it would affect battle balance. So that’s why awakening mode doesn’t make a difference.” they said.
The producers mentioned that the reason why the duration for awakening mode is the same is to maintain game balance.
Writing an Original Story
Considering how this title features a game only original special story mode, we asked the producers how they approach writing an original story without the author’s direct input.
“Because in Naruto’s story, it was the world of Shinobi, so there was of course war and battles, and compared to Boruto, Boruto is more of a daily life, it has less seriousness. So this special story mode is actually about mercenaries trying to start a war with the 5th great ninja. By having that as a story, they wanted to convey that there is seriousness to Boruto and how It’s connected with Naruto and also Boruto.” said the producers.
The final question we asked the producers was what is the feature highlight of Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections.
“During the hands-off session, there’s going to be two modes that you can play. So one is the special story mode, where you will get to play for the first time, actually worldwide. And in this special story mode, the graphics are very beautiful and well done by CyberConnect2” they replied.
Another highlight the producers brought up was the Free Battle Mode where players get to battle with their favourite ninjas in simple and normal control modes.
We would like to thank Producers Hotaka Suto and Rokushi Suzuki for taking the time to answer our questions.
Naruto x Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections will be released on 17th November for PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S, and PC.