A Preview of NARUTO X BORUTO Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS
Even though it feels like Ultimate Ninja Storm games have been coming out in droves, it has been seven years since the last proper one. In that time, the torch has been passed from Boruto’s dad to Boruto himself, with this story change mainly taking effect in the anime and manga. Fans of the series have been gradually warming up to Boruto as the main protagonist, but Boruto is also about ushering in a new generation of fans. That’s where Naruto X Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections comes in, picking up all the changes in the story and continuing on from where the 3D arena fighting series left off. This upcoming title is a kind of “greatest hits” for the Ultimate Ninja Storm games that coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Naruto anime. It features an expansive roster of more than 130 characters throughout Naruto’s history and two story modes that fuse what’s old and new in the franchise. Read on to get a preview of this entry in the popular series.
What are the Naruto and Boruto comic series?
Naruto is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto. The series was first published in 1999 and ended in 2014, becoming one of the best-selling manga series of all time. Naruto follows the story of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja who dreams of becoming the Hokage, the leader of his village. Through his adventures, Naruto forms powerful bonds and learns the importance of friendship, perseverance, and hard work. The story is told in two parts: the first is set in Naruto’s preteen years (volumes 1–27), and the second in his teens (volumes 28–72).
Boruto is a spin-off and sequel to Naruto that was written by Ukyō Kodachi and Masashi Kishimoto and illustrated by Mikio Ikemoto. It initially began monthly serialization under the title Boruto: Naruto Next Generations. The protagonist of the series is Boruto Uzumaki, the son of the series’ original protagonist, Naruto Uzumaki, and Hinata Hyuga. In the series, Boruto sets out on his own journey as a ninja and strives to surpass his father’s achievements. The series follows the adventures of Boruto and his friends as they grow into their roles as ninjas and face new challenges and foes.
Games based on Naruto
Video games based on Naruto have existed almost as long as the series itself, with around half a dozen notable game series. The first Naruto-inspired video games started releasing around the early 2000s, which corresponds to when the Naruto anime first aired in 2002. The very first game inspired by Naruto, Naruto: Konoha Ninpōchō, was released in early 2003. As was the case with many early Naruto games, it was exclusive to Japan. As the series gained worldwide popularity over the years, more games started to see global releases.
Most Naruto games are fighting games in which the player directly controls one of a roster of various characters as featured in the series’ Parts I and II. The player pits their character against another character controlled by the game’s AI or by another player, depending on the mode the player is in. The objective is to reduce the opponent’s health to zero using basic attacks and special techniques unique to each character derived from techniques they use in the Naruto anime or manga.
The Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, developed by CyberConnect2 and published by Bandai Namco Games, was launched in 2003, and its follow-up Storm subseries was launched in 2008. The series started out exclusive to the PlayStation family of systems, with Xbox and PC versions of games in the series being made available since the release of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 for the Xbox 360 and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst for Windows. The Storm series of games are well-known for their arena-style combat, letting players relive key moments from the Naruto anime through fast-paced and thrilling battles. These games are particularly famous for their extensive character lists, and for being the first of the Naruto games to feature three-dimensional battles. The soon-to-be-released Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is the seventh installment in this game series.
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections storyline
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is about Boruto and his allies going up against a new group called Organization “ZERO” that is led by two original characters named Merz and Nanashi. Merz is a blindfolded veteran shinobi from Amegakure who worships Pain and has synthetic Sharingan, which allows him to use a giant red Susano’o. A Fifth Great Ninja War is on the verge of breaking out due to Merz, who is gathering a formidable army to fight the Hidden Leaf Village. Nanashi is a young girl who seems to be a genuine Uchiha despite being younger than Sarada, and her Sharingan allows her to control people’s minds. Organization “ZERO” is trying to reflect her dojutsu off the moon to brainwash the entire world, which causes Toneri to get involved and help Boruto stop them. Players can also look forward to reliving iconic scenes from Naruto and Naruto Shippuden in a massive story mode.
This game will have the largest roster in the entire series, with more than 130 playable ninjas. With so many characters to play as, we won’t list them all, but here are three new characters available in Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections:
Boruto (Karma): showcases one of Boruto’s formidable forms. This transformation enables him to harness the power of the Karma seal, an implant containing memories and abilities of Momoshiki Otsutsuki, one of the overarching villains in the series. With the Karma seal, Boruto (Karma) becomes an even more formidable opponent, allowing players to unleash devastating attacks against their enemies.
Kawaki: a character raised in a clandestine society, Kawaki was destined to become the vessel for Isshiki Otsutsuki. Endowed with a Karma seal and armed with microscopic Shinobi-Ware, Kawaki possesses an arsenal of mystical and technological skills. His diverse range of abilities allows players to engage enemies using various unique strategies.
Jigen: once a young monk, Jigen now wields Isshiki Otsutsuki’s Karma seal and leads the secret society known as Kara. Empowered with immensely potent Karma skills and an extraordinary level of Chakra, Jigen stands as one of the most formidable adversaries in the Naruto and Boruto series. Players will experience the thrill of facing off against this formidable villain in epic battles.
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections continues the traditional fighting game style of the Storm series, where it narrates Naruto’s story through epic battles, allowing players to embody their beloved characters. The gameplay is characterized by rapid, action-packed combat that demands skillful combos and effective use of special abilities for victory.
The game has two players facing off in a 3D arena using basic attacks, combos, substitute dodges, and a variety of wild jutsus. It’s also a tag-fighter, with each player having a team of three characters who they can swap to during the fight. Although this system lets you mix and match your favorite characters for different team compositions, what you really want to do is set yourself up for Combination Ultimate Jutsus. These were present in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4, but now with a roster of characters from Boruto, you can execute a whole new variety of them. For example, you can have Boruto and Kawaki attack in unison, with Kawaki helping power up Boruto’s Rasengan, for a ton of damage.
With full Chakra meter and your health bar in red, you can once again enter Awakening mode, working as both a comeback mechanic and also a neat spectacle. Naruto’s new Nine-Tailed Fox transformation in particular is one that looks very attractive. Pulling off solo Ultimate Jutsus are a staple of the series, and it’s amazing to do so with new characters. You can have the new villain Jigen use his Otsotsuki power to summon a Disruption Cube and crush his opponents, bringing more of that over-the-top flair this series does so well.
Outside of the bombastic, anime-inspired spectacle, a new simplified control scheme lets newcomers jump in without having to get technical to do the cool stuff. Simplified controls are available to help players get an initial feel for the game, and this makes the game more welcoming, especially for those who may not be attuned to fighters or action games. The series was never really known for complexity to begin with, but it makes sense to have an option like this to reach a broader audience, which was one of the bigger development goals according to producer Masaya Yoshizawa.
Beyond new characters and gameplay tweaks, Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections features two story modes: History Mode, for those with stronger memories of Naruto, and Special Story Mode, which puts Boruto front-and-center. History Mode is posited as a playable campaign that captures the key moments in the original run of Naruto and features fights you have experienced in previous games in the series, which can also work as a glimpse into the series’ past for those who may come into this game as a purely Boruto fan. On the flipside, Special Story Mode takes you through the pivotal battles seen in the Boruto anime and highlights the events so far.
When does Boruto X Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections come out?
Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is set to launch on November 17, 2023. It will be released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC via Steam. Although not available on Xbox Game Pass, make sure to check out the lineup of games the Xbox Game Pass has on offer. Furthermore, with the purchase of a Windows 11 PC from Acer, you can enjoy one month free of Xbox Game Pass.
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Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.