Hands-on with Naruto: Clash of Ninja and Naruto: Ninja Council!
Naruto: Clash of Ninja and Naruto: Ninja Council are being co-published by Tomy and D3Publisher, who were nice enough to invite us out to Naruto Community Day! This includes hands-on with the first English releases of Naruto games, interviews and Q&A, and delicious ramen.
Naruto: Clash of Ninja releases on March 7 (MSRP $39.99) and features eight core characters from the TV show; Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, Lee, Iruka, Kakashi, Haku, and Zabuza, plus "Sharingan" Kakashi and "Kyuubi" Naruto as secret versions. This is in fact the same game as the first Naruto Gekitou Ninja Taisen released in Japan; a head-to-head fighting game with great gameplay.
Naruto: Ninja Council releases simultaneously (MSRP $29.99) and is a side-scrolling action game developed by ARC System Works (known for their Guilty Gear series). Previously released in Japan as Naruto: Ninjutsu Zenkai! Saikyou Ninja Daikesshu, features graphics and gameplay somewhat similar to Gunstar Super Heroes (awesome). Playable characters are Naruto and Sasuke (and an unlockable third character) and plenty of other characters challenge them as bosses and mini-bosses, dialogue (and comedy!) included.
There are plenty more Naruto games to come (including Clash of Ninja 2 this fall) as long as sales are good (that doesn't include Jump Superstars, being a veritable licensing nightmare, sadly). So why not skip right to Clash of Ninja 3 or 4 right away? The answer, of course, is marketing; as characters are introduced in the TV show here in America, the games have to be released to match (and that means it's going to take about 130 episodes to reveal all of the characters that appear in Naruto 4).
Gaze upon the U.S. box art!