Naruto: Path of the Ninja Review


I think it would be fair to say that Christmas ’07 is Naruto’s season and Naruto’s season alone, especially when it comes to the video game world. With no less than three brand-new, console-exclusive games bearing the popular young ninja’s name, Naruto is going to end up under quite a few Christmas trees and Chanukah bushes this year. Be warned, though – while some of the games shatter the stereotype that “all anime games suck,” others reinforce it like never before. Unfortunately, Naruto: Rise of the Ninja is one of those. The game looks, sounds and feels dated, nothing about the game is original or fresh and the overall package redefines the lazy, cash-in anime game. If you think last year’s Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Naruto: Path of the Ninja follows the first part of the Naruto anime’s story. It tells of an orphan boy with an amazing hidden power and his quest to become the greatest ninja the world has ever seen. If you know about Naruto, the game’s storyline is nothing new. The show, the games… they all seem to start and finish in exactly the same way. In the other two new Naruto games, for Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii, you’ll be following this same story. The difference is that those two games are pretty good. This one is not.

Path of the Ninja is set up like a (very) old-school RPG. Random battles, lots of text with almost no voice acting beyond a catch phrase or two, NES graphics, no diagonal movement, linear storyline… this game is as much as a disgrace as Dragon Ball Z: Legacy of Goku was for the GBA about five years ago. But that was five years ago; this game is brand new and doesn’t even look as good as the widely hated DBZ title. Speaking of the GBA, imagine my surprise when I found out that Naruto: Path of the Ninja is actually a straight port of a years old Japanese GBA game. Yup, you read that right: A brand new Nintendo DS game is, in essence, a very old port of a very old GBA game. I don’t have any idea who thought this was a good idea, but let’s hope they go back to school to get their real estate license. The video game industry is clearly not for them.

Aside from the popular Naruto license, this game has absolutely nothing going for it. It is an old game; it probably wasn’t all that great then, and it is absolutely shameful now. The game is made even worse by the fact that the other two Naruto games that were recently released are so, so, so much better than this. While my reviews for games are usually between 1,000 and 2,000 words, this game is so bad that I’d feel terrible about writing a long review, just because someone may actually waste their time reading it. In case there is any confusion, I’ll clear it up right here: Naruto: Path of the Ninja is an absolutely awful game. It has no redeeming qualities. This game isn’t even suitable for fans of the show and people seen playing it should be shunned by their friends and neighbors. Don’t buy it, don’t rent it, don’t even look at it on the shelves. Naruto: Rise of the Ninja isn’t worth one second of anyone’s time and if I hear one person describe it as “underrated,” I am just going to snap.

Do yourself a favor and check out my review for Naruto – Clash of the Ninja Revolution here on this site. I promise; it is at least 1,000,000 times better than this disgrace of a video game.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 5%.