Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The PS4's System Seller:

I've been saying for a while that the PS4 was a great console, but there weren't any games for it so there was no point purchasing it -- yet.

A lot of great games are still in development, far over the horizon.  FF7 Remake (Parts 1-infinity), FFXV, Star Ocean 5, Tales of Berseria, Dynasty Warriors 9, Dragon Quest XI, Shenmue III, etc.  But all of them are still in development.  Nothing has come out!

It's been years and the PS4 hasn't produced a single new game!

FFXV was announced in 2006 and ten years later there's still no confirmed release date!

The only remotely interesting PS4 game that wasn't also released for the PS3 so far is Disgaea 5.  But seeing as how I never even finished Disgaea 4 it was so bad, there's no way I was going to rush out the door to buy a PS4 for Disgaea 5.  And thus, years after I endorsed the PS4 as the ultimate gaming machine, I never actually owned one, but instead just plodded along with the PS3 and World of Warcraft on my PC.

Until now.

There is a game worth not only buying, but buying an entire PS4 console and an extra controller just to play.  And that's 'Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4'.

I never played any previous Naruto game, but the trailer for this version was just too attractive to ignore.  Take a look at this trailer:

Okay, once you've paused a moment to reflect on the awesomeness of that trailer, let's talk about what this game has that no other Naruto game had -->

1.  This game will show the ending to the manga before the anime shows the ending to the manga.  Thanks to the endless delays to the anime, even when this game was delayed another half year, it still ended up coming out before the anime while showing in story mode the ending of the manga.  It's so well animated and well drawn that it may as well be the anime ending, it looks so similar and has the same voice actors.  If you're tired of waiting for the Naruto anime to get back to canon material, well then here's your chance, just play Ninja Storm 4 and you're done.

2.  This game has all the characters in the anime.  Even Bolt and Sarada if you pre-order (seven days left!).  Even the Sound 4 if you buy the downloadable content expansion pack.  A massive roster worthy of a Dynasty Warriors game, with all the appropriate voice actors and costume designs straight from the anime/manga.  You can play anyone, however remote and small a role they had in the series.  Do you want to play Hyuuga Hanabi?  Sure!  What about Haku?  Go ahead!  Did you really like that one reanimated zombie clam illusionist?  Have at him!  Did you really super duper want to play the 5th tail Jinchuuriki who never even had a single spoken line?  Here you go!

3.  Relive the nostalgia as you use the super moves of all the characters in the game just like they did in the anime.  Destroy your enemies with over the top combos just like the story did, and relive every fan memory you've had of the series since it started in 2002.  Relive your childhood!

4.  Naruto has never looked better.  This is the difference between PS4 Naruto and PS3 Naruto.  They put a lot of effort into delivering a game that looks better than anything that came before.

There's even a story mode dealing with what happens after the 4th Great Ninja War.  Now that's value for your dollar.  At this point, even if the actual combat engine itself is terrible, does it even matter?

Good combat mechanics don't make a good game, they just make a very technically demanding game for those with superior motor reflexes.  Good games make you feel alive.  Naruto will do that far more than anything SFV can provide.  Just watching the characters you love move around as you tell them will be a far more satisfying feeling than any tournament victory.

While on the subject of games, I've changed up my video game hall of fame rankings yet again.  I put in Dead or Alive in honor of its new Xtreme 3 game that's so sexy it's banned in the west (also in honor of being a genuinely decent fighter and in honor of it spawning a genuinely decent movie, the franchise really has a long and esteemed history)  I also added in Disgaea in honor of Disgaea 1 and 2, which were actually great games, regardless of what can be said of the more recent entries.  I also really liked the Disgaea anime, and that couldn't have happened without the game, so this series has a larger meta-value as well.

Sadly, having never played a Naruto game before, I'm not about to add it to my hall of fame preemptively, but if it pays off like I expect it too, there's no reason why it can't join in on the fun.

Meanwhile, I finished my rewatch of Shirobako and it was as good as I remember it.  The 2nd half was weaker than the 1st half, except for the last two episodes which were fantastic.  Of course, the ova's were perfect too.  There are rumors that Shirobako will be getting a second season.  If it does, it'll shoot up my rankings, because I genuinely feel like the story isn't really finished yet.  The show could use a second season to get it where it really needs to go, with everyone making their high school dream anime '7 lucky gods'.  As it stands it's stuck at #49.

Speaking of old anime franchises never ending, is anything momentous slated to end in 2016?  I don't feel like Bleach is anywhere close to ending, nor is Fairy Tail.  The fights are just too big and there are still too many characters left standing for everything to be resolved in fifty chapters.  Naruto is restarting of all things.  Dragon Ball Super might wrap up this year, but even if it does, that doesn't rule out some new sequel or prequel (fingers crossed for a Dragon Ball pre-Z remake).  Love Live Sunshine will continue that tradition ever onwards, To Love-ru and Idom@ster are still getting oav releases, Jojo's is only on Part 4 and Sailor Moon Crystal is only on Part 3. . .

There's Tamayura and Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, which are slated to come to a satisfying conclusion by this spring, but they're pretty low ranking series so it's hard to make a big fuss about them.  There's Code Geass Akito finally ending this year, but the oav spinoff was never that important anyway.  Just a fun little side story of little consequence whether it's told or not.

Shinryaku! Ika Musume ends this year, but as the 90th place manga, that's not exactly a world-shaking change from before.  If Assassination Classroom ended that would be slightly more interesting, especially if the anime goes all the way to the conclusion, but whether that happens or not is still up in the air.  I guess this year too is just going to be a placeholder year, with nothing of note starting or finishing.  Well, at the very least, this is the final and definitive Ninja Storm game.  CyberConnect is going to be working on the FF7 Remake from here on, so they won't have any more time for Naruto.  All the more reason to buy this game, their swan song, because you know they'll have tried to make it the best possible now that there's no turning back.

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