1UP writes: "Unlike our reviewers for the first two installments in the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja franchise, I'm not familiar with the anime. I've seen portions of episodes, perhaps even a full one once, but I only know enough about the series to be able to pull out a few names here and there. Keeping this in mind, I'm sure that it comes as no surprise that most of the fan service -- and man, is there a lot -- in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 is lost on me. Still, I can appreciate a good fighter (even if I don?t get why we're fighting), and Ultimate Ninja 3 surprised me with its depth.
I was expecting Ultimate Ninja 3 to be a fighter with combos that made me dance my fingers around the controller, forcing me to memorize complex button sequences...and I was partially right. While the game uses all of the controller's buttons, it also has one of the simplest melee combat-control schemes I've ever seen, focusing every physical attack or combo on a series of D-pad and Circle button combinations. Characters also share combo patterns, so no matter whom you select, you can always be sure that Up, Up, Circle will do a special move. For someone like me, who's a casual player of fighting games, this system works because it's just complex enough that it feels gratifying to do a special move without presenting an overly daunting learning curve."