1UP writes: "Over the past few years, Naurto has quietly supplanted Dragon Ball Z as America's manga/anime series of choice, topping the charts with its hyperkinetic brand of ninja combat. And it's not just kids' stuff: This series reaches a surprisingly wide audience with its unique characters and stylized aesthetic: I've personally witnessed two grown adult men unashamedly wearing Naruto's trademark headband in public. It's become such a massive domestic hit that Namco Bandai plans to break from tradition by launching its next videogame adaptation, the PlayStation 3-exclusive Ultimate Ninja Storm, in the United States before it appears in its native Japan.
Storm hails from developer CyberConnect2, the same team behind the well-received Naruto: Ultimate Ninja PS2 games (and the quirky .hack// role-playing titles), and the similarities to their past efforts are apparent. You're still controlling Naruto through a series of tense one-on-one battles against various super-powered opponents, but everything's been given a sparkly next-gen makeover. "We've put a lot of effort into the graphical engine in an attempt to break the barrier between the anime and the game," says CyberConnect2's CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama. "Our previous Naruto games had cool toon-shaded visuals, but now we can do fine details like hair and shadows that really set this one apart." He's not lying: Storm's in-game graphics look remarkably like a three-dimensional interpretation of the anime -- clean edges, bright colors, and plenty of dizzying camera angles and wild motion blur effects."