Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker Review PC
key review info
- Game: Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker
- Platform: PC
- Gamepad support: Yes
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
The latest iteration of the Naruto franchise focuses on the new wave of ninjas and it's meant to appeal to newcomers to the series who aren't familiar with the entire roster of iconic characters present in the anime. However, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is likely to be a more pleasurable experience for die-hard fans rather than neophytes.
I'm saying this because unlike the other Naruto games, Shinobi Striker allows players to created their own ninja and customize it as they see fit. You can pick the gender, facial features, color and style of your fair and several other character traits that should make it stand out.
Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is more akin to Dragon Ball FighterZ than then the Ninja Storm series when it comes to structure. For starters, there's no single-player campaign where you get to play with one of the iconic heroes of the Naruto universe. Secondly, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is built around a central hub from where players can access various aspects of the game from single-player missions, to PvP fights, store and training.
As I said in the beginning, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker doesn't offer a story mode like many of the previous games, but a series of VR (virtual reality) missions with an objective and a reward at the end. While that offers more freedom to developers since they can bring any of the anime series' characters into the game, even those who died, it's quite disappointing for fans who were expecting to go on a new adventure.
The VR library is the backbone of the single-player part of the game, but that doesn't mean that you'll always play solo. There are co-op missions where you'll be joined by an AI player to help you complete the objective, but I would recommend trying to find a human player instead when you tackle harder missions.
To make things worse, VR missions become repetitive after a while. It's true that there are quite a few missions that you can go through all by yourself, but you'll come to a point that everything starts all over again but on a higher difficulty level.
In between these totally uninteresting VR missions, you get to play 4v4 matches in four different modes: Combat Battle (Team Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, Base Battle (Domination), and Barrier Battle. Sadly, the multiplayer mode is not without flawed, especially when it comes to matchmaking.
Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker doesn't pair players of around the same level against each other, so many times your level 5 ninja will have to face level 50 players. Although levels are important in PvP mode, it's quite obvious that a level 50 player has more experience than one that has only played the game for a few hours.
Speaking of skills, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to powers that you can learn. First of all, you'll have to choose a mentor who will teach you some techniques that you would not be able to learn otherwise. Some skills can be unlocked by completing VR missions or PvP matches.
All PvP matches in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker play like a MOBA, so it's understandable why the developers opted to implement four main character builds: Defense, Attack, Ranged, and Heal. Each role uses its own set of techniques, skills, and weapons, so you'll have to specialize at some point during the game if you want to be competitive. Even so, winning in PvP is a bit of a gamble because you need to be matched with teammates with different specializations if you want to have a chance.
As far as the combat goes, everything is fluid and smooth once you enter the arena. There are lots of explosions and shiny effects that you'll see on the screen in the heat of the battle, but that's something of a brand mark for the Naruto games.
The same goes for the graphics and soundtrack, which perfectly capture feel of the anime series. At least in that regard Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker does something right, which might be one of the few reasons that may push you to want to keep playing the game.
- Visuals and music
- Voice acting
- Character customization
- Decent presentation
- Lacks story content
- Repetitive single-player missions
- Flawed matchmaking system
- Awkward camera angles during combat
The decision to cut the story mode and fully focus on the multiplayer aspect seems completely uninspired to me, especially that the execution leaves to be desired. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker isn't fun to play no matter what you're trying to do in the game, be it VR missions or trying to get into PvP matches.
Because of the lack of story content, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker feels like a game without soul, and that's by far its greatest weakness. Although somewhat captures the feel of the Naruto anime series when it comes to visuals and music, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is a shallow game that shouldn't have been released.