Naruto: Ninja Destiny is a fully 3D fighter that recounts the anime’s story beginning with the Chunin Finals and ending with Tsunade’s ascension as Hokage. All of the action takes place as 1v1 battles while the story segments are comprised of static images and scrolling text.
Mechanically, Ninja Destiny is fairly straight-forward. A initiates a Jutsu attack (provided you have enough stored chakras), Y and B are light and heavy attacks, X is jump, R blocks, and L switches your primary Jutsu move for your secondary. There are also 6 item slots available via the touch screen. These items are used by pressing them and the icons are large enough to be easily recognizable and quickly used in the heat of battle. Fights are made interesting by the aforementioned items ad characters’ unique Jutsu attacks. Characters are well-balanced, but you’ll find yourself returning to the fighter whose Jutsu moves most suit you. Fights are fast with no slowdown, and the different Jutsu attacks bring variety to a balanced fighter.
Adventure mode is standard fare for the genre: a string of fights with story bits sprinkled in the middle. Fans of the anime will undoubtedly recognize the story being told as it is lifted straight from the series while newcomers to the Naruto mythology will be a bit lost as the game’s story picks up after the beginning of the series. Aside from Adventure Mode, Naruto: Ninja Destiny features both single-player and multiplayer Battle Mode. Offline Battle Mode is played single-player against the computer while Wireless Battle Mode (multi-card) makes it possible to battle with friends.
Graphically, Ninja Destiny stands up well. Character models are large on the DS screen, resemble their television counterparts well, and are smoothly animated. Audio, on the other hand, is a bit of a disappointment. Music and sound effects are adequate, but vocals feel lazy. It also would have been nice to have cut scenes between battles instead of static images and scrolling text.
Naruto: Ninja Destiny certainly isn’t for everybody, but it is a solid 3D fighter for a platform sorely lacking the genre. The item system is creative, and unlocking all 13 of the available characters will ensure that your money won’t be wasted. Ninja Destiny will also appeal to fans of the anime who would enjoy playing a bit of the story they know and love.