This letter is written on behalf of a (large) number of longtime fans of your company’s work, specifically the Narutimate Hero/Ultimate Ninja series of games. Having supported and seen the progression of the series from the very first Narutimate Hero game in 2003, we would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication to these games.
That said, we feel that while visually stunning, the newer “Storm” series of games has yet to match the quality of gameplay seen in the Hero/Accel games. Of course, with one of the series taking place on a pair of two-dimensional planes as opposed to a full three dimensional terrain, differences are to be expected. However, with the Storm series now in its third iteration, the core gameplay system has failed to progress. In comparison to the Playstation 2 games, the Storm games offer less diversity in terms of moves and play styles, and generally less interesting game mechanics. Because of this, we ask you as loyal fans to consider a return to the 2-D Naruto games. Not as a replacement to the Storm series, but as a supplement for those who value the unique gameplay the 2-D games provide.
At base, characters in Storm lack the number of moves and options that Accel characters have. The 3-D terrain and control system of Storm prevents characters from utilizing aerial moves, and the variety of directional attacks seen in Accel. Characters are also restricted to just a single jutsu and ougi. While shorter, the diversity in attack chains and their enders (bounces/launches/guardbreaks/crumples) in Accel created distinct character differences. Instead, much of the damage in the Storm games revolves around the use of jutsus and ougis, or projectiles.
In the Accel games, the management of one’s chakra was a key mechanic in gameplay, reflecting the original series in that sense. Characters had extremely different rates of chakra regeneration, and would have to choose between using it for offense in the form of jutsus, or defense in the form of replacement/kawarimi. Running out of chakra would mean certain defeat; all of the characters could inflict large amounts of damage if the other character was unable to kawarimi. The Storm series removes much of the emphasis on chakra control, as the speed of regeneration has been greatly increased for all characters. Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations attempts to rectify the lack of meter management with the inclusion of the replacement bar, however it still pales in comparison to the Accel system, which calls for the player to manage his resources wisely.
Other mechanics, such as the homogenization of the awakening system from Accel, which originally included a variety of activation conditions, have suffered in the translation from the Playstation 2 games to Storm. The inclusion of Storm mechanics in Accel 3, such as the chakra dash, showed the difficulty in adapting aspects of the 3-D series into the 2-D, and vice versa. While the Storm series continues to sell, and provide a great experience for Naruto fans, this letter is to meant to inform you that there are a group of gamers who still find the 2-D style of gameplay to be superior. Whether it be the development of a Narutimate Accel 4, or a next gen re-release of Accel 2, know that we, your fans are dedicated to any release of the 2-D Narutimate games. Thank you for your time and consideration.
The 2-D Ninjas