I’ve only been half paying attention to the licensed anime titles coming out of Japan lately. I mean, after hearing about the 1000th Dragon Ball Z iteration, it’s quite easy to lose interest. But this new Naruto game for 3DS has caught my eye for a number of reasons.
Naruto SD: Powerful Shippuden is based on the look of the recent Naruto anime spin-off Naruto SD: Rock Lee no Seishun Full-Power Ninden, which translates to “Rock Lee’s Springtime of Youth Full Power Ninja Chronicles.” As the name implies, the show stars the hot-blooded martial artist character Rock Lee, relegating Naruto to a supporting role. While the series proper is filled with the kind of action and drama you’d expect in your typical shonen series, Naruto SD is a purely comedic show with an adorable (yet sometimes creepy) super-deformed art style. Surprisingly, it’s quite entertaining, at least for fans who appreciate the Narutoverse’s inherent humor.
Powerful Shippuden maintains the show’s SD look via detailed sprites and fluid animation, which I think look much better than the slightly robotic graphics of the recent HD releases. On top of that is the knowledge that the game is being developed by Inti Creates, the company best known for the Mega Man Zero and ZX series as well as Mega Man 9 and 10. Put it all together and you’ve got at least one guy over here looking forward to some ninja brawling action with a bit of cross-dressing tossed in the mix.
Naruto SD: Powerful Shippuden comes out this year in Japan. Hopefully, it finds its way out West.