Inside Pulse 12

Review: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Road to Boruto (Sony PlayStation 4)

Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 – Road to Boruto
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: CyberConnect2
Genre: Fighting
Release Date: 02/14/2017

Last year saw the release of Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (Check out my review here). It covered the remainder of Naruto’s story and featured the biggest roster in franchise history. Now, a full year later, we get an expansion for that game based of Boruto: The Movie. You can either buy this DLC as a twenty dollar add on or get a complete edition of the game that contains all previously released content. Either way, this is being billed as the last bit of content we’ll get for the Ultimate Ninja franchise. As such, it needs to go out with a bang.

Road to Boruto comes equipped with a couple of things. First, you get the previously pre-order only DLC characters, which includes versions of Boruto, Sarada, and a robot version of Naruto. You also get a new story mode based on the movie which comes with a handful more new characters. You get two new version of Boruto, a new version each of Sarada, Sasuke, and Naruto, as well as newcomer Mitsuki. It’s more content than the previous DLC, but not substantially more.

You play through the story mode in the same way the post-game Adventure mode worked in the main game. As Boruto, you can run freely around in the Hidden Leaf Village as well as a few other locations. You talk to people to get quests and initiate battles. Story missions are available as well as several side quests and sub objectives. After you’ve completed the story missions, you’ll have even more quests pop up.

The tale follows the movie quite closely. Set a number of years after the end of the Naruto story line, it follows his son Boruto as he prepares for the upcoming Chunin exam. It plays off mostly like a coming of age story. Boruto has issues with his father spending more time as the seventh Hokage than as his father, and lashes out in various ways. On top of that, two new villains emerge with plans to rip the tailed beast from Naruto in order to produce powerful chakra pills. The former plot thread is fairly well developed and thought out. The latter is there so we have some big flashy battles.

The story is told through a combination of text sequences and cut scenes. It also uses a number of battles both from the movie and not in order to keep players invested. You’ll get to hunt down flags in the Chunin exam as well as battle other young ninja. It only takes a couple of hours to get through the material, with some minor replay value if you want S rankings. However, you’ll also unlock the new characters previously mentioned as rewards for completing missions. It’s certainly a worthwhile venture for long time fans.

As for the content outside of the story missions, it’s a complete miss. Once again it’s simply a collection of simple fetch quests and random battles. Heck, of of the sub quests is literally to just play a bunch of battles with ever increasing difficulty. A particularly mundane side quest has an old woman ask you to scare off crows. You walk five seconds down the road, the crows fly away, and she gives you a reward. Sometimes, the quests will offer up a small morsel of interesting content. For example, you might overhear some other characters discussing how others have evolved over the years. Then you get a battle between some of the older characters that makes sense in context. More content like that would be appreciated, but the bulk of the missions are bereft of any sort of thought or consideration. Still, you can probably get a couple extra hours out of the grunt work, and it’s better than nothing.

Short Attention Span Summary

Road to Boruto is a decent expansion thanks to the new story content and characters. However, the story only lasts a couple of hours and there isn’t much meaningful content to be found afterwards. It will be worthwhile for fans who want to see the series to the very end, but will hardly sell the game to those who’ve yet to bite. It definitely could have been more impressive.

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