Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is essentially Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, but this version comes packed with all the DLC available on one disk.
The game starts off by throwing you into chaos as the Nine-tailed Demon Fox is wreaking havoc on Naruto’s home village. This massive battle sets the stage for the game and is quite enjoyable to be part of something on such a climatic scale. The game’s opening level serves as a tutorial, putting you in control of both Naruto’s father and the Third Hokage, switching between the two, as they defend their village from an attacking Nine-tailed Demon Fox.
The switching between characters and battles gives the game a very anime feel to it playing nicely to how battles are monitored in the show to how you can play them out in the game. This enables you to follow the story quite well with noticeable plot progression. While at the same time still being kept in the action to play as different characters quickly and efficiently.
Full Burst, in terms of combat, is really no different from Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 but Full Burst does seem to have further refined the controls which makes it feel much more responsive and fluid. Moving around the battlefield feels nicer when dodging enemies and jumping around the map, it flows exactly the way you want it too. A change from the previous game is the Awakened mode which can now be activated before death is knocking on your character’s door. This changes the battles for the better, allowing you extra choices when facing off against the numerous different villains and enemies in the game. Full Burst does feel easier than the previous game but there are some battles which seem near impossible and this difficulty spike can really off put the flow of the game.
Throughout the story, you are given a choice in certain parts of the narrative to go down the Heroic route or the Legendary route. Each route allows you to play as a different character in that part of the story and it also gives you points in each respective category. These points are used to unlock items which you can use in battle later on in the game. Which routes you take will decide what items you can unlock. You will also be able to see unique cutscenes which are not seen in the anime. The choices are a little confusing as Heroic and Legendary might force you to always become a “legend” as that sounds better than the two options when you think of the wording. Each option is not explained fully so it all really depends on which fights you want to experience and what items you wish to unlock.
Full Burst does have some open world experiences but they are scattered very thinly through battles and many cutscenes. The game has stuck very closely to the anime but this has made it feel much more like an episodic cutscene adventure with some interactive battles more than a game. You do get to see some extra side content depending on the choices you make but you are always quickly slung back to the main story for another battle. The open areas you get to explore are good but are far and few between and you are quickly thrown back into the fray.
The multiplayer is the same as it has always been, but now you have over 80 different characters to choose from to fight with and some being unlockable like the almost-impossible battle to get Sage Kabuto and the homage to Goku with Naruto wearing his uniform.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is easier than its predecessor but does have some randomly jarring difficult spikes. It does well to overcome this though with better controls, and combat which packs more of a punch. Fans of the show will most likely enjoy reliving the story with the many, many cutscenes and the chance to deviate from the script slightly. Those who wish to play just a fighting game might find the narrative long winded and confusing. Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is a solid addition to the fighting franchise but does seem to be aiming directly towards to niche gamers who enjoy the show.