July 9, 2007 - Guy sucks. His bowl haircut, his goofy grin and his long legs -- they all suck. Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke had made it all the way to the Forest of Death, the final stage of their challenge, to do battle with Kakashithe and that damned Guy.
Before this summer's out, you'll know the wrath of Guy. [Register or Login to view links] is a brand new fighting title from Namco Bandai and CyberConnect2 that is set to exclusively karate kick the PSP with characters, locales and items from the popular Naruto magna comic and cartoon that includes -- ugh -- Kakashithe and Guy.
Now, until you get to pick up Nartuo: Ultimate Ninja Heroes, you won't know how tough getting to these guys in Hero Mode is. The mode has you choose a team of three warriors -- there are four preset squads and one create-your-own to choose from -- and take on various teams in ninjutsu combat through multiple tiers. Beat one of your opponents, and the next enters after the victor gets a small health boost. If one of your members gets beaten, the next teammate enters after the bad guy gets a boost. The first team to best all of its opponents wins and moves on to the next set of opponents. Easy has five battles, normal has six, and the list goes on.
We were playing on easy … shut up.
Ultimate Ninja Heroes is a soulless temptress. The fight before Guy and company? Piece of cake. Sasuke came in with a little more than half a health bar -- throughout your multiple-stage battles, your health will reflect the fights you've waged -- and cleaned house. Three bad guys fell to his taped up fists, and we were feeling good heading into the fifth and final team.
We dispatched Kakashithe, and then Guy showed up.
He and that lame haircut owned us -- pwned us if you will -- in the Forest of Death. He blocked our Chakra-draining Secret Techniques, which deal out a ton of damage and enact a nifty cutscene when it works, and reversed our circle button attacks. This miscreant pinned our best fighters against a stone wall and beat the living tar out of us. If we tried to run, Guy extended his ungodly long legs, hooked us in the belly and threw us back to the wall.
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Fights are usually more exciting than this.
Luckily, the soul-searing hate we feel for Guy is a good thing. Ultimate Ninja Heroes is a fun D-Pad/face button-combination fighter that looks great and plays well. If you've played Naruto's various PS2 fighting games, you'll feel at home with Heroes even though it is a new title. The cel-shaded art, 20 playable characters such as Choji and Neji and close to ten playable arenas all look as good if not better than their PS2 counterparts.
See, when the Naruto games get put on the boob tube, they look good, but some cutscenes -- such as Sexy Jutsu -- show sharp edges and some weak art. On the PSP however, those problems don't pop up. The smaller screen focuses the cool art, great color and eye-popping splashes into a visual treat. Unleash Sasuke's devastating stomach punch -- called Chidori -- and the screen goes navy, Sasuke's hand starts to emanate light blue electricity and our hero runs across the screen before slamming his fist into the opponent's gut. Go ahead and try to tell us that doesn't look awesome. Kakashithe has a move that ends with a bulldog swallowing his opponent's head, Sakura sandwiches baddies between a giant set of hands, and just about everyone has something equally as cool .