Naruto Ultimate Ninja 3

Platform:  Sony Playstation 2

Developed by:  CyberConnect 2

UK Distributor:  Bandai

ELSPA rating: 12+

Original Retail Price (SRP):  £39.99

Current Value:  £17.49

Reviewer:  Matt Dark 

We return once again to the Konoha village with Ultimate Ninja 3, which continues Naruto’s journey once more as the game moves into the ‘Sasuke Retrieval’ story arc.

I was a little sceptical about picking up Ultimate Ninja 3.  The original game had been good in my eyes.  There were a decent number of characters, plenty of stuff to unlock and each character had a short arcade-style story mode.  The sequel, on the other hand, was a dreadful game in my opinion, mainly due to its difficulty curve, which would reach a gruellingly unforgiving level.

I’m happy to say then, that Ultimate Ninja 3 fixed what was wrong with the second game, and improved on the original.

Ultimate Ninja 3 has 2 main modes, Hero’s History and Ultimate Contest.  Hero’s History covers the Naruto story, touching on some key points, such as the battle against Haku and Zabuza, the invasion of Konoha and the search for Tsunade.  These are all put together in short chapters, which try to recap the story.  The forth chapter, and by far the longest, covers the main battles of the Sasuke retrieval story, including the battles against the sound ninja and the final showdown between Naruto and Sasuke.   The only problem with this mode,

is that while it recaps the story, it doesn’t really explain the story, outside of a handful of cut scenes, most of the time you are moving from one battle to another.

Ultimate Contest, on the other hand, appears to be the main focus of the game in terms of a single-player experience.  Tsunade has decided to organise a special tournament, where the ninja of the village must collect special crystals, either by exploring the village itself, or by fighting the other ninja, all for the chance to create a new rule for in the village.  This is a unique story, created by the developers of the game, and it gives you more then enough to do, there are plenty of battles, a number of mini-games and a few side-quests you can take part in, including going on ‘dates’ with the various ninjas in the game.

   Alongside these, the game also has the standard versus and training modes.  And with 42 playable characters, you’ll be spoiled for choice when fighting against friends, especially with some interesting additions such as the 1st, 2nd and 4th Hokage’s, along with Hanabi Hyuga (Hinita’s younger sister) and Konohamaru as playable characters. 

The game plays just like its predecessors.  X makes you jump, Square will throw Shurikens, Circle will let you use basic combos and Jutsu’s,

while pressing Triangle before Circle will let you unleash an Ultimate Jutsu.  You can also fight on multiple levels, as every stage has an area in the fore and back grounds, which you can teleport to with a tap of X while hitting up or down on the D-Pad.

The only fault I found with Ultimate Ninja 3, is that the system is really starting to show its age.  While the series has continued to add things in, such as new characters, and some new stages, the graphics haven’t changed al that much, and most of the levels have been recycled from Ultimate Ninja 1 and 2.

Despite this, Ultimate Ninja 3 is still a fantastic game, and a fine fighter to add to your collection.


There are a few mini-games you are able to play in Ultimate Ninja 3, most involve you having to press the correct button at the right time (throwing Kunais, doing push-ups and posing) but there is also a tree-climbing mini-game that acts as a race as you try to be the first to the top.

The game also has a huge amount of items to collect.  There is a huge number of in-game models, character cards and voice samples to collect, so you will be kept busy for a long time.


Game: Extras:


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