Not much information has been forthcoming about the new UNS game from CyberConnect2 (CC2) since its announcement a few months ago. The UNS titles have been one of the more enjoyable anime games out there. The question on a lot of peoples’ minds is whether or not Generations is worth it, since it looks very similar to UNS2. I’ll try to compile what info has indeed been released and how the game looks to be shaping up here.
The game has been given a general release date of Spring 2012, for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Some details of the game include the inclusion of the Naruto storyline going all the way back to the beginning, and all the way through the Shippuden arcs up to the current arcs in the anime (or perhaps even slightly later, considering there is still a long time until release). As such many, if not all, of the characters that have appeared in the Naruto series will be playable in Generations. This is in fact the reason for the title ‘Generations’, since it will encompass a large time-scale. CC2 have proclaimed that Generations will have the largest cast of any Naruto game.
A big change in Generations over UNS2 is that the RPG-esque segments in UNS2 will not reappear in Generations. Progress through the single-player campaign looks to be more linear, focussing on the story and the fights. This will be good news to those that hated the RPG elements in UNS2, although I honestly didn’t mind. The other good news is that CC2 has been touting the inclusion of roughly 60 minutes of new and most importantly, relevant, anime scenes within the game. These cutscenes deal with certain side-characters and their stories that were never published before. CC2 has worked closely with the Naruto anime production company to implement this feature. Will these be considered canon? Purists will argue against it, but it does breathe a bit of life into the game for those who already know the Naruto story like the back of their hand.
Another perhaps more important change is with the gameplay. A lot of UNS fans have complained that substituting (for the uninitiated, think of it as a counter system that teleports your character when attacked; dangerous against physical combos as you would teleport behind your opponent, usually offering a free hit) within the game was too easy. CC2 have now change the substitution system slightly. Substitutions used to eat away at your chakra bar, but now it has its own bar. From gameplay demos I’ve seen, the substitution bar is made up of 4 slots (allowing for 4 continuous substitutions) that recharges when you get hit. Whether or not this is for the better is hard to tell. It does still look slightly easy, especially given you have 4 slots to utilise and that your chakra isn’t affected. I might be nitpicking here, but personally I think having 3 substitution slots with a shorter chakra bar would make things a lot more interesting. Still, I can’t honestly judge it for now. Of note, I’ve also read that the substitution mechanic has been given its own button, distinct from the guard button. Interesting if true.
Another gameplay implementation is the introduction of cancels. Now, it looks like you can use physical combos more safely as you can cancel the combo and guard from an attack. It is hard to comment on that aspect without hands on experience though. Unfortunately, one of the few things that doesn’t look to have changed are the fight arenas. Not all arenas have been revealed but, many of those that have been seem to be recycled from UNS2. It is a shame, since from a fighting game perspective, having an interactive arena with destructible environments or possibly being able to hurl objects at opponents would make arena selection more interesting.
That’s all for this quick insight into Generations. It’s hard to say at this point if Generations will be worth it, although the gameplay changes do make it sound tempting. There’s plenty more time until the game is released, and as more info is made available, I’ll likely update this site (if no one else does) about the game down the line. The online functions for instance haven’t been mentioned. The rumour (or is it hope?) that multiple jutsus will be available in the game hasn’t been confirmed. We can hope though. Plus, CC2 have stated that they’d love to hear comments/feedback from fans, so while you can go to various gaming forums and post thoughts there (supposedly they check famous sites/forums out), why not head over to their website and voice your opinion directly if you feel strongly about something within the game. Link will be at the end of this article. Feel free to comment here about anything you’d like to see included in the games too, or if anything I’ve listed here is wrong or incomplete.