A game created by Soleil entertainment, and somewhat of a follow up to the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm series, but is still its own game entirely, this game is soft MMO style game with a heavy focus on PVP. You can customize your own character, teach them moves from the Naruto franchise, and have them duke it out with other players or against virtual enemies. In addition there is a class system that determines what justu and ninja tools you can equip. The play can switch freely between the classes, but you only have 4 customization slots to freely switch between without having to go and reorganize it in town.
The class system is fairly simple, with 4 classes: Assault which focuses on closer range and has the strongest offensive, with the goal being to wipe out an enemy before they can react and keep pressure on their targets. Ranged which is weaker in both defense and melee but have strong ranged justu and their strong attack can launch a ranged assault, but not as long ranged as their skills, to keep enemies back and keep damage up with the goal of providing damage and support from out of range. Defenders have a decent melee and their skills focus on defensive fighting, such as making walls or slowing enemies in an area, and are basally experts at turtling while still able to trade blows close range. Healers are the last type, and their gimmick is basically horrific offensive prowess in return for giving the vital service of recovering HP for the team, which otherwise doesn't happen in PVP or depends on pickups for PVE, and inflicting status on the enemy in return for not really having any solid offensive options at all.
There is no real "plot" of the game. The story is the hidden leaf village created a virtual reality system that can create whole battlefields and recreate ninja, but only as combatants, and so they've decided to give all the ninja who focus on fighting and getting stronger something to do by making a huge tournament that makes use of the VR system to let them duke it out with little risk to them or each other. There's little else as far as story is concerned. All PVE missions are generated by the system and are basically "What if" scenarios made to help ninja train against all kinds of enemies.
This game has a lot of similarities to Dragon Ball Xenoverse, such as the teacher system and semi-random quest rewards. However, unlike Xenoverse, the focus here is on PVP. You won't be able to max out a character on PVE alone, not easily at least, and the setup is designed for teams of 4. The game does give you plenty of PVE missions that all have different stories, goals, and enemies as well, but they don't give as much EXP as just fighting other players, even if you lose.
This game's Troper Way includes:
- Anti-Frustration Features: When doing PVP the EXP and Teacher EXP pay are both pretty generous even during a loss. This seems to be to cut off the frustrations of most PVP games where losing feels unrewarding and discouraging as here you still get closer to new moves and new missions even if the match went horrifically.
- Balance Buff: a huge wave was given out to most jutsu. Rather than nerfing anything other than recharge time, all skills that went unused in higher level play have got buffed. The meta game was highly focused on pumping out the most damage per jutsu and so skills that were subpar damage dealers would get buffed with extra effects, mostly including buffs to the user or debuffs to any enemy hit by them, to help them see use without improving their damage. Skills that still saw use but still were lagging behind would get a minor one that would help but not be a huge game changer, such as lowering enemy speed, while skills that were really being neglected got good bonuses, sometimes more than one, to help them keep up, such as lowering defense or increasing recharge time of other skills.
- The healer's unique healing tag got a replacement. Before it would be put on the ground for a small area of heal over time that was rather weak and required the person to stand inside it to be healed. It was changed into an area of effect instant heal that is much more useful and can be used in active combat unlike before, although it's still weak as far as healing goes. This change allows healing masters to be useful as well as before this change only Sakura and her daughter Sarada, and possibly Kabuto if you wanted him to tank, could be used reliably in any serious capacity as they were the only two who had access to reliable healing during a fight.
- Boring, but Practical: The defender's starting mud wall is really useful in a number of situations. It acts as an actual wall, you can climb it and everything, which means it will stop all attacks from coming through and halt melee charges in their tracks as well as blocking area of effect attacks that happen on the opposite side. There are plenty of good defender skills, but this one simply has a lot of use defensively and unlike other games it's actually a lot harder to screw up its use and hurt your team more than your enemy with it.
- The wire kunai, a movement option you can use in the air to pull yourself to a wall, is very useful. There are plenty of ways to use it for more than recovery, but even just the ability to recover or cross gaps with little difficulty is nice. It only gets mentioned during the tutorial, adding to the "boring" part.
- Cellular Activation, the healing move from Kabuto, is this for medics. It causes you regenerate and has a decent cooldown time on it. Why would a skill that only heals the medic be useful? Well, you're basically invincible unless somebody uses a powerful offensive hidden jutsu or the entire enemy team teams up on you. It only lasts about 7 seconds, but you'll heal over any damage done to you mid-combo and usually come out with more health than before in such a situation, making you great for a 10 second tank or if you notice you're about to get a lot of heat from the enemy while your team is right there.
- With a buff you can't be one shot anymore as it now halves jutsu damage while active.
- Crutch Character: Cellular Extraction for healers. Unlike other skills it heals a single lump sum all at once, and heals status effects, however it has a long cooldown time, that was made longer in a patch, and it heals about half of a character's total HP roughly. It's good, and the ability to cancel status effects is useful, but it's only real advantage is lack of restrictions around it. The other skills all have drawbacks but heal better and are ready faster.
- a slight change in the healer's moveset means that it's no longer quite as bogged down by it's recharge, but they have to take on a specific bonus on the other skill that reduces the recharge time of jutsu.
- Difficult, but Awesome: Healers in general are difficult but pay out well if used right, but healing sage palm jutsu, the healer's opening healing skill, is this for sure. It heals over time in a wide area but if you flinch or attack it will stop instantly. It heals fast enough to nullify damage from a single source, affects both caster and team, moves with the user, and recharges quickly but you can't do anything while doing it but move. However your movement is completely unrestricted aside from the wire kunai not being used, the button instead ends the channeling without having to attack. Done right you can dance around attacks and avoid damage long enough to get some good healing in, and if you're in a good position can even get the enemy to waste their jutsus on trying to hit you while you dodge out of the way, but it takes some skill to be familiar enough with movement and the environment to avoid attacks and stay withing healing range.
- Early Game Hell: The healer class undergoes this pretty harshly. If you start as one then it will get worse. First is that healer's don't do nearly as much damage as any other class even with their melee, doing about half the damage of other classes. Second is that their starting teachers and justu are also really bad for defending yourself or dealing damage, With Sakura and Sadara giving you decent/amazing healing skills but the offensive skills are based off tanking enemy blows to knock them away a distance that's too short to really do anything and requires striking the ground. Once you get more healing teachers, which includes (bizarrely) Shikamaru and Hinata, you start getting skills that are more flexible and can start seeing what works and what does, in addition to being more used to the game and getting better at the teamwork that the healer both needs and greatly helps.
- Fake Balance: The game balance is pretty good for the most part, but a few moves and concepts throw this out the window. The best one would Planetary Destruction, an assault ultimate learned from Pain. It's only real weakness is that the user is forced to stand still while using it, with its best use being at grouped up enemies. There is no warning that it's about to happen, unlike the similar ultimate Kirin, it deals heavy damage to the point of one shotting healers and ranged at full health, and sucks in nearby enemies around the target. Given that bases and capture the flag both work best when the team is huddled, plus combat situations where it's easy to group up, this ultimate really is absurd compared to the rest. Feather Illusion for the medic is similar with the same weak, but it's only a wide ranged stun that resets all cooldowns meaning you still require a team to do anything meaningful with it.
- Ninja tools are not balanced out. The starting tools are ok, assault and medic have a kuni, or ranged have the slightly better senbon as kunai throwing is part of their moveset, which can harass and interrupt and you can carry 4, a specialized tool such as healing tags for medics or smoke bombs for offense. Once you've played a class enough you'll unlock their other specialty ninja tool, and all except the healer's are a bit too good to be pulling out of thin air. Assult's is a stunning kunai which works for a very short period but is long enough to close the gap to get into melee range or another popular use is chaining from one aerial melee combo to another by hitting them after the finisher, leaving the victim helpless without a substitution. Ranged has a fumi shurikin which is large and has incredible knockback and can chain hits to send enemies flying away from an objective if aimed right, so they can force you away without using any ninjustu or just cheaply displace you from an objective with little risk. Defenders have explosive bombs that they can throw that causes knockback, much like ranged, that they can pull out quickly, allowing them to easily force you off before you get close to them without even pausing for more than a second. The healer's is a throwable that slows down enemies, which is useful and has the kunai's flinch but only 2 uses, and while useful compared to the others and their multitude of uses looks just lame.
- Game-Breaking Bug: As of right now lag can seriously ruin a PVP match. The game handles lag by trying to force characters into the state that the game believes them to be in, so in addition to the usual issues like hits not registering or the enemy breaking out of a combo the game can also force you into a position you weren't at on your side, with the biggest being either the game declaring your character touching a death pit when they didn't or suddenly being over one with no time to react before you die.
- There's also some dodgy knockback that both kill you by making you react as if you landed on a wall after a hit over one of the mentioned death pits which causes your character to "stand up" without sticking to the wall or can get you stuck on several things and seriously ruin your ability to fight.
- Guide Dang It!: The teachers all teach you skills for specific classes, but the game doesn't tell you which they are unless you unlock that teacher by getting a high enough rank with another teacher, as the display that tells you the teacher's rewards will have the class icon next to reward telling you of the unlock. This is in addition to odd class/character choices such as Shikimaru technically being a "healer" while Kisame is technically a "defender". In addition you can't see what any skill does before you've unlocked it, meaning it can be unclear what you're going to get before you get it.
- Technically you can see their class, it's just in the pre-battle adjustment screen rather than in the actual menu where you select your teacher.
- The game doesn't make it clear but all clothing has passives attached which can help. It never goes out of its way to tell you this and you can only see it if you press the information display button twice while selecting clothes or an accessory. The best you get is a small blurb that randomly appears during loading that tells you clothing has "unique abilities".
- Shoot the Medic First: Healer ninja can restore HP, which is highly limited in PVP and none of the other options are as good as what a medic can do, and in some cases can become a major boon to their team just by being there, see Difficult, but Awesome for palm sage and how useful that is, so getting rid of them, or just distracting them for long enough, can give you a large advantage during a battle. A good medic is aware of this fact and will take steps to avoid it happening easily.
- Tactical RockPaperScissors: The game seems to feel that there is one going on. The order would be assault>defender>ranged>assault but really due to the number of jutsu and the flexibility of justu for each class that doesn't work out as well in practice due to such things as the walls that the defenders can use against ranged can also trip up assaults so they end up in a disadvantageous position, while assaults have plenty of mobile (or even a few ranged) skills that can let them catch up to ranged class.