Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 2 is a Fighting Game developed by CyberConnect2 released on September 30th, 2004. It is the sequel to the original Ultimate Ninja game, and is thus the second installment of the now long-running Ultimate Ninja franchise exclusive to the PlayStation 2.
Much like it's predecessor, the game is a 2D fighter that is framed from the Destruction of the Hidden Leaf Arc to the Search for Tsunade arc of the manga. It is the first game in the series to have a controllable overworld for the main story that uses locales from the manga and anime as a backdrop. The game takes what worked from it's predecessor and updates it, containing a larger roster and updating aspects of returning characters.
The game would be released worldwide in 2007. The sequel, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 would later be released in late 2005.
Tropes exhibited by this game:
- Assist Character: The support system from the first game is greatly expanded.
- The player's support character is not locked to a predetermined choice; the player can choose from a selection, although there is still one that is optimized for that character. Other characters who are not part of the initial list can be added by repeatedly battling them in matches. It's possible to have the entire character roster to be part of a character's support list.
- Although some previous support-only characters have been made playable, Iruka and Asuma remain support-exclusive. The game also adds the Sound Four (Jirobo, Kidomaru, Sakon, and Tayuya) and Nadare Roga (Japan only) as support-exclusive characters.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Naruto fights the malicious personality created by the Gedo Mark in Chapter 4 inside his mind.
- Betting Minigame: True to the manga, you can play Three-Way Deadlock pachinko in Tanzaku Town. Pay for medals to play and a match earns you 3 medals. You only get anything worthwhile by hitting either "777" or Naruto's headband, which give you 15 and 20 guaranteed matches, respectively.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In Chapter 4, Kabuto puts the Gedo Mark on Naruto, causing him to become hostile to his friends. Shizune and Sakura each take turns trying to beat him into senses, followed by Naruto subconsciously fighting the Gedo Mark that manifests as himself.
- Came Back Wrong: Kabuto reanimates Haku, Zabuza, and the Third Hokage during the Gedo Mark arc and orders them to attack the Hidden Leaf ninja. They are eventually put to rest by Sasuke, Jiraiya, and Tsunade, respectively.
- Filler: The game follows the manga's canon from chapter 90 to 171, followed by a filler story called the "Gedo Mark Arc".
- Gameplay and Story Segregation:
- Characters can use all of their Ultimate Jutsu in the story mode unless explicitly barred from using it, which can lead to many inconsistencies such as Naruto already knowing Rasengan prior to being taught it by Jiraya.
- The Third Hokage's Level 3 Ultimate Jutsu is the Reaper Death Seal, which should have killed his opponent and himself instantly. If he successfully does it, he is slapped with a status that eats a percentage of his HP, but otherwise comes out none the worse for wear, and if the opponent has sufficient HP, so does him/her. However, the only time he is playable in Ultimate Road requires the player to use the technique to beat Orochimaru, after which the old man dies, so in a way it's an aversion.
- Ghibli Hills: In addition to the returning Forest of Death, the game adds the Hidden Leaf Forest, where Naruto and Sasuke have their confrontation with Gaara.
- Guest Fighter: The Japanese edition has Doto Kazahana and Nadare Roga from Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow as playable and support characters, respectively, as well as two stages inspired by the movie. All four are excised in the overseas release.
- Handicapped Badass: Sealed Orochimaru, who has to rely on kicks, unorthodox swordmanship through the Kusanagi concealed inside his body, and Kabuto performing jutsu for him, and they still don't make him any less threatening. He is the final boss of Ultimate Road.
- Mana Burn: Neji and Hinata's chakra-draining Byakugan Mode makes a return, as does the effect of standing on water bodies. The game also adds Kisame's Shark Mode, activated by performing his Level 2 Ultimate Jutsu.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Downplayed. Anbu Kakashi, Byakugan Hinata, Kabuto, Sealed Orochimaru, Shizune, and Taijutsu Naruto don't have Ultimate Jutsu. Pressing the buttons that normally correspond to them instead activates a power up state which increases their overall stats for a certain amount of time (the higher the level, the longer it lasts).
- Minigame: There are six: Guy's Handstand Race and Pose Challenge, Lee's Push-Up Battle, Sakura's Tree Climbing, Shikamaru's Shadow Possession Challenge, and Tanzaku Town's Three-Way Deadlock.
- Mirror Match: The seventh battle in Chapter 4 is Naruto vs Naruto.
- Old Save Bonus: If you have data from the first Ultimate Ninja then you will receive 340 Ninja Info cards and 50000 ryo upon starting the game.
- Post-End Game Content: Beating the last story fight in Ultimate Road (Nine Tailed Naruto vs Sealed Orochimaru) unlocks Itachi, Kisame, Orochimaru, Anbu Kakashi, and Nine Tailed Naruto as playable characters and nets access to all missions in Mission Mode.
- Promoted to Playable: Five support-only characters from Ultimate Ninjanote have been made playable. Six characters who were previously only seen in Ultimate Jutsu, backgrounds, and cutscenesnote have been made playable as well.
- Racing Minigame: Guy's Handstand Race, where you attempt to reach the finish line ahead of Guy as fast as you can while dodging dogs.
- Regional Bonus: The European version includes both the English and Japanese dubs. This only began to be implemented in the North American localizations starting with Ultimate Ninja 3.
- Secret Character: Fifteen playable characters are unavailable at the start. You unlock thirteen of them as you play through Ultimate Road's story, while the other two are true secret characters unlocked by clearing optional tasks.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: The game is notorious for upping the enemy's AI far higher compared to Ultimate Ninja. Many players often have trouble winning the main story's battles, let alone optional missions. The spike is really noticeable in Ultimate Road's Third Hokage vs Orochimaru battle, in which Orochimaru substitutes your attacks constantly, only stopping when he has no chakra. This happens in Chapter 1. The sequel, Ultimate Ninja 3, tones down the AI to be more like the first game.
- Serial Escalation: While not as extreme as it will get, this is where the Ultimate Jutsus start to get a bit ridiculous. Notable examples include a giant sand Gaara, Jiraya setting an entire crevasse on fire, and so much more.
- "Simon Says" Mini-Game: Guy's Pose Challenge and Shikamaru's Shadow Challenge.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The two stages exclusive in the Japanese version are set in the Land of Snow.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left:
- In line with the manga, Itachi and Kisame simply flee Tanzaku Town when Jiraiya appears and stops them from taking Naruto. Likewise, upon being defeated and made clear that Tsunade won't accept his offer to resurrect Nawaki and Dan, Orochimaru leaves the scene with Kabuto.
- Orochimaru leaves the Hidden Leaf just as easily as he entered at the end of the Gedo Mark plot. The arc is non-canon, after all.