E3 2008: Naruto Sneaks Onto the DS Again with D3 Publisher
07.17.08 - 1:15 AM

D3 Publisher of America is a name that RPG fans are becoming more familiar with as time goes on. Publishers of the puzzle series Puzzle Quest, which features RPG elements, D3 also publishes all the Naruto games for Nintendo platforms in North America. Last year, they released Naruto: Path of the Ninja for the DS, and had a chance to show us the sequel at this year's show.

Unlike the first title, Naruto: Path of the Ninja 2 has an entirely original story featuring thirty characters from the anime series. Players can expect more of just about everything in this newest iteration, not just characters. The game will be larger than the first, feature more animation, better graphics, and more customization. With this new wealth of characters, a party leader can be assigned to the active party of four, and the party leader gives different effects to the rest of the party. For example, choosing Might Guy as leader gives the entire party an experience boost.

The characters are also much more customizable individually, as each character can be assigned a number of Ninja Tags. These Ninja Tags all carry a ninja point value which is deducted from the character's total. With these tags equipped, statistics and abilities are modified on the character. With these customized characters, players are able to play in both wireless and online multiplayer which will allow them to unlock new characters and items. There is also a third mode available aside from the story and multiplayer modes that D3 has not yet announced which will allow players to unlock new characters and items, as well. Things unlocked in any of these modes will be able to be used in any of the modes available in the game.

Graphically, Path of the Ninja 2 has had significant improvements. Rather than have a camera that stays in one place like the first game, it now pans and moves along with the battle animations. The sprites themselves have stayed fairly similar, but there have been a significant amount of animations added.

Naruto: Path of the Ninja will be available later this year.


John McCarroll