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Nov 03

NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORMs PS3 Tomorrow!

Hiroshi Matsuyama's Avatar Posted by on Nov 03, 2008 // CEO CyberConnect2

Hello PlayStation.Blog readers around the world! My name is Hiroshi Matsuyama from CyberConnect2, the developer of NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM.

Last time I spoke with you, I covered some of our basic game features. Today, as promised, I’d like to share some of our development secrets with you so that you can learn about how we made this incredible game.

We began work on the game in January 2006, while most of our company was still working on the .hack//G.U. series for PlayStation 2. We hand-picked a team of our 10 most obsessive developers which constantly grew in number as the project progressed. The team expanded from 10 to 20, 30 and eventually 65 people, which were all working on the game for the last 9 months of development. Our basic concept for the game was to eliminate the lines between traditional animation and video games. This is a pretty serious goal! We knew that to meet this goal, we would have to produce a game the likes of which nobody has ever seen.

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Fundamentally speaking, I think CyberConnect2 is good at action games. After gameplay, we pay a lot of attention to graphics. With Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, we knew we couldn’t just advance our graphics technology by just one step – we had to aim for two steps. Everyone here is a fan of every type of animation such as cel animation, cartoons, CG, and flash. Of course, the NARUTO TV series was our biggest influence for this project. I know a lot of fans feel that Japanese animation is unique because it has a special hand-drawn look to it. It’s hard to totally nail down exactly what it is, but we studied a ton of animation to make sure our game had these same qualities.

We also upgraded our development environment to take on this game. We started using LCD graphics tablets which allow us to use a stylus to create hand-drawn textures. We also installed round tables over the artists’ workstations to prevent light reflections from interfering with their work. This is an example of some of the steps we took to create CG graphics with a hand-drawn feel.

Our animation team regularly watched the NARUTO animated series while they worked to keep the same sort of tempo of movement and frame progression. As you can see, each animator has three monitors at their desk. The one on the left allows them to see the graphics as they will appear in the game, the one in the middle is the CG tool program, and the one on the right plays animation throughout the day as inspiration and reference material.


Of course, we have a lot of reference material beyond animation. We have almost 1,000 NARUTO comic books and NARUTO-related magazines and books in our office library.

We also have a huge DVD collection. The list of these little animation secrets go on and on, but the key one is that everyone working on the game loves NARUTO. I really believe this group loves NARUTO more than any other group in the world.

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These are some of the elements that helped us create NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM. I think the game will really satisfy fans and also be accessible to people who may not know much about NARUTO.

Thank you all for this great opportunity to talk about the game. It comes out tomorrow – Tuesday, November 4th – so I really hope you all get a chance to check it out!

//Add Your Own

123 Comments   7 Replies

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+ FullMetalGear on November 4th, 2008 at 12:57 pm said:

The game looks amazing, I played the demo and I had a blast for about a full month playing as just 2 characters. I couldn’t get over the graphics. Though I am concerned about one thing.

Why aren’t Haku and Zabuza in the game as playable characters or even support characters? Does the Haku and Zabuza ark exist in the story mode?

Haku and Zabuza became an important part of Naruto and Company, Naruto seal breaks and uses his Red Chakra, Sasuke uses his sharigan. That aside, the story of Zabuza and Haku till the end was pretty deep.

Regardless I’m getting this game, I’m sure it is great but I can’t help but wonder why they aren’t added as characters.


+ Yari on November 4th, 2008 at 5:12 pm said:

Hiroshi Matsuyama,

It’s rather close to the EU street date of the game already, will there be any shops giving out the cards to the Storm Packs in Europe, like GameStop and GameCrazy are doing?

I had an order running on GameStop but it got backordered, so now I want to pick the game up in my own country instead, I guess that means no Storm Pack for us eh :(.


+ RatchetFanatic on November 4th, 2008 at 6:28 pm said:

will buy as soon as price drops to a reasonable amount. $60 is only for complete games.


+ MakaiOokami on November 4th, 2008 at 6:52 pm said:

Ratchet Fanatic what do you consider a “complete” game? I consider a game worth 60 dollars one that will provide at least 30 hours of gameplay.

Please define complete gameplay as not all of us know what you are complaining about. If you’re talking about DLC then… is Burnout Paradise not worth 60 dollars? What about Littel Big Planet, Resistance 2, Killzone 2, the up to 300 hour game Disgaea 3, Soul Calibur 4, and more.

If you bought any of those while they were 60 dollars, then you’re contradicting yourself. What’s wrong with companies choosing to apply DLC either paid or unpaid. It’s our duty as the members of the free market to vote with our wallets.


+ hellsjanitor87 on November 4th, 2008 at 8:26 pm said:

you should make support characters only be available overtime because i would like to play with the 1st and 2nd hokage


+ hellsjanitor87 on November 4th, 2008 at 8:28 pm said:

we should also have updates on getting online overtime


+ ezegamer on November 5th, 2008 at 12:37 am said:

very cool, I wish I could be like you guys!!!
you’ve got some loads of collections too


+ candiria on November 5th, 2008 at 2:28 am said:

i’ll play the hell out of this around christmas when i get it. unfortunately i have to wait!


+ Honesto on November 5th, 2008 at 4:54 am said:

What happened with L.E. of Naruto? I pre-order on ebay and the seller told me the LE of naruto is avaliable on November 14th!!!!!! What’s happened? Thank you very much..


+ rheopaipo on November 5th, 2008 at 5:39 am said:

I’m waiting for christmas to buy this one, hope this gets an online mode till there..


+ DLM16A2 on November 5th, 2008 at 6:23 am said:

Why are Zabuza and Haku not in the game?? Played with them in Naruto 4(japanese). They were pretty early in the series, thought maybe they would have made it into the game as playable


+ drdre74 on November 5th, 2008 at 10:58 am said:

Just picked up my copy from Gamestop. Can’t wait to put it in my PS3 when i get off work today.


+ lindo_cafe on November 6th, 2008 at 11:23 am said:

Hey Do you know if there is a Problem with Shipping to North America? Because i Pre-ordered it, and it STILL not at the store yet.. it was release 2 days ago… jeez


+ onesin89 on November 6th, 2008 at 2:08 pm said:

Got the game yesterday, a few quirks, but all-in-all very good! Already completed the episode driven missions after about 10-11 hours of play. My question is about the DLC. Will any of the secret missions be influenced by the actually storyline or will they all be regular fights with regular items for rewards??? For the first installment of this game it was amazing!! Thanks and hope to see a sequel far more expansive and in depth! :)


+ Land Of Trill on November 8th, 2008 at 12:05 am said:

Best game ever now if we could get Bleach and a few others like this than I’m sold and I hope the next DBZ game on the PS3 will be to die for.


+ Labatt on November 8th, 2008 at 11:43 am said:

Bought the game. Graphics are fantastic and fighting is incredible. However, I’m never going to buy a Naruto game again.

I had a lot of unease buying this game because it had no online play. As a working 30-something, I don’t have anyone around to play against. I played “normal” difficulty and it seemed like they just stood still. I played “hard” and they could usually hit me but I still killed them. On my 2nd try I beat “insane” difficulty and pretty much don’t die to them anymore…

This is why online play is so important. The mission mode is extremely easy, and the “insane” difficulty is really quite simple with a couple of hours of practice.

If I can do it so easily at my age, I’m sure teenagers can do it even easier.

I think instead of starting the next title a couple of months should be spent integrating online play via a patch. That was a huge mistake. I guess I should have bought Broken Bonds and settled for the crappier graphics…


+ Akayoda on November 8th, 2008 at 2:01 pm said:

got the game ane it looks awesome. the battle mode game play is like DBZ. though it gives the look of naruto the game play gives the feel of DBZ. keep up the good work :-) まったね


+ bgsolidsnake on November 9th, 2008 at 6:49 am said:

Ahhhh great game!!!
Forget about the trophies- i really really would like to play online vs matches. Bcoz i don’t have friends that like playing console games vs CPU matches will get boring eventualy but playing online-never.

Please CC2 consider an online mode. Cut the DLC even if u have to!!

Lubo from Bulgaria


+ Derivative on November 9th, 2008 at 5:26 pm said:

I’ve been waiting for this game since the day it was announced and now that I have it I can honestly say I am very pleased and impressed at the final product.

One thing i wanted to ask however, why did CC2 decide to make 10 support only characters? I was very much looking forward to being able to use them as playable characters as well as using them as support.

Supports come with a Ninjutsu and Combo support so is it possible for you to make those 10 downloadable characters playable?


+ onesin89 on November 9th, 2008 at 5:57 pm said:

yeah I mean the character models are in the game so it shouldnt be too much to ask…


+ GeNoCiDiC on November 10th, 2008 at 1:27 am said:

The game is amazing..

I love the engine..

The game isn’t perfect though (which is a good thing)

A few gripes are (as mentioned) the 1 U.jutsu and regular jutsu thing…

Another is the fact that you always have to get the scrolls at the end of every mission…it was fun the first few times but it gets repetitive after a while…

There’s DEFINITELY more good then bad though…

One thing I REALLY appreciated is that one of my favorite characters (Gaara) actually stuck to his anime/manga fighting style using only sand and absolutely no hang to hand combat…along with Neji’s fighting style (another favorite) I just wish Neji had the 128 strikes and so on…but his normal 64 strikes was done awesomely anyway.

All in all, I don’t see why Kishimoto wouldn’t approve of this game…. I love the idea and I definitely support it. The whole “destroying the line between anime and videogame ” idea is one that could redefine the whole “anime fighter” genre if done correctly (which this game does)

Remember everybody…If the game isn’t perfect, it’s a good thing cause it gives the devs a chance to look at our opinions and add what everybody wants in the future makes (thanks to this very blog =) )…


+ Derivative on November 11th, 2008 at 11:38 am said:

Aside from my issue with not being able to use the supporty only characters… unlike previous Narutimate Hero/Ultimate Ninja titles, there was no practice menu… I’d love to take time practicing and learning each characters strengths and weaknesses through practice and i was wondering if there was a way to even add a practice section to this game through DLC?

three things that this game needs for greater success:

-online mode because all current gen fighters emphasize heavily on this feature
-the 10 support only characters to NOT be SUPPORT ONLY but playable characters
-a practice mode because ALL fighting games have a practice mode!


+ quezcotl on November 11th, 2008 at 2:21 pm said:

Great game…but the story just isnt there at all…


+ thill2783 on November 11th, 2008 at 2:28 pm said:

First off I just want to say that I’m a huge fan of the game and I followed it since the first video popped up on Youtube… Making a feature like this would in my opinion keep the pace of the game more constant.
Some more features that would in my opinion would be crazy fun are to have the following.
1. Online battle/co-op/mini games.
2. Move the kunai attack over to the D-Pad giving you a high and low attack.
3. Allow all of the characters jutsu’s to be used during a fight.
4. Story mode to be played in real time (no reading portions)…go from traversing forest to tree jumping then right into a fight. This should keep the pace of the game constant.
5. Allow switching between multiple characters during story mode…allow co-op play with friends.


+ thill2783 on November 11th, 2008 at 2:30 pm said:

I would also like to add that if you are going to make an UNS 2 please have it be during the Shippuden series. I think American fans want this badly.


+ onesin89 on November 13th, 2008 at 3:13 pm said:

If you do make an UNS:2;
1.More in-depth story mode, with all characters in the game, more manga/anime based missions; less non story missions… unless they actually increase ur stats…
2.Have the feature included in the other UN games to upgrade your characters’ stats, all we got this time was increased chakra in mission mode

On an unrelated note, is there any talk at cc2 to make a next gen .hack// series or game??? If not it should be looked into.
It would be awesome to have a .hack// game like gu, but have an additional mode to actually play online.


+ martin1979 on November 16th, 2008 at 1:38 am said:

i found there have a sound glitch when using the ultimate attack to ko opponent. The sound is so annoying , when do you locate the problem and provide the patch file to the user.

And then, is it possible to provide more cut-scene for story mode by download form psn.
I and other naruto fans hope you will provide this whether it is need to use money to buy such item , i think it is worth to buy.

Although the battle is so impressive , but the playable character is not included with Sound 4 ninja, it is so regertable. Will you provide more playable character at the furture. Because this characters are so important at rearch sasuki arc .

And the mission is so repetitive , and interaction with other people is so few. If you provide more variety mode on mission , will be more better, such as shooting with time limit, and deliver ramen to specific people .


+ trini333dad on November 19th, 2008 at 12:51 am said:

This is a very good game, I had it since the first day it came out. Since its only three options to choose from, and once you end ultimate mission mode and set your options you are only left with one, online play should be a definite add-on. Only being able to play against the computer and friends really kills the replay value. The only other issues that bothers me is that you have to play with support chars and that you can only use one ninjutsu and one ultimate jutsu. You should be able to choose if you want support characters or not, 1 vs 1 fights are fun and competitive. Since the chars already have the ninjutsu moves it would be great if they could use all of them or at least two of them plus an ultimate jutsu. That would help add variety to the game. I love the game I would give it an 8.5/10. The fighting system is great, the visuals are outstanding, and the specials are amazing. Adding online play would add an extra point to this great game giving it an 9.5/10 and it will keep fans for months on end. This will also keep fans interested for the next release, if there is one. Adding the smaller things like not using supports and using 3 jutsu per ninja would make this a perfect 10/10 game in my opinion.


+ Ldrofmn on November 22nd, 2008 at 3:18 pm said:

I have two questions for you.

1. With the downloadable content, will there be more than just missions and support characters? Like new outfits and new characters in general? And say you pre-ordered the game but the store never got either of the Storm Packs, will they be available to the PS Store anytime soon?

2. Is there going to be any trophy support added on as a patch to the game?


+ shadow169 on November 25th, 2008 at 11:12 pm said:

dude this is the best naruto game wen i mean best i mean graphics and specials colrs text and all that stuff but i am disappointed that they took out some of the other characters and the good ones they use them as support characters only that sucks haha i was about to return it back but i like the story movce and everyhting and if theres gonna be a next game of this well they should include:
*longer story mode
* use all character that were in the naruto series and the ones from naruto ultimate ninja 3 not for support characters
* and tha best of them all that would be awsome is able to play online wit everyone now that would blows my mind thats about it other than that i give a 10/10 =D

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