US Import: Naruto is an anime series we deliberately avoided for quite a long time, thinking it was going to be yet another ninja kids cash-in, but it's still going strong after 250 episodes, and the buzz that the uncut English dub was actually not too bad made us jump in and get hooked on the thing.
Naturally, we now have more than a passing interest in the glorious union of Naruto and Wii. And, thankfully, Clash Of Ninja Revolution has turned out to be a fairly straightforward fighter that revels in the silliness of the anime while offering some easily accessible yet impressively deep action.
The mission mode is the perfect place to begin, as it gives you a chance to experiment with all of the 20-odd characters. It's set out as a series of mini scenarios, so instead of just having to win a fight, you might be asked to show another character how to block projectiles or perform moves. The battles often have very specific rules, and you might have to take on multiple opponents with a fighter you've never used before.
The buttons are simple - strong and weak attacks, a throw and a charged special jutsu move. You can sidestep in the 3D levels and hide behind obstacles, before leaping out with a swift attack that'll be countered if your opponent presses the same button.
Taijutsu! Bless you
Every attack has a corresponding defence or counter move, and the great thing about the game is that you don't have to memorise a massive list of commands to be in with a chance - it's all button combos and the odd double-tap to dash.
It doesn't take long before you're delivering some fearsome beatdowns, but play against somebody truly skilled (or the high-level AI) and you'll be brought down to Earth. In that respect, and in its brilliant support for simultaneous four-player mayhem, it's closer to Smash Bros than most traditional fighting games.
Multiple control schemes support every Wii combination, but the only concession to motion control is waggling as a substitute for one attack button. There's no online and not much in the way of extras, but if Naruto or fighting are your thing, this is top notch.
A completely manic fighting game that makes it satisfyingly simple to do some impressive moves, and offers plenty of tactical depth for advanced players. Nice jumpsuit, too.