Naruto: Rise of a Ninja is an Xbox 360-exclusive video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal, making it the first Narutogame to be developed by a non-Japanese company. The game is specifically based on the English dubbed version of the anime. Ubisoft has also released a free 60-mb download which includes a Japanese voice option, the ability to change the in-game voices to Japanese, while still keeping the English subtitles. A sequel titled Naruto: The Broken Bondwas later released.
The game itself consists of two major game play modes: one-on-one fighting and RPG, where Konoha serves as a main hub to access various missions players can go on. The main story mode alternates between these two modes, and takes place from the beginning of the series to the end of the Invasion of Konoha arc (episodes 01-80 of the anime), with included side quests . It features game play similar to that of a 3D platformer, like jumping acrobatically from rooftop to rooftop or racing through checkpoints, as well as having one-on-one brawls much like the Naruto: Clash of Ninja series. Like with most Naruto games, it features cel-shaded graphics.The game also allows online versus multiplayer via Xbox Live, titled "The Forest of Death", enabling you to play with your friends. You start off choosing a character, and defeating other opponents to rank up and eventually gain points to complete the exam. If the player is defeated, they must begin from the bottom of the table all over again, but the points are still kept. Offline play, and two-player versus mode are also available.
The game supports downloadable content. Chōji, Temari, the Third Hokage and Jiraiya come bundled in packs of two: Chōji and Temari, Third Hokage and Jiraiya. Each bundle also comes with two new maps/arenas. Each pack is 500 Microsoft Points which is $6.25. Shikamaru is free, but you must be registered to Ubisoft and you link your Xbox Live to Ubisoft account. Downloadable content also adds an additional achievement for each character played in the Forest of Death. Currently, the game has 37 achievements with a maximum of 1075 gamer points.
Based almost directly on the first three arcs of the anime, the story follows the trials and tribulations of a young boy, Naruto Uzumaki, from his time at the Academy to his big blow-out battle with Gaara.
The game has met generally good reviews from critics. Its Metacritic aggregate score is 78, indicating "generally favourable reviews". One main example of praise is from IGN, awarding the game 8.4/10 and stating 'the first great Naruto game' (despite giving praise to past games in the Naruto franchise). In addition to winning the best fighting game award at E3 2007, it was also praised for having a simple but fun and fast fighting engine. The game though was slightly criticized for giving players an abridged story, and many characters not being in the story as well.
Exclusive Shikamaru download (which was free) caused games to freeze when hitting a trip wire or log, while also rendering the Japanese voicepack non-functional. These have been solved through a patch in the Jiraiya and Sarutobi Hiruzen download (both trial and full version).[2
According to sources, Rock Lee's finishing move (Omote Renge) was removed due to unequal results in both online and offline play, but Ubisoft has said it will restore this in a free firmware patch.
In addition, there are bugs within the achievements for the two new downloadable characters packs, meaning players cannot achieve the 60G promised when completing the exam with these four characters.
For some unknown reason, many characters such as the Third Hokage, Jiraiya, Konohamaru, Moegi and Iruka's voice actors were replaced in this game. On the other hand, Jiraiya retrieved his original voice actor in the sequel, Naruto: The Broken Bond.