Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive, a follow-up, but more of a spiritual successor to Naruto Shippuden Legends: Akatsuki Rising, will let players get a taste of what Monster Hunter fans have been enjoying for years.
This new entry into the Naruto series looks like it's going to try something new and allow players to form a four-man party of ninjas, all the better to hunt down deadly creatures. This move was a long time coming, as this type of gameplay has been seen in the very successful Monster Hunter games from Capcom.
Kizuna Drive will feature a completely original storyline that will have players once again taking control of Naruto as he tries to solve the mysterious disappearances of ninjas from the Hidden Leaf Village.
It isn't all so familiar, as it will also introduce new characters to fans of the series.
Players will be able to fight against a Nine-Tails Fox, thought to be a fake since Naruto has the Nine-Tails Fox sealed within him. However, in a screenshot of the game that was released, he can be seen teamed up with Hinata, Yamato, and Sakura, fighting against the Nine-Tails in the real world.
Check out the screenshot below:
Powering up not only Naruto, but other characters in the game is done by collecting a predetermined set of scrolls. Battles will now also feature a new chain system that allows players to deal extra damage to enemies if they are able to successfully time their attacks with their teammates.
It's only February and already Namco Bandai is looking like it will definitely be pleasing their Western fans with the release of several previously Japan-exclusive titles. Kizuna Drive will join other Namco Bandai titles like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3 and Tales of Graces F in releasing in the West this year.
A new Naruto game shouldn't come as too big a surprise to fans but it does prove that the previous games are still selling rather well, which gives hope that the publisher will continue localizing more for North American gamers.
Do you think that this ability to hunt down creatures like Monster Hunter is a feature worthy enough of your purchase? Are there any other ways you can think of to bring innovation to the long-running Naruto franchise?
Let us know with your thoughts and comments below!
Update: a trailer for the game has just been released. Take a look at Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive in action:
Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive is scheduled to be released this Spring on the PSP.