Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4: Road to Boruto is, aside from being the longest title I’ve written about that’s still following the Japanese trend of long titles, the closing chapter of Naruto Uzumaki as the story passes over to his son: Boruto Uzumaki. Being bought as either the “all of the DLC in one edition” or as the DLC alone, this review is focused on grading it as full package with more emphasis on Road to Boruto being the ribbon to complete the package. The review of the base game and its DLC season pass can be found here and here respectively.
Storm 4 is a sequel that was a massive mixed bag in terms of content and consistency. Part of this is the slide show method of telling the narrative, the combat being the same as the previous game but switches its formula slightly with the inclusion of counter. With the story finished by the end of the base game, it never fully gives closure to it. The DLC expansions help in that regard, but still lacked the final ending fans of the franchise deserve.
Those that have watched the movie of similar name will know the story, but for those not knowing. Naruto and Hinata are a thing and have two kids: Himiwari and the eponymous Boruto. The Chunin exam is underway with Team Konohamaru formed of Konohamaru, Boruto, Sarada (Sakura and Sasuke’s daughter) and Mitsuki (child of Orochimaru (don't ask)). Kaguya had left plans for others to follow with Momoshiki Ōtsutsuki and Kinshiki Ōtsutsuki attacking Konoha during said exam. Taking Naruto away to extract the Nine tailed fox Kurama sealed in him, this leads to Sasuke gathering the other Kages attending the event and launching a rescue mission. Boruto follows suit to regain his pride, after his loss and disqualification during the exam for cheating.
Plot aside, this is the DLC that showcases what the Storm series has or had in buckets, style. The opening fight scene whilst brief gets the ball rolling with Sasuke fighting Kinshiki, successfully repelling the unknown force. The game does deviate in information and context from the original movie, so not everything follows it to the book. This lets it down slightly, because the game wants to focus on Boruto. It means things like Killer B facing the two attackers and other side story content is lost from the main campaign that would have made compelling gameplay and story content. Following this though is a some exposition dump and features somewhat awkward character progression that doesn’t fully sit right even for Shonen plotlines.
The quiz section and its localisation is slightly dubious at worst, where knowledge from the Anime and Manga doesn’t fully translate with some information like “The legendary three” or Sannin of Konoha. Regardless, it’s solid content that doesn’t fully impact the overall gameplay. The main issue with the content is the use of side missions never truly hitting the highs of the main campaign and act like afterthought content to meet an expected gameplay duration. Meeting the emotional highs of Naruto seeing his mother for the first time and their parting, where Naruto believes in Boruto for that hero moment. Grounding Boruto as a more relatable character, as someone you’d want to cheer for. It’ll bring tears of nostalgia and fan service that long time fans can easily excite over.
NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM 4 Road to Boruto (Reviewed on Xbox One)
Excellent. Look out for this one.
The execution and delivery whilst not matching the predecessor, still maintains the momentum whilst giving the main campaign memorable moments with the snap shots of narrative bringing the best and cutting the worst. Road to Boruto does this and more, easily rivaling Full Burst. A fitting end and purchase for fans of the franchise.