The PC version of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst has been released a few days ago, but I have really crappy Internet so I only finished downloading it off of Steam last night (and I haven’t slept yet. Sage Kabuto is not going to unlock himself, right?)
Anyway, since Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst is technically just an update to Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and there are numerous reviews out there already, I’m not going to bother reviewing the game content-wise. Besides, if you’re a fan of the series, one look at Edo Tensei Itachi, Edo Tensei Madara, Nine Tails Chakra mode Naruto, and Sage Kabuto wailing on each other is enough to convince you to check out this game. Also, the success of the PC port may also convince Namco Bandai to start porting more of their anime-related games to PC (outside of region-locked MMOs, we’ve never really had a Dragonball or Gundam game on the PC), which is another incentive if you want to see more anime-related fighting games come to the PC.
Basically, if we’re only talking about Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 Full Burst in terms of content and gameplay, it’s definitely worth the asking price even without the physical box/disc. It’s easily one of the best videogame adaptations of Masashi Kishimoto’s iconic shonen franchise.
Full Burst is no longer just a fighting game with Naruto themes but an actual interactive anime that gives you the reigns during the fights (think of it as more of Asura’s Wrath than Street Fighter). There’s really nothing much to say here – if you’ve seen the PS3 or Xbox360 versions, you’ve pretty much seen everything you need in order to come to a decision on whether you want the game or not.
If there’s one thing that’s worth talking about at this point – it’s the quality of the port. Let’s get this out of the way first: it’s a straight port from the console versions. You have the ability to increase the resolution and add 2X Supersampling and that’s it. It’s also locked at 30 FPS like most console-to-PC ports so if you already have the console version and it looks good enough for you, the PC version won’t give you anything new.
Additionally, it seems to be far more demanding on your hardware than the average current gen game. The reports are all over the place – there are people with high end CPUs and videocards reporting lag, slow motion gameplay, and out of sync FMVs while there are people using integrated graphics chips (Intel HD 4000!) that have no problems and manage to play at a consistent 30 FPS without any dips in framerate. Personally, I have an outdated PC (core 2 duo e8400 @ 3.0 ghz and a GT 240) yet I still manage to play at a consistent 30 FPS (outside of some dips and lags during busy scenes – like the gigantic battle between Choji and the Gedo Statue).
Some users have theorized that a pirated version with clever DRM seeded on torrent sites is responsible for the slowdown in a lot of people’s cases, which is certainly not a new thing as a few years ago a lot of users complained about broken gliding in Batman: Arkham Asylum, only for the devs to reveal that the broken gliding is an anti-piracy code that only kicks in on pirated copies. Others have blamed shoddy porting, as exemplified by the fact that netplay is pretty much borked across the board (which a Namco Bandai rep has acknowledged on the Steam boards, followed by a promise to look into the problem.)
Either way, if you’re not confident that your rig can handle it and don’t want to risk your $50+, you might want to let it simmer a bit and wait for Namco Bandai to release a patch addressing netplay and people’s slowdown issues (or at least release a statement admitting that it’s only pirated copies that are affected). It’s sad that it had to go through birthpains like this, because on the one hand you almost want to see it fail just to show the devs that shoddy ports will not be tolerated, especially at full price, but on the other hand, you don’t want to see this fail out of fear that the devs are going to point to it as an example that PC gamers are not interested in anime fighting games, and further use it as justification for ignoring the platform in their future releases.