Play Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker Before Launch by Signing Up For Closed Beta!

This morning Bandai Namco revealed that Naruto fans can finally sign up for an exclusive closed beta for Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, which will be taking place exclusively on PlayStation 4 on December 15 and 16. You can find the beta application right here.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker offers fans of the series a tantalizing prospect: Make your own custom ninja, or play as your favorite characters from the various Naruto timelines, in an epic four-vs-four online battle against other ninjas. You’re free to run, jump, and maneuver as you see fit, with all of the acrobatic agility of a trained ninja. Gather your friends and join forces to defeat the opposing team using over-the-top martial arts and Ninjutsu.

The Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker beta is set to occur on December 15-16. It’ll allow select PlayStation 4 owners to compete in four-on-four battles featuring characters from the popular anime. They’ll also be able to create their own character to fight.

 

Those interested in competing can register at the official website. Make sure to register soon as Bandai Namco says that spaces are limited. The purpose of the beta will be to stress test the servers.

 

Check out the Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker beta times below:

Session U.S.A. (California) PST Europe (France) GMT Japan JST
1st Session 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST Friday 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. GMT Friday 05:00 – 08:00 JST Saturday
2nd Session 1:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m. PST Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. GMT Saturday 18:00 – 21:00 JST Saturday
3rd Session 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. PST Saturday 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. GMT Saturday 02:00 – 05:00 JST Sunday
4th Session 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST Saturday 2:00 a.m. – 5:00 a.m. GMT Sunday 10:00 – 13:00 JST Sunday

 

 

Here’s more on the beta via the official site:

 

Calling all Naruto gaming fans, the ninja world showdown begins online! Want to challenge friends in 4 vs 4 online acrobatic ninja battles? NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER is recruiting beta testers!

You’re cordially invited to sign up for the NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER closed beta testing for PS4.

The goal of the NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER closed beta is to provide stress tests for our servers and gather feedback on the gameplay and its balance in order to optimize the game before its release.

Spaces are extremely limited, so don’t delay.

The Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker beta begins on December 15.

Battles get wild, and every player will have a role to play. It doesn’t always have to be a straight-up brawl, though. Bandai Namco is promising multiple game modes. Take a look at the official game description:

“Ninjas! Prepare to enter a world where only your skills and your communication with your team will matter! In NARUTO TO BORUTO: SHINOBI STRIKER, teams of four from around the world will endure multiple types of battles, from protecting your flag, to breaking barriers for your team. Create your own custom character and combine skills from the 4 different battle types in order to become the strongest ninja in the Ninja League!”

If you’re a fan of the anime, this is going to be the ultimate game to lose yourself in. Make sure your Naruto-loving, PS4-owning buddies know about this so you can all sign up for the beta and play together before the game comes out! All of the specific play times are listed in the beta application form, so make sure to take note of those and plan accordingly!

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Create Your Own Ninja In “Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker”

The new trailer for Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker features some of the in-game modes and battle visuals. The trailer also revealed a Create Your Own Avatar mode which will let you customize your own Ninja and train in order to  become the strongest.

Naruto is in a strange place right now. The long-running manga series ended in early 2015, before its anime adaptation wrapped up in March this year. The spiky-haired ninja saved the world and achieved his dream of becoming the Hokage, or rather the leader, of the Hidden Leaf village. But now there’s Boruto, a new series about his boisterous son. Both the manga and anime are relatively new and it’s not clear just yet if either will replicate the success of the original series.

That leaves Bandai Namco, the video game rights holder for Naruto, in a tough spot. The popular Ultimate Ninja Storm games allowed players to relive the events of the Naruto manga and anime, right up to the end of the first movie starring his son Boruto. But there simply isn’t enough story material to make a new Boruto game at the moment. While everyone waits for the new manga to accumulate a healthy lead, Bandai Namco is trying something different with a game called Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker.

The new title is a tactical, four-versus-four online brawler. Matches take place in large, three-dimensional arenas, giving players the freedom to move around, run on walls and jump across large chasms. For a Naruto game, this is pretty unusual. Most have opted for a traditional one-on-one fighter system with limited player movement on a small, circular stage. Shinobi Striker is expansive and built around two competitive modes, capture the flag and a control point-style “barrier battle.” Conceptually, these feel out of place in the Naruto universe, but they’re justified somewhat by the story, which is about some kind of ninja tournament.

While surprising, the team-based combat does have some deep ties to the show. In the Hidden Leaf village, ninjas are split up into three-person teams, typically with a fourth, older member to act as their teacher. “We wanted to put that in the game as a new experience,” Noriaki Niino, the game’s producer tells me through a translator. “And then, in the story, they say the most important thing for a shinobi is teamwork. So that’s what we wanted to show in this game and build a new experience around.”

The game is due in “early 2018” on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Right now, it still feels like like an early prototype. At Gamescom I was able to try a few flag battles set in one of the forests surrounding Konoha, where Naruto, Boruto and their friends live. The knocked-over tree trunks and barbed wire fences are reminiscent of the manga, but the space is still quite small and feels like a stadium, rather than a natural slice of Naruto creator Masashi Kishimoto’s ninja world. Again, that’s all part of the “tournament” fiction, but I was hoping to feel a little more liberated in Shinobi Striker.

Capturing flags and running them back to your base can be quite mundane. A couple of times I was able to take a quiter “route” to the opposing base and pick up a flag undetected. Only once I was half-way back did someone notice and try to give chase, at which point I was disrupted mid-wall run and plummeted to my death. All of my progress was lost immediately. The combat, however, is exciting and true to the manga source material. Sasuke is able to shoot fireballs and Naruto has his classic “Rasengan,” a powerful ball of wind. Each character has a mixture of light and heavy attacks which, if successful, unlock more powerful “jutsu” moves and awakenings.

 

 

The iconic Naruto cast have been assigned one of four classes, which roughly equate to attack, defense, range and support. Much like Overwatch, success is dependent on understanding and utilizing different team compositions. A big part of Shinobi Striker is the character creator, which lets you customize and train a ninja from scratch. Unlike the traditional heroes, these avatars are able to switch style between re-spawns. So you might want to push aggressively at the start with three attack types, before switching to a more balanced squad to see out the match.

“There is no real, ‘best answer’ for what is the best team,” Niino says. “It all just depends on the situation.”

Bandai Namco says you’ll be able to train with the original Naruto crew and learn their jutsu. That includes Shikamaru’s shadow stitching jutsu and Choji’s spiky human boulder. For fans, this is pure wish fulfillment. It’s a chance to build their dream ninja by cherry-picking techniques from the manga’s most memorable characters. You won’t obtain them all right away, however. It would be a little silly, for instance, if you could instantly learn Amaterasu, one of the most powerful techniques in the Naruto universe.

Unlocking them won’t turn you into a one-hit K.O. machine, either. “If you could do that in the game, it would get boring,” he suggests. So while there are some power differences between the various jutsu, they’ll actually be quite small to maintain balance across the community.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to create my own ninja. There was, however, some pre-built custom characters that I could switch to before a match. They looked pretty generic, with standard ninja jackets and headbands, but hopefully there will be some crazier options in the final game. The Ultimate Ninja Storm series was always generous with its costumes, offering outfits both from different eras and outside the Naruto universe. Shinobi Striker seems perfect for this kind of treatment and could be a way for players to explore little-seen or discussed parts of the world.

I also found the characters to be a tad slow. Niino says that’s by design, however. “That’s on purpose,” he explains. “Because there are eight players on the field and if it’s too fast, you won’t be able to know what’s going on.” The team did try a faster version, but found it too quick for anyone to react or mount attacks properly. “So we kind of slowed it down a little bit,” he adds. Niino stresses that because the game is in an early stage, character movement and other factors, including audio and visual effects, could change before the final version.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is being developed by Soleil, a subsidiary of Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki’s company, Valhalla Game Studio. That will be a disappointment to fans of the stylish Ultimate Ninja Storm series created by CyberConnect 2. In all aspects, then, this new game is a gamble. But what better time to take a gamble then now, before the next story-driven adventure game set in the Boruto universe? Shinobi Striker’s competitive slant will be off-putting to some, but for those who crave a more serious fighter, this could be an engrossing spin-off.

Link to Official Trailer.

 

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker will be available for S4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2018. Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker, developed by Soleil Ltd. and published by Namco-Bandai, is an upcoming multiplayer online video game set to release in North America and Europe on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows in 2018. Players will go head-to-head in 4 versus 4 battles, with all eight players fighting simultaneously. This game will also let you create your own characters. The timeline of this game takes place when Naruto is the Seventh Hokage, and the game will be a virtual reality story mode. It will include English and Japanese voices as well as text in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, and Polish.
I seriously can’t wait for this!