NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORMs PS3 Tomorrow!

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Hello PlayStation.Blog readers around the world! My name is Hiroshi Matsuyama from CyberConnect2, the developer of NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM.

Last time I spoke with you, I covered some of our basic game features. Today, as promised, I’d like to share some of our development secrets with you so that you can learn about how we made this incredible game.

We began work on the game in January 2006, while most of our company was still working on the .hack//G.U. series for PlayStation 2. We hand-picked a team of our 10 most obsessive developers which constantly grew in number as the project progressed. The team expanded from 10 to 20, 30 and eventually 65 people, which were all working on the game for the last 9 months of development. Our basic concept for the game was to eliminate the lines between traditional animation and video games. This is a pretty serious goal! We knew that to meet this goal, we would have to produce a game the likes of which nobody has ever seen.

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Fundamentally speaking, I think CyberConnect2 is good at action games. After gameplay, we pay a lot of attention to graphics. With Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm, we knew we couldn’t just advance our graphics technology by just one step – we had to aim for two steps. Everyone here is a fan of every type of animation such as cel animation, cartoons, CG, and flash. Of course, the NARUTO TV series was our biggest influence for this project. I know a lot of fans feel that Japanese animation is unique because it has a special hand-drawn look to it. It’s hard to totally nail down exactly what it is, but we studied a ton of animation to make sure our game had these same qualities.

We also upgraded our development environment to take on this game. We started using LCD graphics tablets which allow us to use a stylus to create hand-drawn textures. We also installed round tables over the artists’ workstations to prevent light reflections from interfering with their work. This is an example of some of the steps we took to create CG graphics with a hand-drawn feel.

Our animation team regularly watched the NARUTO animated series while they worked to keep the same sort of tempo of movement and frame progression. As you can see, each animator has three monitors at their desk. The one on the left allows them to see the graphics as they will appear in the game, the one in the middle is the CG tool program, and the one on the right plays animation throughout the day as inspiration and reference material.


Of course, we have a lot of reference material beyond animation. We have almost 1,000 NARUTO comic books and NARUTO-related magazines and books in our office library.

We also have a huge DVD collection. The list of these little animation secrets go on and on, but the key one is that everyone working on the game loves NARUTO. I really believe this group loves NARUTO more than any other group in the world.

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These are some of the elements that helped us create NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM. I think the game will really satisfy fans and also be accessible to people who may not know much about NARUTO.

Thank you all for this great opportunity to talk about the game. It comes out tomorrow – Tuesday, November 4th – so I really hope you all get a chance to check it out!

Comments are closed.


7 Author Replies

  • Why is there only one ultimate jutsu(ougi) per character, not counting those with transformations. From the beginning of the ultimate ninja series there has always been an abundance of them. Why choose to lessen the amount now?and also what made you guys decide to change the system to only have one in-game jutsu equipped instead of the usual two. Not meaning to be rude but this does make the game repetitave and spammable at times.

  • Please implement online in the future as a patch.
    Support characters as downloadable content
    will not make up for Online.
    Your company will make triple the amount of money if Online would be available.
    Please consider it..

  • how much imput did Masashi Kishimoto have in the game and will there be a Naruto Shippuuden game anytime soon

    • For those that may not know, Masashi Kishimoto is the creator of Naruto, who has a strong interest in video games. He always takes a close look at our game content to make sure it meets his standards and his overall vision for the world of NARUTO.

  • I’d like to see more of these kinds of blog posts… it’s always very revealing and interesting to me to show the level of devotion given to the video game development craft. From these, you gain respect and fans for the IP from a marketing perspective.

  • Awsome work guys, I have pre-orderd mine.

    Do you know when or if the european PS Store will get the content? I also hope trophies will be added later.

    Can’t wait to play the full game.

  • CC this looks to be a great game that I want to play… BUT the reason I’m hesitating is because there is no ONLINE PLAY… WHY?

    I’m not a Naruto fan but when I played the demo I fell in love with it! The only thing missing is ONLINE PLAY!

    Is there any way you guys could include this in a future update?


  • Will this game have an optional/mandatory installation file? If so, how much space will it take?

  • I have already pre ordered the Limited Edition for your game! I believe that it will be awesome (i cant even stop playing the demo !!!).

    I’ve been playing CC2 games since the .Hack series and the Naruto games,and both of them are great and im glad you’re making them with so much dedication.

    We all know that the patching for the game at that state (AKA finished) is dificult (especially for online mode),but i think the trophies support is more easier.
    I hope in the next Narutimate game we will see those features(with shippuden story mode and even a recap of the 1 part of the show like we alredy saw in the past Naruto Shippuden PS2 games).

    To close my message (and sorry for the length) i would like to ask if some of the support characters will be playable after some period of time. Because some major characters (like Sound 4 or even 1st & 2nd hokage,or Asuma and Kurenai) are left out,and it will be great if after a DLC we will be able to play as them.

    I hope for an answer :)And thanks for the hard work!!!

  • ShunsukeMizushima787

    kono gemu ni nande zabuza toka inainokayo??? ore nya cc2 tte saikou de tyo dai tyuki nanoni tasikani gakkari sasetandayo =(
    datte datte~zabuza tte sa ore no itiban sukina kyarassuyo! orz T_T;
    tuginogemu ni zabuza ga iruyouni issyokenmei negattemasu!

    tinamini DLC kyara hatubai suru tumorissuka? ituka hatubai sureba zabuza toka irete kuremasenka?
    fan no minna de zabuza tte mettyanko ninkiaru kyarassukara nande irenakatta ka anma wakaranyamon =(

    oretati no situmon kotaete kurete makoto ni arigatou gozaimasu!
    asita tikaku ni aru gemuya ni ikuno matikirenaisa!
    kono gemu mo tukuttete mutya ureppi!

    yorokonde moraete arigatougozaimasuu!


  • I have to ask this game is looking great but I still wonder why aren’t zabuza and haku playable I mean they’re my favorite characters

  • I personally can’t stand Naruto,but this game looks amazing! Any chance that you guys would consider making a Bleach game with this engine? That would be the best thing ever!!!

  • Thanks for the update. I’m looking forward to this and glad you guys used the manga as reference material as well. As a hardcore Naruto fan, I hope the game won’t have any out-of-character moves and combos (like other Naruto games do). Thanks again.

    • Thank you for understanding our devotion as fans of NARUTO. We always try to make the most authentic game experience possible based on the source material. I want the player to see moves and events from the series or managa and recognize them (but also think they look cooler in our game!). That is why our animators constantly have the animated series running at their desks – so they can match the look and content down to the smallest detail.

  • Since the Limited Edition pre order 1st & 2nd Hokage codes arent available in Europe, will we be able to access them by any other means?

    Will they be released as free dlc eventually?

  • so the exclusion characters for the naruto game will they be downloadable context 2?

  • o and one last thing great job and thank you for backing the ps3 anything thing u want to say about the exp of working with the ps3 and the cell.

  • I have already pre ordered the Limited Edition for your game! I believe that it will be awesome (i cant even stop playing the demo !!!).

    I would like to ask if some of the support characters will be playable after some period of time. Because some major characters (like Sound 4 or even 1st & 2nd hokage,or Asuma and Kurenai) are left out,and it will be great if after a DLC we will be able to play as them.

    I hope for an answer :)And thanks for the hard work!!!

  • Im a really big naruto fan. Ive watched the naruto series(including fillers), and am currently caught up watching shippuden(jap with english subs) and im wondering if you guys are or are planning to work on a shippuden game soon. I played the demo for UNS and i have to say that it is amazing! When ever my friend comes over we always play 10-15 matches. Ive been looking forward to the games release. However, I think you guys should add in trophy support, because that gives people more reason to play the game(besides the fact that the game is really fun to play). Also online wouldnt hurt. It is a fighting game after all, which means it can get pretty boring after beating the story mode and unlocking all the characters. 2 player games always get boring eventually when you dont have anyone to play it with. I still cant wait to play it soon. Thanks for the awesome title.

  • Mr. Hiroshi Matsuyama, i completely understand why you didnt put trophies at the start and im grateful to your team because i wouldnt want a delay for such a great game.

    But you never answered or at least i dont think so, will you ever have a trophie patch in the future.

    Thanks and cant wait for this awsome game!!!

    • A patch for trophies is undetermined at this point. Right now we are looking at the pros and cons of getting underway on our next project as opposed to spending more time with this game. We already have people completing our current downloadable content, so we\’ll have to make a decision about the best use of our resources soon.

  • I love your game and your way of working, I have already pre ordered the Limited Edition for Nov.7, I’m European, and I want to enjoy this latest piece of art that you have created.

    I just hope that no take so long to use this incredible engine that you have created for any other games, a anime game about Bleach or One Piece or a new .hack or whatever you want to do for our PS3.

  • I’m really impressed by this game… there need to be more anime games done with the same attention to detail *coughbleachcough*. I’ll definitely be picking it up…

    P.S. I hope the next game deals with shuppuuden

  • Mr. Hiroshi Matsuyama:

    I am not much of a fan of NARUTO since I haven´t seen the series that much. I am though a really big fan of BLEACH. Do you think that sometime your time at CyberConnect2 could make a Bleach game in this same style, at least the fighting. I played the demo of Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and it is FANTASTIC, I really want to get this game, but everytime I play it I just keep wishing there would be a bleach game just like this. You guyse nailed the graphics to look exactly as the anime, and the gamplay is geat, the animations are superb.

    Please consider a Bleach game.

    • Obviously the issue involved with making a game based on an existing property is securing the license to do so. We are fortunate to be a longtime partner of Namco Bandai Games, who holds the license to make Naruto games on Sony hardware.

  • Online Patch please.
    IN the future.
    Or Please make Online in Storm 2.

  • I need this game now

    will .hack ever be on ps3?

    I want Hiroshi on psn friend list

  • .hack/GU!!! I love how Naruto: UNS looks, it’s amazing..but is there any possibility of you continuing with the .hack series?

  • @Hiroshi Matsuyama

    yo Hiroshi can you kindly explain what did you mean when you said:

    ((We are fortunate to be a longtime partner of Namco Bandai Games, who holds the license to make Naruto games on Sony hardware))

    1-does this mean you have exclusive deal with Namco Bandai Games to develope only for them.

    2-does this mean that Namco Bandai Games only holds the license to make Naruto games only on Sony hardware(no xbox360 or will Naruto games)

  • @4

    No online feature is not a big deal. I was going to buy this tomorrow with R2 but since there’s no Trophy support, I’m not buying it. I don’t buy any games without Trophy support now. Even if the developers promise it as a future update. I’d rather wait then to replay the game over again.

    Aside from that. The game looks really awesome just like the anime. Keep up the great work guys!!!

  • I changed my mind I was gonna pick this up tomorrow but ign gave it a 8.4 and i thought about how quick naruto games price reduction kicks in i’m gonna get this when it’s 30 bucks instead i’ll get either cod5 or fallout

  • Hiroshi, will the Japanese release be bilingual? There are a quite a few expatriates living in Japan who would like to get the game in English or English/Japanese. Thanks.

  • Mr. Hiroshi Matsuyama, now that you mention that you are “looking at the pros and cons of getting underway on our next project as opposed to spending more time with this game”, can we, the PS3 users, expect some game(s) from your team for the PS3 in the future?

    Thanks for the attention and for making this wonderful game of course.

  • In reference to, DAT1AZNPAN | November 3rd, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    Sorry, but I registered just to respond to this comment. This is a blatant slap to the face toward a company that invested much time and effort in a project intended to entertain the fans of a very popular series. CC2 put many months of hard labor into this game, and they have been pretty generous when it comes to keeping us involved in the overall development of this project. I won’t lie that I’m a bit disappointed in the lack of online play, but you also have to consider the type of game this is. This game isn’t as basic as any Soul Cal, or Tekken game. This is a game that would take much more time to make the stability genuine enough to warrant online in my honest opinion. Games have a hard enough time incorporating online play as is. However I digress, buy the game new not used. Buying these games “used” is taking money from the developers, and giving it to gamestop. Same company that takes a game in for $10, and sells it back for $54.99 for weeks on end. If you intended to legitimately wait for a price drop from a retailer new, I apologize for jumping to conclusions. Support the developers, and buy new.

  • How come the game have long loading time? Specially with a mandatory install.

    Me no like that!

  • Thanks for providing all this detail Hiroshi.

  • Great to know that the team are big fans of Naruto xD,,,,, tomorrow i will buy a copy along with Resistance 2 (if there are any available :S), would also buy the dam headset, but i have no more money :S, and no job [inner: BAKAAAA, YOU SHOULDN’T BUY ANYTHING],,, ups sorry there,,,,, damm inner :S

  • man i don’t know what to get this or resistace 2

  • Nice dvd collection you guys have there!

  • get all 3 big ps3 exclusive games they all great and all earn our money they need the support to know developing for the ps3 is a good business.

  • awesome images…

  • Id rather have Trophies then a few extra support chars.. use resources for trophies!

  • (@70 reply)
    Hey Hiroshi,

    I understand the need for extra resources to implement trophies and/or online gameplay. But you need to consider that with these single two things do a lot of difference in sellings nowadays.

    Do understand, for Naruto fans to buy the game is a no brainner, it’s kind of first day purchase for everybody. But for non Naruto fans the lack of these things is a big problem and you may not be so competitive against the other very nice new games that are coming around too, with trophies and online support. The game may quickly look like an old 2006 offline/no trophy title after some weeks in the stores.

    Trophy is a very strong appeal today for ps3 users for gameplay life / replayability and your competition will have this and you will not, and this will weight very much for buyers undecided between two titles.

    and online gameplay… do you know MK2? Tekken online? that alone made them sell veeeeery well.

    Anyway, congratulations for the game,

    I will buy it as soon as I see in my local store.

    I would like to challenge you online but I think it will not be possible…



  • Thanks for being open about trophies in your response to #10.

  • I would like to add that I don’t see resources used for development of a trophy path and/or online gameplay for this game as lost resources.

    Actually, I think that with that experience you will be antecipating resources that would be used anyway in the development of other new games under the same engine or in the continuation of the series (shippuden).

    Plus, the more sales will probably pay it up.

    And bringing it would help a lot this title to be the huge sucess it deserves.

    I don’t know if it would be popular but maybe you could try something like tekken did with a online gaming pack for 9.99 or less :/


  • I’ve been waiting for this game for a long time. I love how you guys made it a 3D atmosphere and the animation and texturing is out of this world. I look forward to seeing what you do with Naruto Shippoden Games, when that time comes..
    Great work

  • mr mastuyama will there ever be a future hack game for ps3 becuese does were one of my favorite RPG and im looking really forward to playing ultimate ninja storm

  • well it’s raining -_-, so i will have to wait to buy this game, maybe tomorrow……

    Aside from that, if you guys do make a continuation of Naruto, please follow the story after this game, and you most defenetly don’t have to add the filler episodes (wich nobody likes anyway ;) ) so do stick to manga original story ;)

    And i really don’t give a damm if there are trophys (i know most people do), but to me it’s way more important that i can have fun plying the game (on line would be a must for me),,,,, anyway, i am a fan, and will defently buy the game xD

  • Thanks for making this amazing game and keeping the Japanese dubbing.
    If a trophy patch means delaying a .hack project then I vote for no trophies.

  • Hiroshi Matsuyama, Why hasn’t Naruto Ultimate Ninja storm been released yet? I went to Gamestop today this morning because I pre-ordered the Limited Edition, but they said its not out yet. They told me It ships Nov 4th, and its released Nov 5. This suck’s, since Nov 4th is election day, I was planning on playing it all day, but now i have to wait till Saturday to play…

    So is the official release date actually Nov 5?

  • You guys need to seriously use this engine for other animes. I would love a One Piece game with an engine like this. Someone, somewhere needs to make a good One Piece game godammit!!!

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