Take on the ninja world in 4 vs. 4 capture the flag action in Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker.

This past week, we got our hand-on the latest installment in the Naruto game franchise, Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker. In it we played a four versus four game of Capture the flag. And while I wasn’t exactly good at it, I still had a blast playing.

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is certainly a new experience for all players. It’s not that the game is extremely difficult, but it had me thinking about all the Baby Boomers who were confused about how to play videogames in the 1990s. Shinobi Striker even had me going, “Wait, what does this button do? Where am I going? Why can’t I do this.”

Need an example? Well how about the very first jump I attempted. It’s a jump that allows the players to propel themselves long distances. But, if you’re not careful pits are waiting to suck you down. And this man fell right down the pit in front of him. This left me with one option, channel the old gamer in me and git gud.

But getting good with this game proved to be a bit of a test in patience in my case. I had to take it one step at a time and get a little practice to get the feel of the game. After failing my first jump I understood there were two types of jumps: a regular jump and the long jump. From there, things started to click. Do the long jump to close distance to the flag, press the button again while in midair to you throw a grappling hook. Use the regular jump near enemies and double jump near walls so I can run along them. OK, now I’m getting somewhere and back in control again.

And then I got into combat. I was right back at square one with the game again wondering, “Who’s attacking me? Where am I being attacked from? How many buttons do I need to mash?” Learning the attacks is a fairly simple feat, though. Press the circle, triangle, and square buttons for a variety of attacks and use the shoulder buttons for special attacks and blocking. Fixing the camera’s on the enemy, though, that’s a whole different issue. Fidgeting with the analog sticks made me relearn maneuvering the camera and I was able to get my bearings straight.

Unfortunately, I never figured out by myself how to lock on to the enemies during play. All the action had me engrossed so it’s something I kept forgetting about. But, to make sure I got the full game experience, I tried all the shoulder buttons, to little avail. Then I got some magical advice from the staff. It’s the R3 button (the button on the right analog stick) that locks on to your enemies. Ahh, it all made sense in that one instant. I still had trouble remembering to hit the R3 button because my insticts told me one of the shoulder buttons or one of the other command buttons a la the Gundam Versus series of games, but things became far easier by the end of my time with the game.

Does Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker make me feel old? Yes. But, it’s still a fun game. Just give me a few hours with it.

Boruto: Next Generations is currently airing and is available to watch for free with subtitles on Crunchyroll.

Naruto and Naruto Shippuden are both streaming on Crunchyroll.

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