Naruto: Rise of a Ninja Tourney, Part 2

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja Tourney
Part 1: Pre-Tourney Part 2: Characters and Players Part 3: The Tourney

Part 2 is an analysis of all the default playable characters in terms of how good/easy they are to use. The strongest/best characters are at top, the weakest/hardest to use at the bottom, which essentially makes this my own personal tier list. I have done this so those of you not used to the game can somewhat familiarize yourself with the characters and how good they are, which is good, but not essential, to fully understand the videos in part three (in the sense of the tactics all the players use). The character has a table of its own on the list, which will also contain the names of the players who used that respective character.

But before that, a few terms you will find me using throughout, some official, some not:

Rage: It’s a temporary mode that can be entered after taking/dealing enough damage and is entered by pulling both triggers at the same time. While in this mode, you become faster and stronger, but become unable to use any jutsu other than kawarimi (substitution) which becomes infinite. Characters also get “Rage Protection”, meaning that instead of having damage dealt to their health bar, it is dealt to the Rage bar. This effectively means that attacking (and succesfully hitting) an opponent in Rage will make them snap out of it faster, though it’s up to the individual player whether it’s worth the risk.

Freebies: Jutsu that stops normal gameplay and initiates a “minigame” that where the succesrate of completing the minigame = damage to the opponent. I call them freebies because after being knocked down from a combo, initiating them at the proper level is guaranteed (the opponent cannot get up in time to interrupt it) and the jutsu can then lead to free, additional damage after a combo. The amount of damage depends on player skill though, but at higher levels of play, it’s hard to get out completely unscathed. If a freebie is used while the opponent is in rage, the opponent will exit rage mode after the jutsu minigame is over. Any damage dealt by the freebie bypasses the Rage protection and deals direct damage. Freebies that are “charging” can only be interrupted by a melee attack or by initiating Rage, which is why freebies are rarely ever used while the opponent is standing or nearby.

Zoom attack (or just Zoom/Zooming): Regular attacks aren’t named in the game, so I named it after the speed of the attack and the sound it makes (and because “whoosh attack” sounds too similar to “wuss attack”…). By pressing up+Y, most characters will run in a half circle and face the opposite direction while doing an attack that can be combo’ed. When facing an opponent in close battle, the move allows one to get out of harms way, go around the opponent and attack their backs.

Dazed/Confused: I use them interchangeably. A status that can be inflicted by Naruto’s Sexy Jutsu and Orochimaru’s Genjutsu. While Dazed, the commands for you character gets randomly switched, e.g. left makes you jump or pressing Y makes you sidestep towards the screen. After the effects wear off, the commands return to normal.

I would credit the artist of the following images, but I don’t know his/her name. If you know, please notify me. Also, a few players have yet to report who they played as, and have therefor not been mentioned. Sucks for you ^_^
Finally, the “subs:” at the end indicates how many consecutive substitutions a character can make, before having depleted their chakra guage.

Gaara

Subs: 4

Gaara is WAY too overpowered, despite what the game stats say. His combos are hard to get out of (at times almost impossible), they can be spammed like crazy, and he does insane amounts of damage even with 3 hit combos (if in rage, one of his 3 hit combos that is neigh impossible to escape if the first hit connects take about 55% away from you HP bar, which is just fucking ridiculous).

His Armor of Sand nullifies the damage of all attacks (by taking the damage instead of him) and his combos combined with his Sand Burial (freebie) can sometimes finish off an opponent before they have a chance to really fight back. His lack of speed and a Zoom Attack was supposed to make up for this, but it really doesn’t, since he can dash just as fast as anyone, and the attack that leads to his longest combo has pretty good reach and execution speed.

Kakashi

Subs: 8

He has a pretty decent speed and execution time on many combos and he has a few long range moves that can be potentially devastating because of their strength, especially when paired with his freebie jutsu, Raikiri. He can also uses Sharingan which grants him a numbered amount of auto-blocks. While not as overpowered as Gaara, his damage potential should probably be decreased a bit. Just make him hold and read a copy of Icha Icha Paradise and say that’s why.

As a storyline “nice touch”, if Kakashi uses Sharingan against Zabuza, he will learn Zabuza’s Water Dragon Jutsu of equivalent and lower levels, i.e. if he uses Sharingan level 2, he will learn Water Dragon levels 1 and 2, but not 3. The “hand motions” to perform it are the same as Zabuza’s.

Zabuza

Subs: 4

According to the game stats, he trails behind Kakashi in both range and speed. However, Zabuza shut out game is far superior in my opinion. While Kakashi’s range is long, he uses his body only, which means he moves dangerously close to the opponent and can easier be punished if he whiffs an attack. Zabuza uses his sword and remains at a relatively safe distance while his sword has a large hit-area making it just a tad harder to punish his whiffed long range attacks despite the relatively longer attack animation (if they are substituted, however, he is relatively screwed).

His speed is an issue though (and his lack of a Zoom attack does not help…), and his freebie is easier to escape from than Kakashi’s, making him significantly harder to play efficiently, unless one is good at sidestepping. Also, I value defence higher than offence, which is why Kakashi’s Sharingan rates just a tad higher than Zabuza’s Chakra Concentration (attack boost). That, and because after having learned Water Dragon, Kakashi is like… Kakashibuza or something.

Sasuke

Subs: 4

Sasuke is essentially Kakashi Jr., but with slightly decreased power and reach stats (obviously), less chakra, and with a fire jutsu freebie in addition to his Chidori freebie. ‘Nuff said…

Naruto

Subs: 3

Based on stats, Naruto should rank above Sasuke with his slightly better range, and the fact that he can Daze an opponent with Sexy Jutsu (which 3/4 Naruto players spam like crazy) makes him that much more dangerous. But why is he then beneath Sasuke? (no pun intended). Quite simply because I think he’s a pathetically annoying character in the game, and after having played story mode for so long, there’s no way that you don’t recognize all his moves and know how to evade them and launch effective counter-attacks.

I have more trouble with winning against Sasuke players than I do Naruto players, hence the decision. The difference is only a little more than marginal though, and I do recognize Naruto as a relatively strong character.

Neji: When it comes to Neji, I don’t have all that information. I haven’t played him myself, and I’ve only played against Neji players a few times. It seems that most of his moves are focused on push-backs (sending the opponent flying towards the other side of the arena) which allows him to use his freebie on a whooping level three (the strongest level and the most chakra expensive). And while I’ve never seen anyone get a perfect using Neji’s freebie, I’ve never (well… rarely, like 1 in 20-30 times) seen anyone go unscathed either. His speed is awesome, his power is decent as well, but his reach sucks since he mostly fights with his hands (he has only 3-4 kicks, including his areal attacks), so he is a very in your face character (and he doesn’t have an moves that covers ground as well as attacks). His attack animations seem a tad long, which gives him a slight disadvantage if he whiffs, since he can get punished pretty hard. He has a second Zoom attack (up+X) which while a tad slower, is fucking overpowered, since you can only substitute away from it, instead of Zoom away from it like you can with everyone elses, and if that one hit connects and you don’t substitute, the follow-up attack plus a level 3 freebie is GUARANTEED! Subs: 4

Kiba: Like with Neji, I’ve never really played Kiba. He seems like a fairly strong and simple character to play, with extremely good reach. His long reach attacks have a relatively long windup time and have frame disadvantage if they are sidestepped. His close combat moves are decently fast, and potentially dangerous. He has a freebie, but it is relative easy to get out of unscathed, like with Zabuza’s freebie, so I’ve only ever really seen it used when the opponent enters rage or as a means of finishing of an opponent after a combo that causes knock down, when they have little health left. Otherwise, most people seem to choose to boost his attacks with Chakra Concentration rather than dealing potential damage with a freebie (unless the opponent is about to have Rage). Subs: 3

Rock Lee: Rock Lee has a rumor for being overpowered, which is true if you’re playing against a reaaaally good Lee player (I’ve only seen 3-4 of those out of the hundreds I’ve played against) or if are total fucking noob who whines about others being cheap when you’re just pathetically bad at the game… no offense. All of Lee’s combos can be escaped by Zooming after the second, sometimes even first, hit, meaning if you have talent, his offence will end there already. After that, the slight pause between each next step of a combo can be escaped by either zooming and/or jumping. He has no freebies, and his chakra consumption when substituting is ASTRONOMICAL, which means that almost no one ever uses the one jutsu he does have, since it would be a waste of precious chakra (in 99 of 100 cases) as well as self-damaging, meaning he loses health while it is activated. I’m not even entirely sure why I ranked him higher than Haku, I guess because of his slightly better reach and beginner friendliness. Subs: 3

Haku: Based only on stats, Haku is probably the worst character in the game… but he’s the one I’m most afraid of playing against, because Haku players are fucking dangerous. His speed is his biggest attribute, like with Sakura, but compared to Sakura, his range is inferior. He only ranks higher because he has a freebie which adds to his damage potential without any additional risk involved. He is none the less hard to play, as he only has one extremely dangerous combo that even launches (after the first hit connects, the combo is inescapable by movement, and if you mis you chance to substitute the second hit, the launcher and follow up air combo + freebie are guaranteed). The rest of his combos are not really useful past one or two hits, so most Haku players therefor use a poke-and-zoom tactic. He’s only down here because he is hard to master, but once you have, his danger-level is that of Zabuza’s, maybe even slightly higher. As a storyline “fine detail”, by pulling the left trigger and then the right (and holding them), Haku can perform jutsu using only one hand to form the seals/symbols. Subs: 12

Sakura: Sakura is a poke character. Her only real attribute is her speed combined with her range, and also her boost jutsu, everything else is just crap. So the main idea is to chip away at the opponent’s health with a few quick pokes, some broken combos (i.e. combos that you stop halfway through), and a lot of Zoom attacks. She has no freebies, which is another downside, however, decent Sakura players make extremely good use of her Chakra Concentration (attack boost) to make her pokes that much more dangerous, as well as her Palm Healing, which makes her gradually regain health as the jutsu is in effect. Despite the apparent weakness of Sakura, those who do play as her are usually damn good at it, which is why I’m slightly afraid of Sakura players (though not as much as Haku players). Like with Haku, she’s only down here because she is hard to master, and also like Haku, when you finally do, her danger-level is approximately that of Zabuza’s, though not as high as Haku’s. Subs: 12

Orochimaru: He’s just way down there… Statistically, he should be one of the strongest, but he’s just not up for it. His attacks are overly slow, so while he is the character with the highest power rating (5 spheres, the only one with a stat that high in general), is lack of range and speed means he can’t hit for shit, which makes the power stat pretty useless. I know people HAVE won with Orochimaru when I see the achievements, but I personally have never seen anyone win with Orochimaru and I’ve thus far never lost to an Orochimaru player either (which I guess is kind of obvious given my previous statement). I suppose spaming Genjutsu to Daze the opponent and hope they are too noobish to find either of the sidestep buttons is your best bet. Not that I’m saying Orochimaru players can’t be talented with him, I’m just saying, I’ve never met them so for all I know, talented Orochimaru players are as real as Bigfoot. Subs: 5

The Joker
Temari: I’ve never played with her, I’ve never played against her, and don’t know her jutsu and I don’t know her stats. But a guy played with her in the tourney, so I have to make an honorable mention or something. Subs: ??

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