After the excellence that was Ubisoft's last venture into the Naruto universe, I am really looking forward to getting my hands on Naruto: Broken Bond for the Xbox 360 this week, their follow-up to last year's Rise of a Ninja. The only real problem I had with the previous title was the lack of fighters in the game's Fight Mode, and it seems like they've gone out of their way to address that issue in Broken Bond, offering up 25 combatants for our battling pleasure.
In order to help us keep tabs on which anime ninja is which, Ubisoft has released a document containing bios of all the characters, along with some very spiffy flash cards, suitable for printing, framing, or using as filler in the next Naruto music video you upload to YouTube. Hit the jump for the text bios!
BIOS OF ALL THE CHARACTERS OF THE FIGHT MODE
Naruto used to have a reputation as a troublemaker, but he's changed his ways and become a great young ninja. He's even impressed Jiraiya, one of the Legendary Sannin, who agrees to take him on as a student. Naruto is quick to anger and often doesn't think before he acts, but he's a hard worker and always succeeds at whatever he tries. Naruto's motto is "never give up," and he never does - not when he's trying to learn a Jutsu, and especially not when he's trying to save a friend.
Sakura is in Squad 7 with Naruto and Sasuke. She's one of the smartest ninja of her age, but her skill is in book-knowledge rather than Jutsu, so she usually lets Naruto and Sasuke take the lead when the fighting starts. She's had a crush on Sasuke for years - but he doesn't seem to notice.
Sasuke is in Squad 7 with Naruto and Sakura. On the outside, he's all uncaring cool-kid, but he's hiding a tragic past: His entire family was murdered when he was very young. Sasuke wants revenge, and he'll do anything to get it. He and Naruto have always had a friendly rivalry, but when it looks like Naruto is getting stronger while he's getting weaker, Sasuke thinks his plans for revenge might be failing. He needs to make a difficult choice - stay and give up on revenge, or betray his friends to get the power he needs.
Shikamaru has a natural talent for being a leader - an IQ of over 200, and the brain of a trained general. It's too bad he's so lazy. He loves to play strategy games like Shogi, but he hates to do so much as pick up a pencil to do schoolwork. The trouble is, everyone else has noticed his talent and they keep putting him in the lead. He's determined to do his best and protect his friends. It's just that...responsibility is such a drag.
Kiba is wild in appearance and personality, often acting a lot like the attack dogs his family fights with. His own ninja dog is called Akamaru, and they're never far apart. Kiba can call on Akamaru to help him out of tight spots. Kiba never backs down from a challenge, and always leaps before he looks.
People often think Choji is useless because of his weight, but those who know him well know differently. All Choji needs is a little self-confidence, and his best friend Shikamaru is determined to make him realise how strong he really is.
Neji has always been considered a genius, and one of the most powerful ninja of his generation. He used to believe that everyone's future was destined, but when Naruto defeated him at the Chunin exam he realised that people can make their own destiny. He has great respect for Naruto and is determined not to let him down.
Orochimaru used to be the ace student of Sarutobi - the Leaf Village's Third Hokage. He was next in line for the title of Hokage, but when he was caught experimenting on other ninja to develop new Jutsu, he was thrown out of the village. In his attack on the Leaf Village, he managed to kill Sarutobi, but not before Sarutobi made his arms useless. However, Orochimaru has a secret way of healing himself - all he needs is Sasuke.
Kabuto is Orochimaru's assistant. He's a talented medical ninja, and a spy. He keeps detailed records of the strengths and weaknesses of every ninja he meets. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty unnecessarily, and encourages his enemies to give up when fighting him, rather than die. Kabuto is extremely loyal and would do anything for Orochimaru.
Itachi is Sasuke's older brother, and an exile from the Leaf Village. When Sasuke was just a boy, Itachi murdered their entire clan, including their parents. When Sasuke ran away from him, Itachi laughed, and told him he was not even worth killing. Itachi is now a member of an organisation called the Akatsuki that is chasing Naruto. He is always seen with his partner, Kisame.
Kisame is a rogue ninja from the Hidden Mist Village. He is a member of the Akatsuki criminal organisation, paired with Itachi. His sword, Shark Skin, is a powerful weapon, but also can absorb an enemy's chakra.
Tsunade is one of the legendary Sannin, and was in a squad with Jiraiya and Orochimaru when they were younger. She is very strong in battle, and is also a legendary medical ninja. However, even with her great skill couldn't heal her brother or her boyfriend when they were severely wounded in the war. She left the Leaf Village and disappeared.
Sakon is one of the Sound Four, Orochimaru's personal bodyguard. He is quick and smart and also the informal leader of the group. Sakon also has a twin brother, Ukon, who lives inside his body. In a fight, Sakon and Ukon can separate and attack an enemy.
Jirobo is a member of the Sound Four, Orochimaru's personal bodyguard. While he may not be the smartest fighter in the Sound Four, he makes up for it with his impressive strength..
Tayuya is one of the Sound Four. She specialises in combat moves that involve music, playing her flute to attack and confuse her enemy. She can also use the flute to summon powerful ogres who will fight for her.
Kidomaru is a member of the Sound Four, Orochimaru's most trusted ninja. He is arrogant, and when he fights he loves to toy with his opponents before defeating them. This can get him into trouble, as he sometimes underestimates his enemy.
Kimimaro was once the leader of the Sound Four (then called the Sound Five). He was Orochimaru's prize student, and meant to be his host body. But when Kimimaro became sick, Orochimaru turned his attention to Sasuke. Kimimaro is incredibly loyal to Orochimaru, and is willing to die for him.
Jiraiya is also an author of cheap romance novels, and enjoys spying on pretty girls, which he calls "research", but a great ninja is hiding beneath the silly exterior. Jiraiya is actually one of the legendary Sannin, or three ninja. He left the Leaf Village for many years but has recently returned and taken Naruto on as a student.
Rock Lee is unusual among in the Leaf Village because he cannot use ninjutsu - his skill lies only in Taijutsu, or attack combos. He is determined to be a great ninja and make his teacher, Might Guy, proud. Lee used to be strong and quick, but he was severely injured by Gaara of the Sand Village when the two boys fought.
Kakashi is the elite Jonin ninja in charge of Squad 7 - Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura. He seems laid back, but he is extremely strong and catches everything that happens around him. Kakashi has the ability to mimic his enemy's moves, earning him the name "Copy Ninja".
Temari is a Genin from the Hidden Sand Village, who comes to the Leaf Village with her brothers Gaara and Kankuro to take the Chunin exam. Her attacks are wind and sand-based, and she uses a giant fan as a tool to help her defeat her opponents.
A Genin from the Hidden Sand Village, Gaara has a frightening personality that makes people stay away from him. He's a fierce competitor and is cruel to anyone who would dare fight him. The gourd on his back is full of sand that he uses to crush his opponents.
SARUTOBI (THE 3RD HOKAGE)
As the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village, the Third Hokage (his name is Sarutobi) is well loved and respected by its inhabitants. His skills are said to be greater than all the previous Hokage and he is said to have mastered all of the jutsu that exist in the village.
A rogue ninja from the Village Hidden in the Mist, Zabuza is now an exile. He travels with his apprentice, Haku. Zabuza says that Haku is only a tool to be used in fighting his enemies, but changes his tune after speaking with Naruto. Zabuza specialises in fighting with a sword, and in water-based jutsu, such as his Water Dragon Jutsu.
Zabuza found Haku living on the streets and took him on as an apprentice. This made him fier cely loyal to Zabuza: Haku will do anything to protect his master. Haku's weapon of choice is the senbon, a type of acupuncture needle. Haku's special jutsu, the Crystal Ice Mirrors is a Kekkei Genkai, a move that is inherited through his family's bloodline.