The presentation is great, but the gameplay sadly doesn't back it up.
In addition to Master Road, there are practice and free battle modes. Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 also supports ad hoc multiplayer for up to four players. Many missions in Master Road let players invite a friend or three to help them out, and the wireless battle option lets you and your friends challenge each other. It's nice to see this functionality supported, but it doesn't change the fact that the gameplay is shallow and bland. There's no shortage of far-superior multiplayer fighting games available for the PSP, making this one impossible to recommend for solo players or those eager for human competition.
There is one area where this game doesn't disappoint. The visuals are beautiful, with detailed, well-animated characters and remarkably vivid environments. Little touches like rolling rivers, leaves blowing in the wind, and flickering light from flames go a long way toward making the surroundings for the action feel alive and authentic. Enthusiastic voice performances are the highlight of the game's sound, though you'll quickly tire of hearing Naruto declare "Health recovery!" and "Finders keepers!" nearly every time he grabs a power-up.
There are certainly hours upon hours of gameplay to be had here for completionists who are determined to unlock every character and acquire all the collectables, but no amount of unlockable character pictures can make putting up with this tedium worthwhile. It's not too much to ask for a game to deliver both fan service and solid gameplay. It's just more than this particular game can manage.