Items and assist characters add complexity to your arsenal.
Generations does a marvelous job of re-creating the look and feel of its televised counterpart. The visual style is smooth and crisp, with a high-contrast art style that reflects the colorful look of the show. Each character's most powerful attack includes swooping camera angles that highlight the devastation. Sadly, the road to these moments is needlessly difficult since the game lacks a comprehensive tutorial. Diving into the training mode options menu reveals a command list with the game's most basic functions, but some of the finer points--such as how assist characters can extend combos--are left unspoken.
The narrative mode in Generations has dramatically changed from previous games. What used to be a large, interactive world to explore has been reduced to a glorified arcade mode. The former was often bogged down with numerous uninspired fetch quests, but even so it was an interesting way to explore the world of Naruto. Its replacement weaves a tale through narration and stills that bookend each fight. This structure is a safe bet, but lacks the epic cinematic events, rail-shooting sequences, and other unique features of the former mode.
The online offering in Generations is very robust. Across numerous matches of varying connection strengths, this game's performance is consistently excellent. There is hardly any noticeable lag or other connection issues. When playing with a group, spectating is available for the non-active players. Replay support is also included, letting you view and download replays of other matches, but there isn't any way to filter replays, which is unfortunate.
Fighting earns you money to spend on new items and cosmetics for your online profile.
Thanks to the tweaks to the substitution technique, the combat mechanics in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations feel better than ever. But as a whole, this game is a minor refinement over the previous installments. Generations is still a solid fighter, but definitely leaves you wanting more variety in its modes.