Yesterday, Ubisoft released Shikamaru Nara as a free download through their “Exclusive Content” service for Naruto: Rise of a Ninja. Strangely, the game’s official site doesn’t reflect the new character, but he’s most definitely there. Signing up for a Ubisoft account is free and can be done through the in-game menus. If you own this neat little adventure/fighting game, there’s really no reason not to grab the new character, especially since he’s one of the coolest in the anim? and manga source material. The intro animation to his Jutsu is also well-done, and the finish animation is hilarious.
For players: you’ll find Shikamaru to be a nice addition to the lineup, if with a surprising learning curve. His fighting style has decent range and strength, but his attack sequences typically pause quite noticeably at some point in the chain – sidestep- and jumpkick-spammers will exploit this. Use Shika’s forward + X chains for melee; his forward + Y chains are very slow after the second hit, so use them more if you successfully sidestep a big move. Shika has no go-behind chain starters, so sidestep a lot. His Jutsu, Shadow Possession, will take a little getting used to. It’s basically another targeting minigame, sort of similar to Zabuza or Kiba, but you’re trying to capture the opponent with your shadow. Since you’re controlling the way Shika leans, your control of the shadow is effectively mirrored – it’s awkward at first. You’ll get used to it though. With Shikamaru’s lack of speed, you’ll find Rock Lee and (of course) Sakura to be your natural enemies. The AI can’t use Shikamaru in 1P mode, since he wasn’t included on the original disc, but you can use him against the other characters in VS or Tournament modes if you want to train offline.