Since it was announced as a browser game last year, responses have been pretty much mixed from the gamers over in China. The videos below should shed more light on how the game will be played. The main points will be highlighted below as well. As posted, the debut test is on 5th December.
1. There will be 2 original characters for the debut test phase on 5th December, with 3 more coming in the near future. All characters will be designed and drawn by Masashi Kishimoto, creator of Naruto.
2. Naruto and other prominent characters from the manga series will be mostly NPCs which will accompany players in different maps based on the different story arcs. For example, Naruto can be seen as a companion in the demo shown below in the “Chasing Gaara” storyline.
3. Combat is automated, although players are advised to manually devise strategies and active skills. As seen, some skills hit multiple targets, and there will be cut-scenes in the middle of combat as well.
4. As with most turn-based games, the first row will usually get damaged first, unless the incoming spell is AOE. You can see Naruto summoning his Shadow Clones to help him absorb damage, although they are really weak in terms of health points.
5. No surprises, the mana system here is known as chakra, which is needed to cast skills.
6. Even if the character dies, combat will still go on as players may control the accompanying NPCs, such as Naruto. Similar to the manga series, certain characters will be able to summon their gigantic partners during certain story arcs.
7. There will be party combo skills, which will be triggered when characters with bonds in the manga use a related skill. This can be seen in the behind-the-scenes development video right at the bottom. Such combos can also be player-created when an opponent is knocked down or hit into the air.
8. There are various negative skill effects as well, such as stunned, burnt and poisoned just to name a few (Pokemon!). I guess there will be more in future versions.
The video trailer below highlights the back-end development for Naruto Online, with Namco Bandai Games, CyberConnect2 (developer of Naruto: Ultimate Ninja console games) and also Tencent Games’ own browser games studio. Man, the effort behind this browser game is just amazing.