13th Entertainment Division Excellence Award
NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM
Video game [Japan]
Representing NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM development team
Taking the concept of the “amazing fusion of anime and game,” this work explores the techniques of limited animation, for which Japan is ultimately world renowned for. The work has successfully established an expressive technique for real-time CG and has realized amazing super cinematic graphics that nobody has ever seen before. This makes us feel like as though we are moving animation ourselves.
Reason for Award
The main reason why this work received an award is due to the excellence of its graphics, movement, and presentation. That “the graphics are beautiful” is not necessarily a universal compliment for games, as we can see from the fact that text oriented adventure games and puzzle games that lack graphics have never died out. However, this piece not only has beautiful imagery, but intuitive controllability that successfully draws players in without relying on characters and stories. The combination of all these features has resulted in an exciting interaction—a very game-like merit. It is relatively common for popular franchises to move from manga to animation, and then to games; but many of them tend to be commercially unsuccessful when they reach the third stage. This is because of the character of games “as media” literally. However, this work has not fallen into such a trap, and shows us an example of an integrated game that originated in manga.