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Excellence Award

NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM

MATSUYAMA Hiroshi,
Representing NARUTO: Ultimate Ninja STORM development team

Video game [Japan]

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.

© NARUTO™ :Ultimate Ninja(R) :STORM software
© 2004-2008 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc. NARUTO artwork and elements
© MASASHI KISHIMOTO. All Rights Reserved.

Profile

MATSUYAMA Hiroshi

Japan

He is currently president of the game production company CyberConnect2 Co., Ltd., based in Hakata. His past works include .hack series (sold total of 2.7 million copies internationally) and NARUTO: Ultimate series (sold total of 6.2 million copies internationally). He loves manga to the extent that he reads 60 manga magazines every month. His devotion extends widely to animations, films, and of course games and manga.

( 2009 )

Award Reason

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.

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