Danzo is a strong fighter with a lot of tricks up his sleeve but at the end of the day tricks aren’t going to be enough to defeat an opponent of Sasuke’s caliber. Sasuke is a true Uchiha elite who can adapt to any kind of fighting strategy and still manage to come out on top. He leaves Danzo in the dust here because that guy will absolutely not stand a chance against such a powerful fighter. Sasuke will always be one step ahead with his speed and strength. Sasuke wins.
Suggested by Friday Esdeath has very powerful ice abilities and can really make things difficult for Sasuke here. That being said, he has the Sharingan and speed that can match hers. His ultimate defenses can block her strongest attacks and while her reaction times can buy her some time in the match, it will not be nearly enough to actually turn the tides of battle. Sasuke wins.
Suggested by Ben 11 Akame and Sasuke are both very skilled swordfighters who rely on their speed to dominate their opponents. Akame may even be able to keep up with Sasuke to an extent but that’s really where she will hit her limits as a fighter. Sasuke has many big advantages over her such as his ninjutsu and Sharingan abilities. She would have to fight him while at a big disadvantage since he will continue to grow stronger and more accustomed to her moves as they fight. Ultimately she would fall. Sasuke wins.
This is a tribute to the second Mad Max film. Max lives in a rather rough world so you can see how he would want to mind his own business a lot of the time but it doesn’t always paint him in the best light. Sasuke’s not always the best hero either but he definitely gets the job done when it’s crunch time. In terms of ability there is a world of difference between these two. A single good Lightning Blade would take Max out of the fight without a doubt. Sasuke wins.
Suggested by Anonymous Sasuke is an Uchiha and as a result he has abilities that are far beyond those of the average fighter. That being said, would he really stand a chance in this fight? At his best Sasuke was certainly a fighter to be feared and even could give Naruto a run for his money. That said, it’s fair to say that Naruto has surpassed him as is the fate of all rivals and at the moment I don’t think Sasuke at his peak would have been enough to defeat Isshiki one on one. He would have to lose this round for now as Isshiki is just way too powerful. Isshiki Ōtsutsuki wins.
It’s been many years since I played the second Ultimate Ninja Heroes title but at long last it’s time to enter the third one. This one decided to add some platformer elements to the game which is a rather odd option but it reminds you of the old Ninja Council games on the GBA/DS. I don’t think it was necessary but it does help to pad the game out as with only fights it would have been really short.
The game follows the Shippuden story midway through Sasuke’s arc and also has an original story thrown into the middle where we have to fight a new villain group know as the Leaf Anbu. Unlike the normal Anbu who are some of the weakest guys you’ll meet in Naruto, these guys can actually fight rather well. They want to use their visual prowess to grab some of the secrets in the village and do something dangerous with them. Kakashi and Naruto will have to stop them from breaking in, but maybe it’s time that Naruto is told the truth about all of this?
The original story isn’t bad, it introduces some new characters and it’s all worth it for the climax where Naruto and Sasuke have a big team up. Yes, Bonds did it first where they had to team up in the movie but I was always underwhelmed by that title because it was so brief. It’s brief here as well but with the end of the world upon the characters, the stakes were so high that you can see why they went right down to business. The scene where Sasuke first shows up to taunt Naruto one last time was the highlight of the whole game. It just filled you with a great sense of excitement and you get to re live it later on when playing as Sasuke.
The game also deserves a lot of credit for having full voice acting. Every line is said out loud by the voice actors from the show and this is the kind of attention to detail that I like to see in any modern title. It’s crazy that even nowadays some titles don’t have full voice acting while the PSP pulled it off so many years ago. It really does enhance the experience and make the whole thing feel that much more real. The soundtrack also had some fairly good tunes. I wouldn’t say any of them are Earth shattering but they’re good enough to be noticed. The danger theme, Sasuke’s overworld theme, one of the battle tunes, etc. This was a very solid setup.
In terms of replay value the game is a little smaller in pure single player content. By playing through the game naturally I got over half of the collectibles in the game. The main story will take you around 10 hours to complete. Considering that this is most of the stages you should be able to clear everything within 14 hours or so I’d guess. Earning money will be the toughest thing in the end as you have to buy each collectible. That said, there is endless replay value for the multiplayer mode and as a fighting game you can always have fun just beating the A.I. since there are so many characters to choose from.
Naturally the graphics here are really solid. The character portraits are good and occasionally you’ll even get an illustration that looks just like a screenshot from the anime. The filler arc in particular was impressive here since you’d almost think there was an anime episode you might have missed. Most of the time there aren’t any true cutscenes but occasionally you will get a moving image like with Naruto and Sasuke’s combo attack at the end.
The gameplay remains rock solid from the first two games. It’s a 2D fighter where you try to overwhelm your opponent with ninjutsu and taijutsu. Use your combos well to win. The main thing that separates this from most fighting games is how you can use some energy to teleport away when being combo attacked and this can create a chain of teleports between you and your opponent as you both start teleporting everywhere. Your final smash uses up a lot of energy so while it does a lot of damage, you have to decide if it’s worth it since it will use up your teleport energy. Some good strategies to be had in the game for sure and some of the story levels can also be rather difficult when they pit you in a 1 vs 2 battle later on.
Then you have the platforming gameplay. You have to run to the goal, sometimes defeating enemies along the way. The actual platforming isn’t bad, you move and jump rather well with controls that are on point. That being said, it’s the combat in the platforming levels that isn’t very good. It’s hard to land any attacks because all minions have super armor and will just hit you through the blows. Your best bet is to use a ninjutsu on all enemies as it is the only consistent way to bring them down. There are spike balls and other kinds of classic platforming obstacles to content with but it’s very by the book. With most levels having a 60 second timer, you’re really done in a flash.
Overall, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is a very fun game. It’s nostalgic in a sense as it reminds you of the old days of Naruto. It brings back all of the classic action you could want in a Naruto title and has solid voice acting, graphics, and soundtrack. This is the definition of a super solid game. At 10 hours it’s also the perfect length in that it’s just long enough where I wouldn’t say it’s too short. I’ll never turn down a game being longer but 10 hours is really the minimum length you should always strive for. It’s also good to see a fighting game with a proper story like this. It’s nothing new for anime related titles but many other franchises still struggle with this.
Notice that I’m using the term “healthiest” here as opposed to greatest. It’s a little nuance that is worth pointing out because it’s different. The greatest rivalry would definitely need to be Goku and Vegeta followed by Yugi and Kaiba, Tyson and Kai, Aichi and Kai, Naruto and Sasuke, Yusuke and Hiei, etc. I would put those rivalries higher than Asta and Yuno’s if I were to rank them all.
However, while those rivalries are a lot of fun, part of the intensity there is with how toxic and antagonistic the characters were for a time. Vegeta literally started out as a genocidal monster who would blow up monsters and torture his opponents. He’s tried to murder Goku on more than one occasion and hasn’t always stayed the path of a hero. The banter is top tier but you couldn’t always say the rivalry was on good terms. (Well, Goku would probably say it was positive throughout) It’s a great rivalry but I wouldn’t call it a healthy one in the sense that you wouldn’t want this rivalry in real life prior to when it finally mellows out more in the end of Z to Super era.
Meanwhile Asta and Yuno is the kind of rivalry that you would absolutely love to have in real life. Both of them clearly respect each other and encourage themselves to do better. When Asta was having a hard time, Yuno gave him a pep talk. When Yuno was mind controlled Asta talked him back up. You never see these two characters getting really jealous of each other to the point of turning evil or giving each other the cold shoulder.
There were several times it seemed like the manga may be about to turn Yuno over to the dark side but it hasn’t happened. Now it still could at some point but we’re fairly deep into the series without that happening so the chances continue to decrease. He just takes his losses as an opportunity to get stronger without resenting Asta for it. They may get jealous at times but nothing very serious. One such moment is when Asta’s chances of fighting Yuno are sabotaged and he’s upset since now Yuno is in the finals but Asta won’t get to be there. It makes sense as being a very frustrating moment though because that’s something he had been looking forward to for a very long time. So let’s specifically look at the reasons why I call it a great rivalry.
The origin of the rivalry
So rivalries can start in a lot of different ways. It could be due to an inferiority complex from the rival himself who sees that he will ultimately be surpassed by the lead as with Bakugo. Deku just rubbed him the wrong way and the guy never looked back. He went after Deku at every turn but make no mistake he was a bully through be through. For Asta and Yuno, they became rivals after Asta saved Yuno from a bandit. Yuno saw Asta’s power and vowed to be strong. Not to rub it in Asta’s face or to destroy him but because that was a new ideal for him. From that point on Yuno was a changed man and never cried like that again. It was a positive start though as Yuno saw Asta at his best and it helped him improve himself. It’s a rivalry based on making each other better as opposed to breaking each other down and that’s a common theme throughout the series.
A lot of rivals can barely manage to acknowledge each other without throwing in some kind of insult. You’ll come to see that a lot especially with Sasuke as he continually badmouths Naruto. He is definitely an extreme rival given how he completely turned evil and all but it does show how far some rivals are willing to go. Compare that to Asta who is able to awaken Yuno from the mind control by talking about his dreams or Yuno saying that he knew Asta would he selected by the magic knights and get a book. A proper rivalry should be one where you acknowledge the other side as an equal and that’s exactly what they did. Not just in a power sense but even just acknowledging that they respect each other.
Asta and Yuno always do that and even in front of villains so it’s not like this is a private thing. They don’t care who’s listening and will still praise the other. Particularly in Yuno’s case this is a big deal since in the series there is a big stigma against those who cannot use magic like Asta. This can also mean that Asta is susceptible to surprise attacks since his durability is that of a normal human’s. Once Asta learns how to use ki it becomes difficult to launch a sneak attack on him but there’s one time prior to that where a villain tries to land a sneak attack and Yuno quickly foils the attempt. It was a good way to show how they still watch each other’s back. The clip I linked above showed Asta at his lowest moment in the series and Yuno was able to bring him out of that depression. There were no insults, barbs, or any of that. Yuno just talked him up and it was a powerful moment.
Finally, it’s a rivalry not an obsession
When there’s an actual villain to defeat you don’t see any kind of bickering between them. There’s no pretense about being the one to stop the villains or anything like that. They just run in and get the job done. They’ll team up and coordinate attacks in an instant without looking back. They did this to fight Licht, the Devils, Mars, etc. their rivalry takes a backseat to the actual threats which is very realistic and just makes sense. They are heroes first and rivals second after all.
Personally I love the kind of banter we get from say Goku and Vegeta when a villain shows up. In their case the rivalry takes first dibs mainly thanks to Vegeta insisting on it. It’s a lot of fun to watch of course which is why they have the best rivalry of all time but in real life you’re probably hoping you can get help from your rival if something serious happens. Make no mistake Asta and Yuno still have a lot of great banter throughout the series and take shots at each other but it’s all in good fun. You never feel any kind of malice between the characters, serious resentment or anything like that. They’re just good friends who make each other even better.
So those are the main reasons why I put Asta and Yuno at the top in this category. It’s a really nice change of pace and it also makes this a very unique rivalry. As mentioned there is still time for things to change though. I’ve always been in the camp that believes Yuno will probably turn evil at some point but I wouldn’t mind being incorrect on this one. I should also say this isn’t the only healthy rivalry. There are certainly more of them out there particularly if you go more into different demographics. For Shonen the closest might be fighters like Ichigo and Renji or Luffy and Zoro but both rivalries are less of a focus to the point where you can debate if they really are rivalries. Then you have Ash and Gary where there are a lot of insults from Gary but I would put it more on the good fun side. It might be straddling the line just a tad but I have no doubt that if Ash was in serious trouble Gary would step in without letting Ash get beat up. Still, those are all runner ups in the end. Asta & Yuno’s rivalry is unmatched.
Lucien is a strong fighter who can use the Force as well as his lightsaber. He won’t be going down to Sasuke very easily…but he will be going down all the same. Sasuke’s Chidori sword can hold its own with a lightsaber and moreover he has the definitive edge in combat ability. His speed and power are far greater than anything Lucien has seen in his day. He would be getting completely overwhelmed in the end. Sasuke wins.
Yennefer has powerful spells, but those won’t be able to do enough damage or activate quick enough to take down Sasuke. Sasuke has access to the sharingan which makes him incredibly difficult to hit. He has grown sharper and sharper as his sharingan has evolved and Sasuke is incredibly tough to defeat one on one. One glance is enough for him to possibly end this fight. Sasuke wins.
Tenel is a pretty tough fighter. Force abilities shouldn’t be underestimated and even just having a lightsaber is something to be feared. Still, Sasuke can zip around with his Sharingan and lightning speed so he will be able to keep his distance and still claim the advantage. This just isn’t a fight where Tenel can really hope to make much of a difference. Sasuke’s abilities are just in a world of their own. Sasuke wins.