Upon completion of fights, experience points are awarded, allowing for the purchase of new special moves, items, and improvements to health and chakra. It's a surprisingly robust system, with tons of new techniques to learn. Fortunately, bringing them into battle is pretty simple, with the 3DS touchpad making it easy to call them up on command.
The touchpad is also used to call in assists, which consist of characters from the Naruto universe. In my time with the game, I saw mostly Team Guy characters jump in to help in the fight. Even during the final training mission against Rock Lee's mentor Might Guy, my fellow Team Guy trainees were more than willing to take a few pot shots at our master. And in typical anime fashion, their attacks come in the form of hearts, mummy wrappings, and other silly weaponry.
Based on the Narutio spin-off Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals, Naruto Powerful Shippuden looks great. The animation is fluid and the characters just as charming as you remember from the series. You can play through as either Rock Lee or Naruto, and the missions branch depending on who you choose. In between battles, the comical story is told by way of text. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but the jokes and smartly written dialogue manages to keep it fresh.
Sure, Naruto Powerful Shippuden is designed primarily with kids in mind, but I found myself enjoying how simple it was. It lends itself well to sitting down for fifteen or twenty minutes, knocking out a few missions, and moving on to something slightly more substantial. Heck, I even found myself wanting to go on one more fight, just to get that one special move that I'd been saving up for. And, of course, when I got that move, I'd want to test it out. In short, I'm ready to come back for more.