I have to be honest.. I enjoy the anime series- I try to watch each new episode as they are available. I've read a bit of the manga. I have also played other Naruto games in the past.
This game is actually really quite fun and is perfect if you are trying to catch up to the anime- the graphical style really draws out that anime feel to it. The combat is just as great, if not better than Ult. Ninja Storm 2 with the addition of a few minor tweaks.
However, when you have a game that is based on combat and story I still can help but feel that the online VS mode is lacking-- the battles are perfect.. minus button lag, latency issues, and other possible mishaps. Also about 80% of the ppl I encountered online play as what is deemed the 'spam-able' characters (i.e. young Ten-ten and Deidara) , which really destroys the balance in a fighting game.
The story mode in this one is different as well- more of a quick recap of past events, rather than telling you the story and giving you character development along the way.
So for those of you who like the Naruto universe, like myself, this is a great game minus the online. However unless you're a collector or an absolute lover of this series, then I recommend that you rent this one.