KuroYami started the Ultimate Ninja Storm series back in the summer of 2011. Since then he has become one of the most prominent players in the game, being herald as one of the top players in Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2.

Now, not long after its release, KuroYami has risen as arguably the best player in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations and is known as "The Puppet Master" for his one-of-a-kind use of Kid Kankuro.

I managed to catch up with him and sat him down long enough for an interview in between his training of others and sparring in matches.  I wanted his thoughts and opinions on the Ninja Storm community as well as how he got to where he is today.


-[ THE PUPPET MASTER ]-


Yami has always been an avid fan of Naruto, he even got me interested enough to jump into its world and fall in love with the anime and manga.  Being a competitive player of Naruto: Rise of a Ninja and Naruto: The Broken Bond, it was only a matter of time before he got his hands on the Ultimate Ninja Storm series once the second iteration was announced for Xbox 360 with online playability--but who would know that he would become one of the best in Storm 2 and the best player in Generations?

Many used puppets in Ninja Storm 2, however, his Sasori was the best.  In Generations he still aims to be the best puppet user and so far no one has been able to outdo his Kid Kankuro with their skill, technique, or knowledge of match-ups situations.  However, I wanted to know what makes a top player in the Ninja Storm community tick and what motivated him and what has he done differently, if anything, that has aided him on the elevation to the top.


-[ THE INTERVIEW ]-


The interview was something I wanted to do in order to figure out exactly what makes KuroYami tick and to find out certain aspects of him that might go unknown about the player.  His views, his perspectives, and what contributes to him being a dominant force within the community in general. Well, without further ado, I give you my 20 question interview with "The Puppet Master" KuroYami, Leader of the Sector Seven Clan.

  1. As always, I like to start off by asking how gamers obtained their alias.  Why do you go by "KuroYami"?

    Kuro Yami is the name of the main antagonist of the novel that I am working on.  Also, the Japanese word for black is "kuro" and the word for darkness is "yami".  I decided to do that with my name because I enjoy how Tite Kubo plays off of the spanish translations in his manga "Bleach".

  2. With that being said, do you feel that you have made a name that is easily memorable?  Have you went by anything else in the past?

    Yes.  I do believe that my name is memorable.  A lot of people call me "Yami" for short, but no, I have not gone by any other name in the past that is memorable.  My old gamertag was "Uglyman09" but no one really remembers me from that particular alias.
  3. What made you pick up the Ultimate Ninja Storm series?  Is this the only game you have been involved in competitively?

    I picked up the Ultimate Ninja Storm series because when Naruto: Rise of a Ninja came out Ubisoft was behind that franchise.  Naruto: The Broken Bond came out I believe 2 years after Rise of a Ninja and did not follow up with a Naruto Shippuden sequel,.  So with the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series migrating from just being on the Playstation 3,  Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 being released on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 with online playability, I felt it was time to jump in.  Long story short, it was the only Naruto franchise that was left on the market, so that is the one that I got into.

    I started playing fighting games competitively in about 2005 with Super Smash Bros. Melee with my crew that I am currently active in called "BKM".  After that, I moved onto BlazBlue; I was not that good in BlazBlue:Calamity Trigger but in BlazBlue:Continuum Shift I got more into DustLoop.com and leanred more combos for my character "Jin Kisaragi".  After BlazBlue:Continuum Shift was when I finally made my way into the Naruto gaming series.  I would have played Naruto: The Broken Bond competitively if it were not for the fact that I could not get into a good clan.

  4. Do you wish that Ubisoft would have made a follow up game for Naruto: The Broken Bond?  Do you feel that the 2D Naruto games are superior to the 3D ones?

    Yes, I do.  I believe that the 2D engine by Ubisoft for Naruto games are far superior to the 3D ones in  the Ultimate Ninja Storm series; and I do wish that Ubisoft did make a sequel to Naruto: The Broken Bond.  I realize that Broken Bond was a tad bit more of a complex fighting game where you had set combos and the way you had to substitute was harder compared to Storm's one button substitution, where as Broken Bond had a 2 button substitution that was not as easily abused.

  5. You call yourself the "Puppet Master".  It is known that you are very good with the puppet users, but why do you call yourself the best puppet user?

    I call myself the best puppet user because on Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 the majority of puppets users used Sasori because he was the best puppet master, as well as the best character in the game.  Now, I knew I wanted to main Sasori but the way I was going to do so would be different as I  mained Chiyo as well as Kankuro.  I then decided to learn the mechanics of all puppet users, the "ins-and-outs", all their strengths and weaknesses.  As a result, I eventually learned how to do things that other puppet users never learned how to do--such as Sasori's tilt into Ultimate Jutsu.

  6. In the previous game you used Sasori as your main character, however you switched to Kid Kankuro in this one; what particular reason did you have for a change of heart?

    Kankuro has always been my favorite puppet character in the show because I loved his personality; he had a strong "I am not afraid of anything" style about himself, those changes was for my character.  As far as competitive gaming is concerned, I switched over to Kid Kankuro because my previous main, Sasori, got nerfed and could not effectively deal with some of the tactics the new characters brought to Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations; such as "Masked Man".

  7. Given that puppets are long-ranged characters who mean to keep opponents at bay, many complain about their defensive style; what do you have to say about this?

    Well, I believe that every character, not only in the Naruto series but in any fighting game you play,  has their advantages as well as their disadvantages.  I believe that everything a character does can be adapted to and countered in some way.  When someone comes to me and says "Puppets are cheap" I would just tell them that, "Every character plays differently. It is just that puppets have a distinct long range of play, and not everyone can use puppets well to take advantage of that".  I once despised puppet players but I learned how interesting they were to play with and fell in love with their unique style.

  8. Some people feel that certain tactics, not just puppets, are overpowering.  Such as Masked Man's Jutsu and Temari's projectile game.  How do you get around these without losing love for the game?

    I consider it all a challenge.  The Masked Man is the worst match-up for Kid Kankuro and puppets in general because of his Jutsu.  When Masked Man begins his Jutsu you cannot touch him, it literally makes him invincible upon activation.  I consider it a challenge when someone forces me to approach them by playing their own game and me having to figure out how to adapt to it and beat it.  Yet, X-Combo characters, such as Temari and Deidara, also force me to play differently, yet I figure out a way around their techniques and manage to win.

  9. What is your  opinion as far as the competitive community is concerned for Ninja Storm Generations compared to that of Ninja Storm 2?

    Well, the competitive scene right now is a lot smaller starting off compared to the way Storm 2 was when I started  in the summer of 2011.  Yet, Storm 2 was out for 7 months at that time, so I guess I have to be a little more patient for the community to grow in size.  Two of the top clans on Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 were disbanded on the Xbox 360 side, such as "The Foundation" and "Riders of the Storm".  Only a select few are able to play on the same level I play on at the moment.  When the summer kicks in I expect for the competitive scene to get a lot more active.

  10. With the supposed influx of new players to the competitive community during the summer, are there any doubts that someone may surpass your skill level?

    No.  Not at the moment.  I do not see that happening.  I say so because my main character has a very good advantage as far as what he is capable of doing and what he is not capable of doing.  I do not really see anyone becoming better than I am because there is only one person that is capable of being considered my level or better than I am currently, "JeffyLTD".  As far as the competition is concerned, I do not see anyone getting better than him or I, but anything can happen in the gaming world and it will be fun to see what happens.  In Smash Bros. Melee Ken was on top, then Mewtwoking, then Mango, so we will see.

  11. As far as the competitive community goes then, is there anyone in the Storm community that you actively disliked or have had a large amount of conflict with?  And why?

    Yes, there is.  The "THEKIDB IS AGOD".  The reason why I have such a negative feeling towards THEKIDB is that he made a video claiming he was the best in the Ninja Storm series, yet he has disconnected against everyone he would lose against on Naruto:Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 and he continues to do so in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations but claims to have the best record in the game.  Another reason I dislike him is that he talks as though he knows more about the Naruto Generations' mechanics than anyone else, that he can train you in how to do certain things even though I know he knows nothing about Ninja Storm 2 or Generations.  I believe KIDB could be the most hated Ninja Storm player of all time.



  12. Sector Seven is a pretty well known clan in the Ninja Storm world, what made you form your own clan instead of joining someone else's?

    When I decided to pick up Sasori, my original clan leader had been out of commission for about a month.  When he finally came back, he was not happy with me maining the same character that he mained and he kicked me out of the clan when I tried to try out for co-leader because of it.  One other member was kicked out right along with me and we decided at that point to form a clan with each other: Me, himself (Mac2229), his brother (Brand201), and Alpha Delta.  We formed Sector Seven which is why I changed my gamertag from KuroYami09 to S7C KuroYami (My gamertag presently is xI KuroYami Ix).  We started at the beginning of July of 2011 and have been going strong ever since.  My members have changed, but my co-leader, Whatthetoast, is still fighting alongside  me.

  13. Sector Seven, do you feel this is the best clan currently in Ninja Storm Generations with the members you have assembled?  What formidable clans have you faced in the past?

    No.  I do not consider us here at Sector Seven the best clan at the moment.  There are other clans out there that we have yet to face that are really good, such as "Hidden Heavens" and "Inferno".  We have faced a few good clans, such as "Ten Tailed Operations" which we have a YouTube video of us defeating them; so far that is the best clan match we have had, yet, I have not been able to use my best three members in one clan match together.  I am training with one of them to get him at a higher level so that we will be capable of taking down any clan that comes in our way.




  14. As time goes on and more clans begin to surface, do you feel there will ever be one centralized clan that is recognized by everyone as a dominant?

    No.  I do not think so.  I feel any clan can be defeated at any time.  Right now, there is one clan that took the best members out of a really good clan and had them join them.  But, I believe a true clan is made up of people who have formed a brotherhood with each other and have trained each other, making themselves and others better.  So I do not believe that will last for too long.

  15. There seems to be certain high-level characters and high-level assists most people use in order to get an edge.  Do you believe this game is balanced?  If not, what is your stance on character and assist character balance?

    I believe that Generations is more balanced than Storm 2 was because there is not a dominant character that can defeat all characters on the roster such as Sasori, who was broken in Storm 2.  I believe Sasori is one of the top 5 most broken characters in a game, ever.  That ishow ridiculous he was compared to the rest of the cast in Ninja Storm 2.  However, there are characters that have  really good advantages such as Masked Man, Ten-Ten, Tsuchikage, and Kid Kankuro.  Yet, all four of those characters are top tier yet they counter each other, which then leads the B-Tier of character, such as the faster characters or the characters with overpowered Awakenings.


    When it comes to support, I believe there is a tier list for high-level supports, such as Pain, Hidan, Tsuchikage, Ten-Ten, and Kid Gaara.  Any support can be annoying at any time, such as Adult Shino's tracking bugs or Kimimaru.

  16. Do you believe the  new mechanics, such as the Substitution Bar and Chakra Air Dashing play a big part in the change from Naruto Storm 2 to Generations?

    Yes I do.  Now with the Sub Bar and the Chakra Air Dashing, it forces the player to be conservative about their substitution.  The Chakra Air Dash keeps people from jump blocking so much.  A lot of people do not know this, but your guard is a lot weaker when you are in the air compared to being on the ground.  So Chakra Air Dashing breaks your guard quicker if you are jump blocking excessively, which now, compared to Storm 2, forces players to combo a little bit more and turtle a little less.  Now to go along with the Sub Bar, everything has been made equally subbable, nothing is really hard to sub anymore. Now you can also Sub attacks after you have taken the damage from them, which in turn will punish people who press the Sub button too many times or use Sub inappropriately.

  17. As far as your mindset, what do you think separates you from many other Ninja Storm Generations players that may give you an edge when facing an opponent?

    I believe that the game is never over until it says "K.O.".  I am able to read my opponent's movements at the beginning of the game, from it I can tell what the game will look like; if it will be easy or a close win for myself or my opponent from that alone.  From my experience I have learned that who ever has the most desire to win that game is usually going to win it.

  18. Do you feel you are better under pressure than most other players?  Have you ever been worried when your life is significantly lower than an opponent or when they go into a top-tier Awakening?  Such as Donzo?

    Yes, I do feel I handle pressure better.  I still get worried but I keep in mind that it is always possible to come back and win from a life disadvantage.  When you are facing certain awakenings, like Donzo's for instance, you have to be careful because his Awakening forces out a Jutsu that is almost inescapable and does very good damage.  But this highlights one of the advantages I love that my puppets have, which is a double guard.  If someone is constantly using Donzo's Jutsu while in Awakening, I can stand still and they will knock my puppet down and I can pick them back up with a fresh, new guard before Donzo can touch my puppet master's guard.  This is just an example of what I was referring to earlier about the need to adapt to your opponent's strategies.  Sometimes you just have to be able to keep your opponent from going into Awakening at all; because if Ten-Ten goes into Awakening and you are not close enough to her she will beat you.  Her Jutsu in Awakening is almost inescapable and characters use less chakra while in Awakening when using their Jutsu.

  19. What do you have to say for any aspiring top level players for Ninja Storm Generations in the form of advice?

    I would tell them to not listen to what other people say when it comes to getting better at the game.  I would tell them that their are two sides to playing Ninja Storm.  One side is casual play and the other is competitive play, and that they should learn to get good at both sides if they really want to be considered one of the top players at the game.

  20. What do you feel the future is going to be for yourself and Sector Seven?

    We are going to try and stay undefeated, our record is 5-0.  We will attempt to challenge and beat the best clans out there and work to become the undisputed best clan in the Ninja Storm community.  As for myself, I plan on learning more about puppets and training people to help make them better so they can get more enjoyment in the game.  No matter what game you are playing or what you're doing,  I feel you get the most enjoyment when you win, that's why I want to help people enjoy this game as much as possible.

-[ THOUGHTS ON THE INTERVIEW ]-


The interview went quite well in my opinion and I got to see a lot of things I would not known otherwise about Yami, such as how he actually prefers the play style of Naruto: The Broken Bond over that of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations or the fact he believes this game is more balanced than Ninja Storm 2 due to the system mechanics which I personally thought made the game more defensive.

I am glad I did this interview to see how everyone else would react to the thought patterns of arguably the best player in Ninja Storm right now.  Personally, I did not know Ninja Storm was a deep of a game as it was with as much depth as it has for a limited control scheme.  But advanced techniques and the way people play makes the game a lot more than what average people would think, which reminds me of a Smash Bros. Melee but to a lesser scale (Community size). It is a good thing to know and something that my eyes have been opened to.

Thank you for reading, I am RoK the Reaper.  Sayonara!