The Story Mode may be finished, but the single-player action is far from over! Next up is what is arguably the lion's share of the challenges in this game, Survival Mode.
There are five levels of Survival: Introductory Survival, Beginner Survival, Intermediate Survival, Advanced Survival, and Ultimate Survival. The first four comprise of a set of 10 challenges, where you pick a character and defeat each opponent sent at you. Once you defeat the last opponent in that challenge, you can move on to the next one. The last one, Ultimate Survival, has you fighting opponents until your character's been KOed. Definitely a fighting game staple, and it's at the very least interesting to see here.
Incidentally, this is how you unlock the other support types for the characters. Normally, a character, if assigned to support, is stuck doing either Attack (jumping into the fray to help your combos or to do a follow-up attack), Defense (standing in the opponent's way while you're charging your chakra), or Balance (taking an Ultimate Jutsu from the opponent for you). Playing any Survival challenge will unlock the other support types for your first support character when you reach the challenge's halfway point and for your second when you get to the end.
HP is not (necessarily) resotred back to normal at the beginning of the next fight. Instead, your rank in the battle and the time taken to defeat the opponent will determine how much HP you'll restore for the next one. The way this is calculated is pretty simple. The ranks will yield a specific percentage of your HP back:
S - 12%
A - 8%
B - 6%
C - 4%
D - 0%
Likewise, the percentage of HP restored back based on time is the number left on the timer when you've defeated your adversary divided by 5, rounded down to the nearest integer.
Theoretically, this means the maximum amount of HP you can heal in a fight through rank and time is 31% (15 + 19, as the timer begins at 99). Of course, it's impossible to defeat an enemy before the timer hits 95. 91 is the quickest I've seen.
Later on, you'll see challenges consisting of 5 or more fights. For every battle whose number is a multiple of 4 (including in Ultimate Survival), you'll be given at least 2 optional conditions. If you can finish the fight while fulfiling at least one of the conditions, you'll get more HP back. The ones I've seen are as such:
Win without guarding - 15%
With without jumping - 14% (Even though it says 15%)
Win without opponent getting knocked down - 15%
Win without getting knocked down - 8%
Win via Ninjutsu - 8%
Win via grab - 8%
Win when Awakened - 8%
Use a battle item - 3% (Doesn't matter how many)
Use Substitution - 3% (Doesn't matter how many)
Use Team Ultimate Jutsu - 3%
Perform a combo of 20 htis or more - 3%
Win in under 30 seconds - 3%
Win via Ultimate Jutsu - 3% (Team Ultimate Jutsu doesn't count)
You won't be seeing challenges that long until the later parts of Beginner Survival though.
Outcast and Genius is our introduction to the, well, Introductory Survival. There are only 2 battles here, being the first one in the game:
Battle 1 - Naruto (Part I), with Neji (Part I) and Lee (Part I)
Battle 2 - Sasuke (Part I), with Kakashi (Part I) and Naruto (Part I)
And in case it wasn't obvious, Naruto is the outcast and Sasuke is the genius. Though at this point in the series, you could argue that the two of them have switched roles since.
I brought in Deidara, with Anko and Lee (Part I). If you've only known about the details of Naruto through my videos, then Anko Mitarashi is likely a new face to you--I'll explain the deal with her later, in a description that's not about how the Surviva Mode works. She'll reappear later.
Deidara is a long-range specialist, so to keep opponents at bay, I use Anko and Lee's attacks, which have bad range but have some nice effects for me: Anko's Striking Shadow Snake traps the opponent in the attack for a while, allowing Deidara to get away, and Lee's Leaf Hurricane knocks the opponent far away, back where Deidara can safely pick away at them. Both are useful if the opponent gets too close for comfort, as they're much better at hitting the opponent then, though which I'd prefer depends on the specific situation. Of course, these supports were chosen randomly, but hey, they gave me a nice setup.
At the end is a bizarrely colorful display congratulating you and your character for finishing the challenge. I'm sure folks like Naruto and Guy wouldn't look too out of place in a background like this, but Deidara's expression of sadistic joy definitely does. (Just you wait until the challenge where I use Pain.)