Certain characters will respond better to certain dishes, and if you know the initial dynamic between the characters early on, you're no doubt aware that this is no easy road. Sasuke's opinion of Naruto was a flat out "Don't Like" whereas Sakura had an even more heartbreaking "Eww."
The stylus is largely responsible for your special techniques, but it can also be used as an option for anything else, like guiding Naruto around places like the Hidden leaf village. Sure you could use the D-pad if you'd like, but using the stylus makes it feel like a little more than a GBA game. Plus it's the best way to attack, move, or surf items during the turn-based battles.
Path of the Ninja should be out later next month, and is offering up a more strategic and engrossing experience than the straight up Naruto beat-em-up. Just don't confuse it with the Ubisoft's Rise of a Ninja. Those little DS cartridges are a bitch to get out of a 360.