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One Piece: Grand Battle is a title perfect for gamers of any age. It's safe for kids as there's only animated violence and it sports a simplified control scheme, yet it has enough content and challenge to keep experienced adult gamers entertained for quite some time. The amount of unlockable content is outstanding and allows you to experience every small aspect of the game, all the while getting rewarded for doing so. Bandai and Ganbarion have hit the nail on the head, making this title mimic the One Piece anime yet placing it into a genre that allows them to add their own flavour to the series. You owe it to yourself to check this game out - when it comes to no-holds-barred frantic fighting fun, it's a hard one to beat!
Graphically, One Piece won't be considered a cutting-edge game, but this isn't the game for you if you're looking for a revolutionary fighter. To its credit, fans and anime enthusiasts will be pleased to see Eiichiro Oda's character designs have been faithfully re-created. Screenshots really don't do the game justice -- they're something you have to see for yourself to get the true feel. Sadly, like nearly all Gamecube titles - the game does lack an online mode, something that really made me disappointed seeing as it offers just about everything else under the sun. Regardless, there's enough content and replay value to keep you busy for hours -- even more if you hook up with friend. Factoring all the elements this title offers makes it a no-brainer for anyone who's wanted a fighter that's simple to play, entertaining, and offers long-term value.
The world of One Piece is colorful and lively, and Ganbarion has done a great job bringing it to life in this fighter. Evidence of their care is throughout the game in little details, such as one fighter’s totally different presentation when he fights a female character he has a crush on. For the duration of the battle his eyes are replaced with pink hearts and he begs for abuse while crying out in guilt for inflicting damage upon her. Goofy touches like this and the crazy fighting moves alone ensure gamers are sure to have a ball with Grand Battle. Many years have passed since a worthy entry of this flavor has been released in the fighter genre, and One Piece: Grand Battle does a fine job continuing that legacy. Fans of the show and gamers just looking for a personality-filled, arcade-styled game will be pleased.
It's a rarity for any fighting anime game to have any sort of substance, style and especially, playability. Bandai has done an exceptional job in capturing the show's trademark comedy and battles. Additionally, One Piece: Grand Battle excels in delivering a no-nonsense approach where anybody can pick up the game and instantly enjoy it. Even those who don't have the patience to study the intrinsic complexity of fighting games may actually enjoy playing its simplified fighting engine.
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
Shonen Jump’s One Piece Grand Battle is a great game for what it essentially is; a videogame port of a popular kids’ television show. Even being my age, I could see a lot of fun to be had playing it, and can only imagine that fans of the show will love it, and those new to the story but not the genre in that age group will find it a welcome addition to their gaming repertoire. It is easily accessible, and can be as deep as you want it to be, and when all else fails it is pretty to look at with its cel shaded look. It is limited in a few ways, namely in the number of characters (a total of 16 with unlocks) and the depth of the fighting system, but it is also something I can see as a great party game for groups of casual gamers of any age. This is, of course due mostly to the fun factor of the game, which in its own wacky way, can be quite high.
In the end, One Piece: Grand Battle is a fun game marred by a lack of innovation. It looks good and sounds decent, but most of what you'll find in One Piece has been done before and done better. However, this fact doesn't make the game bad. One Piece offers a decent blend of action and humor in a nice looking packaging. Those looking for a party game along the lines of Power Stone should definitely check this one out, if only as a rental. Fans of the show will love the cel-shaded look and humor ripped straight from the TV show.
One Piece: Grand Battle ultimately might be mindless fun in multiplayer mode or pick-up two-player games, but the single-player experience is so lackluster and frustrating, it’s unclear as to whether you’d even want to play two-person or tournament mode.
One Piece is a passable fighting game, but has nothing to recommend it to people who are not fans of its namesake anime and manga series. If you’re looking for some good fighting action, you’re much better off picking up one of the tried and true Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Soul Calibur games for much cheaper.
In all, One Piece: Grand Battle might be alright for two-player games, but the single-player experience is worn out in six hours or so, and I’m not sure how many people would want to jump into a tournament with this fighting system.
The Video Game Critic
The matches tend to be frantic, and it's pretty exciting when they come down to the wire. One Piece fans will relish the details of Grand Battle, but may be disappointed at the lack of a Japanese voice track. Anime fans can bump up the grade by a letter, but others might find the subject matter a little hard to grasp.
All and all I certainly expected more from this game. It ended up with me feeling dirty, and it was certainly a waste of my time to play it. I advise you to stay away from it, because it is nowhere worth the price of admission. All and all Captain Gordon gives this game a C-.
With a horribly simplistic combat system and the promise of more games that will only build on the admittedly solid foundation of One Piece: Grand Battle, I can only recommend that people hold out a couple of versions untili a more complete One Piece fighter comes out. The current game is lacking in one key place, and even diehard fans of the One Piece storyline won't find much enjoyment out of this mediocre offering.