Review by thomas_light

Reviewed: 10/10/06

King Of Pirates !!!

At last the most awaited sequel of One Piece Grand Battle has arrived - One Piece Grand Adventure! One Piece fans are definitely looking forward for this game. Well if you are not a One Piece fan, I'll let you know what this game is all about of course. One Piece Grand Adventure is an anime/ manga based game from Shonen Jump's One Piece Series.Ported simultaneously in the Playstation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube this game is an arena type fighting game similar to Power Stone.Also this game is a sequel from the earlier One Piece Grand Battle.Using the same core of game play, this game offers a definitive brawling experience along with some few tweaks,like more characters, mini games,and a New Adventure Mode.

If you have played Grand Battle or Power Stone you will easily adapt the game play of Grand Adventure.Pretty much it utilizes the old battle system of its predecessor Grand Battle.This game's mechanics are pretty simple, you select a character that you want to use from a number of available characters then you will also be able to select a support character which you can summon to help you during battle.

The Battle will be held in a full 3D arena like stage and you will be able to roam around the stage.Like in any other fighting games you will be able to do moves,attacks and combos that your character is able.Only those move can be triggered easily like just pressing the circle button or x button repeatedly. Performing different combinations of this buttons will unlock the rest of the techniques you character can perform.You can also use super attacks and call forth you support character.But this kind of moves requires a certain amount filled in the yellow power gauge. The gauge can be filled by collecting coins from boxes,barrels or chests.You can also find various items that you can use for battle like Bomb, Baseball Bat, Bon Fire,etc.Which will make the battle more interesting and creative.Also power-ups can be acquired during battle that temporarily increases certain aspect of you character. Lastly when your gauge is full you can also use the secret arts or the most powerful move of every character in the game.

The game features the same variety of game modes like in the previous installment. In fact Grand Adventure has a Grand Battle Mode which consists of almost all the game mode in Grand Battle were.The usual modes are Versus, Tournament and Training Mode. Also the game includes the special mode which consists of fun mini games from the Box Crusher to the new Racing game. Another is the new Arena mode where you can unlock trading cards of the game. These cards are not playable though but only viewed in an album.Lastly the most amazing mode of the game which separates this One Piece Game from the other installments...the Grand Adventure Mode.This mode is the heart of this game and its more likely where all the story happens. You will be able to have your own ship and sail with a band of Pirates on several archipelagos based from the anime. It combines the elements of the earlier modes in a random story based mode. The Adventure mode will be a vital element of the game as it will be the key to unlocking new characters, stages, costumes and mini-games. You have to play this mode for hours before you can complete it. The most difficult part of it is getting the Bonuses which requires an objective to be accomplished. Also the Adventure mode has a level system for the characters.It means that leveling up might be the key to complete the game easier.The leveled characters also have a password in order for you to use them or battle against them in the versus mode. The main purpose of this is to share them with your friends.

The difficulty level of this game ranges from easy to moderate difficulty. Most of the battles are easy but special battles like Rumble Battle or other mini-games can be quite challenging especially when you are trying to get the bonuses.There are different rules depending upon the objective of the game like you need to survive or knock the opponent.Majority of the game will involve button mashing. Hardcore Fighting gamers might actually lose their interest because of this.But the game will appeal to new gamers and kids for the fact that the controls are easy to boot and doesn't involved high level gaming ability to fully enjoy the game.This game's tilt is almost solid as the last one but one downside which can be the major flaw of this game is the sudden slow down in some stages,The cause yet is unknown but Grand Battle didn't had that flaw. Still the game's fun factor is as solid as ever or perhaps even better. The game remains the same with improved game play which adds the to fun factor.

The game's visuals are impressive as ever. Though most of the graphics were almost the same as Grand Battle the designers made some enhancements. They changed some of the sprites as well as the menus and stages. More impressing are the variety of arenas of the game.Some of them have two variations like the Arlong Park stage.Now it has an Aftermath version of it where the environments are different.Arenas also have an time versions whether day, night of afternoon. The combat spites were also improved for more solid visuals. One example is Luffy's Rapid Fire move, the hands are now look more rubbery.Another thing is the changed of character details whereas the game was slightly revamped to synchronize with the One Piece anime in the U.s. Some of the characters like Hawkeye Mihawk were remodeled to be like in the Dubbed anime. One disappointment is the removal of the anime cut scenes on this game. The game does not involve any anime theme so the opening are in a full 3D engine.Overall the game look really awesome and perhaps the best in the series.

Another flaw of this game involves the sound system.The game still have some good music which includes some new good tunes like the Grand Battle song. The sound effects are also the same from the old game.The flaw goes on the dubbing of the voices. The first game was fully dubbed by the anime voices. All of the event or cut scene have their voice overs.Now, the game only include a limited dub voices.You will notice that most of the dialogues are represented by either one or two voice over by the character.Either a shout or phrase I would prefer a whole sentence would be better.Anyway for the people who hate the U.S. voices can take this as a pro of the game. On the good side the battle voices are a fine tune to the ear. For this element were remained untouched.

Completing the game will take you about 20-30 hours of game play. That includes the completion of the Adventure mode and the Arena Mode. The single player mode will not be boring but challenging. Unlocking every stuff of the game from the characters to the cards will be quite a task. So the re-playability factor might be not considered. After going through all of those task, who would want to repeat them all over again? Anyway all of the stages in Grand Adventure mode can be repeated over and over again. It's for the sake of getting the bonus or leveling up.

Buy or Rent? If you are a One Piece fan the buy it for its worth you're money. Also if you like fighting games like power stone alike then this game is also for you.But for those who only want to try the game out then rent it.But I'm sure once you try it out and likes the game, you cant afford to just rent it but you need to own it.

Reviewer Score: 9/10 "Superb!"

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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