For years, One Piece has been a fan favorite for anime lovers everywhere. It is a anime that sports realistic growth, characters that feel like they have actual emotions, and an ever evolving world that doesn’t act as if the main characters are the center of the universe. All of those aspects help make One Piece one of the best selling manga of all time. And out of all of that comes the game One Piece: Burning Blood. This game picks up during the Marineford Arc. Luffy’s brother Ace has been captured and put on trial at the Marines stronghold. Its up to Luffy and his pirate cohorts to save the day.
One Piece: Burning Blood puts you right in the middle of the action. After a mild tutorial you are thrust into a large scale war. The battles go from hard to impossible as the AI pulls no punches. At any point in time in most battles, I found myself either getting my butt handed to me or completely dominating. None of the opponents felt completely balanced. The abilities were a whole other story. Some characters can completely cancel out your combo with their special ability just because they want to. This turns boss fights into grueling bouts of luck. I had to fight the Captain of the Marines twelve times before I could catch a break. Most fights started with him dealing half my HP in damage with one attack.
The story mode starts off amazing with the game walking you through the arc fight by fight. That sort of hand holding starts to were thin about the third time through. That is right, the game makes you fight the same fights through the eyes of different people. This is where things started to get a little bit stale. I found myself skipping through the dialog options trying to get to the combat. Yes, I know why I am here. Yes, I know why I’m fighting this battle. The visuals tend to range from gorgeous to what it the world am I fighting. Fat floating vampire pirate falls under the latter.
Character selection is a big plus in this game. Coming from a game like Pokken Tournament with only 16 fighters, 44 combatants is a refreshing change of pace. However, I can tell that ranged fighters are the way to go in this war. Getting blasted to kingdom come before you can take your first step is a real and violent threat. One Piece: Burning Blood does a great job of making you embody the fighting style of the character you are playing. When I play as Luffy, I stay back and dodge every attack I can while responding with my own extended hits. This makes this game worth it. Each character has such a level of personality and presence, they always manage to steal the show. Um battle, they steal the battle. With violence of course.
Overall, One Piece Burning Blood is a great fighter. It has slight annoyances, but they can be looked over in favor of superior game play. And though it can get repetitive, it more than makes up for that with the huge collection of colorful fighters.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.