One Piece: Unlimited Adventure
: Namco Bandai
: Action Adventure, Fighting
: T (ERSB)
: January 22, 2008
There once was pirate named Gold Roger, who was the King of the Pirates. He had fame, power and wealth beyond your wildest dreams. Before they hung him from the gallows, these were the final words he said. "My fortune is yours for the taking, but you'll have to find it first. I left everything I own in One Piece. Ever since, pirates from all over the world set sail for the Grand Line searching for One Piece the treasure that will make their dreams come true. A young boy named Monkey D. Luffy has gathered a crew (who call themselves The Straw Hat Pirates) for his adventure to become King of the Pirates. After a great battle against the World Government, the Straw Hat crew continues their journey through the Grand Line. After days on the open seas without a trace of land in sight, the crew’s ship food supply is running low. This is no thanks to Luffy having an eating contest with Usopp and Chopper. They are then forced to fish for food by Sanji as punishment. After a while, Luffy fishes out a glowing crystal jewel which he tries to show his crew but are uninterested in it as their attention is focused on food. Luffy then decides to launch himself into the air to see if he can find an island nearby. When he is able to find one, he wishes to himself to find an island soon. To this the jewel reacts and an explosion from the sea sends the Thousand Sunny (the Straw Hat ship) into the air, flinging all the Straw Hats overboard. Luffy lands on an island that seems to have magical appeared out of nowhere. With a missing crew, a magically summoned island, and a mysterious jewel Luffy sets out on a new adventure. What wonders and dangers await him.
Welcome to the world of One Piece as the scenery seems to come straight out of the manga. The game is set on an island with many different environments which give it the feel as if its own world. A lush jungle, a sandy beach, and snowy mountain are but a few of the areas you’ll see within this game. They are all well done and each has a personality of its own. While all of this done looking in a traditional way, the characters are given a cell-shaded treatment. It would have been a bad choice if it were trying to convey a traditional pirate game but since we are talking about the One Piece universe, it works extremely well given that many of these characters have super human abilities. The cell-shading accentuates these abilities and brings them to life giving you a new way to experience them.
The music in this game is forgettable to say the least. Now that is not to say that it is not good. It just blends to well in the background. They feel adventurous and that’s what this game is. The beach music sounds sea faring, the jungle music gives the sense of deep danger, and the snow music makes it seem like it is cold. When you engage in battle, the music changes and this music is very repetitive. If anything, they should have given it more variety to suit the environment. The boss music is similar to the combat music but there is a feeling of tension that cannot be ignored, which makes it a much better improvement.
On the other hand, the voice acting is amazing. The quirkiness of the Straw Hat crew could not have been as good if their voices didn’t match to what we’ve come to expect from them. Even the other characters such as Smoker and Crocodile give more character to this game. The cut scenes in the game make it feel like you are watching an actual episode of the show. Especially with the great story that is given to the player.
This game is an Action Adventure to the core. You play as all eight of the Straw Hat pirates that are introduced after the Water Seven Ark from the One Piece series. Each character has a unique fighting style. Luffy uses his rubber body to brawl it out, Zolo uses three swords to slash his way through, Nami uses her staff to conjure up weather as well as using her thieving skills to fight, Usopp uses his sling-shot to spray down his foes with deadly aim, Sanji uses his feet to kick down his opponents, Chopper transforms his body to suit his enemies, Robin copies and manipulates parts of her body to attack unsuspecting foes, and Franky uses his cyborg body to crush his enemies. Changing between characters is easy and can be done at any point during your adventure. Each character has a list of attacks that he/she can use and some they learn over time. These abilities can be leveled up just by landing a hit with them against enemies. Also, each character’s abilities can be combined to produce devastating combos like Luffy’s pistol-whip-bazooka-Gatling. Eventually, each character gets a signature ultimate move with devastating power. There are plenty of collectible in this game that certain crew members can use to help progress through the island. Usopp is an inventor and is essential to get items such as the pick to help clear obstacles. Franky is a shipwright who can build just about anything such as bridges to cross huge gaps. Besides these two, Sanji can use the vegetation and fish from the island to cook up dishes to improve your stats and Chopper can uses the insects and fauna to come up with medicines that also boost abilities. This game also features some platforming as you traverse through the terrain. You’ll need to jump, swim, and climb to advance to other areas. The main way to get to new locations though is through the use of the mysterious jewel. The jewel can break the seals that are scattered throughout the island but the jewel must first be powered up by feeding it energy from your collectibles. Some seals also require a specific item in conjunction to the jewel to be broken. Not every seal is story driven. Some are hidden areas that will unlock new characters and areas. You will be fighting a number of enemies which include the marines (one of the main antagonists of the show) as well as the wild life found on the island. At certain times during the story and in hidden areas, you’ll be fighting bosses which are characters found in the show. Some of these are Smoker, White Beard, Calgara, and many more.
There is a second mode that can be played in this game. The multi-player is actually a fighting all on its own. You can fight against the AI or your friends using the characters in the game and some of the enemies. You can recreate the fight between Luffy and Usopp or have Sanji and Zolo have their usual fight. The seals that you break in the main game that unlock new characters are transferred here so you can fight with them. There are over forty characters for you to choose from. You can also fight using a team of characters. While all this sounds great and all, it does get repetitive. Also, having the lowest marine minions (the enemies you first encounter) in the roster is quite frankly a waste. The camera is another issue. While playing the main game, you have full control of the camera but when playing the fighting game, you left want to move the camera and it will cause you to fumble with your controls. Speaking of which, the controls are the same as the main game. So if you wanted to know what Fire Fist Ace would handle in a game like this or you wanted to decimate your foes with the power of lightning wielded by Eneru this mode will fulfill that.
This game is one of the better Anime-to-Game games that have come out without killing the series or its characters. The story is well done and is done in such a way that it does not interfere with continuity. Those new to the series will also be briefly introduced to each character which will give them a sense of comfort as what they are playing. The length on which it would take one to complete this game can range between 15-35 hours and the multiplayer will add more to this number even if it is just a bit. If this sounds a bit much, then you underestimate the amount of grinding involved in this game. While it’s true that there are lots of collectables, which also means that there are lots of ways that they’ll be used. This also means that there is lots of backtracking and it might leave you in a state of repetition. Aside from that, the gameplay and story will keep you going through the end.
An adventure mode that’ll keep you at it for quite some time and a multiplayer fighting game with a plethora of characters, One Piece Unlimited Adventure is well worth a go. You get two good games for the price of one. Plus the idea of playing as one of Shonen Jump’s more popular series is a plus. Whether you’re a fan of the manga or are new to the whole anime genre, this game is a good pick.