I have said in a past review that one of my favorite cartoons is One Piece. I don’t feel like I need to repeat what I like about it when you can read my One Piece Unlimited Adventure on the Wii review. However, I will have to say that there are not a lot of good One Piece games. The two One Piece fighting games for the PS2 are only good as rentals and are basically Power Stone clones. However, when I saw that there was a One Piece game for the Gameboy Advance, I got curious and decided to rent it. How does it fare though?
The main story of One Piece on the Gameboy Advance basically tells the story from when Luffy starts off to where he first meets the navy captain, Smoker. It doesn’t go that far, but then again, when this game came out, the anime was fairly new to the US. Well, it was new for people who had never seen it before. I kind of have to fault it for this reason, because it seems pointless to make an anime that follows the same plot as the anime series. For example, let’s take the first Fullmetal Alchemist game for the PS2. It had its own story while staying faithful to the series. Anyway, let’s just get into the game play.
The game play featured in One Piece is of a plat-forming beat em’ up where you play as Luffy as you go across multiple levels, beating down on pirates and their second-in-command, and of course the captains themselves. Your main form of attack is your stretching abilities that make your punches stronger. You have your basic punch and rapid punch, but since you do have a rubbery body, you get special attacks, but you have to perform combos to do those special attacks. During the game, you will also pick up your friends Zoro, Nami, Usopp, and Sanji. Now, instead of being able to play as these diverse and fun characters, they act more like an assist attack, like in Marvel V.S Capcom 2, where an ally can come in quickly and attack, except that THAT game is awesome. While you are running around the levels, you can find stuff inside treasure chests and boxes. The stuff in the treasure chest is treasures you can have in the collection. The other stuff in the crates are basically stuff like food, extra continues, and more power to the power par. On the bottom left part of the screen, there is part of a steering wheel for a ship and a sort of power bar. The bar will keep increasing as you attack and wail on your opponents. This is basically how you can perform super moves and the assist attacks I mentioned above. You can also use the R button to use a grab attack, where you can grab onto poles, and send yourself flying into the enemies, just like how Luffy does it in the anime.
The graphics for the game are pretty good. The animations are fluid and clear and the game looks like the anime itself. Every character looks like themselves, and they attack like they would in the anime. I also like how you can send yourself flying into enemies, since in the anime, Luffy has done that quite a lot. It’s quite funny. The music is also very cheerful, but forgettable. The plat forming sections are fun and can be pretty challenging.
As you may have guessed, I do have a couple gripes with the game, and I might be a little harsh about it, but that’s how I feel and it’s my opinion. The game itself is pretty hard, but not fun hard. It’s more on the line that your character has a poor attack range. To pull off the other moves in the game, you have to do combos, and combos just don’t work on a handheld that only has two face buttons. Let’s take another game that is based off of an anime, Astro Boy Omega Factor. It had a simple fun beat ‘em up style and the super moves are easy to use. The super moves for One Piece however are hard and awkward to pull off. It seems like they should have gone with a simple beat em’ up style instead of making the game hard. There is also no block moves! This becomes extremely annoying when you fight ranged enemies, and last time I checked, Luffy could deflect bullets! His body is made of freaking rubber! They should easily just bounce off him! The game then becomes frustratingly hard when you come up to Buggy the clown pirate, who can separate his body into pieces and you can’t directly hit him every time. He is extremely hard, and it took me forever just to get past him. That’s what the rest of the game is like, a frustrating difficult adventure. It seems like this game was aimed towards kids, but I think its actually too tough for kids.
Overall though, this is just an average game that will ultimately age to dust and not be remembered as well as other games. It is worth a rental, but that’s it. This game is like a waste of time. You are better off playing Super Mario Advance and Astro Boy Omega Factor. I hope the new One Piece game for the Wii, Ultimate Cruise EP. 1 and 2 will be better than this game.
This game gets a 5.9 out of 10