First Impressions: best fighting game to star a rubber pirate named ?Monkey.? Ever!
Being a teenage pirate isn't easy. That is, unless you've been hardened by the childhood trauma of being named ?Monkey D. Luffy? and being turned into rubber for eating some fruit. When life treats you that roughly, you can ether hide away from the world forever or bend up straight and wrap those rubbery hooks around the nearest treasure map.
Such, at least, is the thinking behind the increasingly popular, One Piece
anime. Already a staple anime in Japan, One Piece tells the tale of Monkey D. Luffy and his search for a treasure of indescribable value, the One Piece. Now preparing to siege Western shores, One Piece: Grand Battle
will be the anime's US console debut. A 3D fighting game of the arena persuasion, Grand Battle
takes place across seven levels that recreate key scenes from the series.
Featuring a total of eleven playable characters, each with their own unique moves, Grand Battle
should prove to be far deeper than its lovingly crafted, cell-shaded graphics may let on. Whether exploiting poor Luffy's rubbery flexibility, or wielding mercenary, Zoro's three blades, Grand Battle
boasts an unusually diverse set of moves while still providing a cohesive gaming experience.
Adding to these eleven fighters is a large cast of supporting characters. The player will be able to choose who will be covering his or her back from the game's pool of thirty-two NPC extras. These characters can then be summoned during battle and will assist in a manner befitting their anime persona.
Of course, what is the fun of swashbuckling if you are stuck on drab landscapes? As mentioned, Grand Battle
's arenas are based on locations found in the anime. These arenas are vibrant, true to the spirit of the series, and flush with breakable objects. Sporting sufficient size and complexity, Grand Battle's free-roaming levels warrant comparison to the Power Stone
series of fighters.
Featuring 6 separate play modes in all, Grand Battle
is unlikely to get stale. Allowing the player to guide Monkey through his quest to find a long lost treasure called, ?One Piece? should help get gamers up to speed. Of course, the star of any fighting game is its multiplayer mode. Although Grand Battle
only supports two players, its cast of unlockable characters and 20+ fighting moves per fighter should keep players busy.