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Review: One Piece: Burning Blood is for the fans only

20 Jun 2016

One Piece: Burning Blood is the newest video game based off of the popular anime/manga series. Does this new game entice new fans to join in? If you are unfamiliar with One Piece, you are going to have a hard time keeping up with the story and characters in Burning Blood. The story takes place during the Paramount War arc which is halfway through the entire series. There's no friendly introduction to any of the characters or what is going on if you haven't kept up with the series.  To keep things more confusing, the game starts immediately during the story mode before you are even greeted with a main menu. You are forced to play through the tutorial before you can even see the other modes of the game. Needless to say, the tutorial is hard to get through as things are not explained properly in them.  You don't play the tutorial in one chunk because special moves are divided into different chapters of the story. In hindsight, it can take you up to an hour or so to learn all of the moves in this game as there is a lot to remember. Thankfully, all of the controls are the same for each character, so that's one friendly thing this game does for beginners. You don't have to remember a laundry list of different button combinations like you have to do in other fighting games.  The special moves may have the same controls, but each of the characters play differently from one another which adds to the variety. For example, the main character Luffy can extend his arms so he is good at long-range combat. While his brother, Ace, is faster in combat and has cool fire attacks and evasive maneuvers. There are also a ton of other characters you can try out so it can be fun to explore what everyone brings to the table.  The story mode is quite lengthy as there are many episodes to get through and lots of cutscenes to watch. There are even side missions included and the game has a respectable number of fighters on the roster with support characters also thrown in for good measure.  The game also adds addtional variety because there is more to it than just standard one-on-one fights. There are elimination style team bouts and even tag-team action too. The tag-style fights are my favourite because you can execute double-teams moves and fights are faster and unpredictable as a result of it.  Outside of the story mode, there is Free Battle, Online, Wanted Versus and Pirate Flag Battle. Wanted Versus is the best of the bunch because you have Wanted Posters that you have to check out and there are certain objectives that you have to complete. This can include beating an opponent(s) within a specific time frame and more.  The graphics and overall presentation in One Piece: Burning Blood are commendable. The 2D cel-shaded graphics are the quality of the anime TV series, although only Japanese audio is included. Sadly if you watched the English dub, you won't be hearing any of the voice actors.  One Piece: Burning Blood is not a bad game, although it is not an easy title for non-fans to get into. The game fails to make beginners feel welcome as the story and characters are too deep for you to understand unless you have kept up with everything. If you are of One Piece though, you will like this game a lot. Verdict: 6.5/10 

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