One Piece: Grand Adventure Review
One Piece: Grand Adventure box art
System: PS2, GC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Namco Bandai 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Namco Bandai 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Aug 2006 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 - 2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
Review by Cole 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Yo Ho Ho! A pirate's life for me!
by Cole Smith

The title of this game may be somewhat misleading with the word “Adventure” in it, because One Piece: Grand Adventure is actually a Grand “Action” game – a fighter to be precise.

If you missed the original One Piece which was released last year, you’re missing out on one of the most interesting and fun fighting games to come down the pike in a mighty long while. There are places in Canada where you would get into a fight for just using phrases like “down the pike” and “mighty long while.” That may or may not be how I got my fat lip. The debut of One Piece was a good one, but it wasn’t a perfect game. It was on the right track but the developers needed to refine their vision and bring it on home. Grand Adventure is the homecoming that we’ve waited a year for.

One Piece: Grand Adventure screenshot

Based on the anime series, One Piece, which features Monkey D Luffy, a rubber pirate in searching for the legendary One Piece treasure, this is a story that involves beating the snot out of anyone that stands in your way, and some of these enemies are endowed with incredible powers. Monkey D has a motley gang of pals consisting of a chef, swordsman, robber and a clown, to name a few, that will lend him a hand from time to time. You can choose your favorite character at the beginning of the game and explore the 3D environment looking for action wherever you go.

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There are two main modes to the game, the Adventure mode which is essentially the Story mode where Monkey goes in search of the treasure. You will navigate your way from port to port using the map to scout out your next location. Along the way you will encounter a variety of enemies to fight and mini-games to complete. The more fights your character wins, the more experience points he will acquire that will be used to increase his powers and unlock new items. These RPG elements add a nice dynamic to the gameplay but compared to a standard RPG game it’s more of a flavor than the main course. The other main mode is the Grand Battle mode, which gets its name from the original game. The core gameplay is very similar but there are some new features and additions - and overall it’s just a lot smoother. There are several sub-modes in the Grand Battle mode including Verses, Arena, Tournament, Practice and Special Battle.

One Piece: Grand Adventure screenshot

I’ll make no bones about the gameplay, it can be shallow. The controls and moves are arcade-simple but the fast pace of the game, the variety of animations and the interesting characters make for a very fun and entertaining game. It’s great to pick-up-and-play and although it’s touted as a party game, the lack of more than a two-player mode kind of puts a damper on that. Unless you only have one friend. It’s almost a button-masher but the combos and super attacks blend virtually seamlessly, making the combat appear more complex than it really is. Serious hardcore players will find that there are some more complex moves and combos that can be pulled off with a lot of practice, but the game can be very successfully played at a much simpler level. Aside from the spectacular special attacks and combos, you can smash open crates and find a variety of wacky weapons to use on your opponent. It’s the game’s equivalent of power-ups. Anticipating the next unlockable weapon or item keeps things fresh because some of these can take you from zero to hero in one good swipe. I know that may turn some purist fighters off but this game is definitely more focused on fun. Hardcores can put their skills to test in the multi-player modes.

One Piece: Grand Adventure screenshot

Grand Adventure also has a grand presentation. It’s a great looking game, almost rivaling the animation of the cartoon series. Expect to see almost all of the characters from the show as well as some new ones. As for music, there are almost 80 tracks of tunes. That’s a big soundtrack. Could have used more voiceovers. The menus are easy to navigate and the entire game has a clean, colorful, artistic look to it that is very pleasing to the eye. There are 25 different fighters, each with different move sets and unique special attacks. The variety of modes, the insane amount of unlockables and the sheer element of fun makes Grand Adventure a game not to be missed.

One Piece: Grand Adventure screenshot

Features:

  • Establish Your Own Pirate Group in Adventure Mode: Experience a pirate's adventure as you choose among a vast assortment of characters to create your very own band of roving pirates. Take rivals like Luffy and
  • Crocodile or even Chaser and Buggy the Clown and put them all into your very own pirate dream team. Navigate through over 20 ocean area maps, as you do battle with powerful enemies old and new while searching for treasures in this Grand Adventure!
  • Experience a Variety of Gameplay in Adventure Mode: In addition to the one on on Grand Battles, mob battles, sports, shooting and races keep the game fresh for hours.
  • Updated Cast of Characters: Play along with the cartoon series as new characters from the tv show join the crew in the digital world. Up to 24 main characters including new characters such as Trace, Princess Vivi, Tashigi and more join the adventure.
  • Seach for Additional Support Characters: One Piece: Grand Adventure brings a roster of 50+ supporting characters and a new support character system to add to the chaos of the battle!
  • Evolution of the Grand Battle: The Accel-Heat System adds another layer to the exciting battle by giving the player the opportunity to pull off special attacks straight from the cartoon series.

    By Cole Smith
    CCC Senior Writer

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    4.5

    Graphics
    Very colorful and artistic with a great sense of style. Lots of different fighting animations keeps things interesting.

    4.7

    Control
    The controls are super-easy but with practice you can access more difficult moves and combos.

    4.6

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    There are more than 80 tunes in the soundtrack. The voiceover work is a little sparse.

    4.8

    Play Value
    Tons of modes, plenty of characters to play as and tons of unlockables ensure you won't be putting this game in the closet anytime soon.

    4.4

    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images

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