|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ganbarion||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: Jan. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
July 31, 2007 - One title that I was really excited to be able to spend time with was One Piece: Ultimate Adventure. And the great thing about this title? It's coming stateside extremely soon. Like in the next couple of months! Of course this is a very timely release, as the new and improved US version of the One Piece anime should be debuting sometime around then as well.
The concept behind One Piece: Ultimate Adventure is unlike any other One Piece game before. It's a platformer, infused with RPG elements that truly make this game a delight to play. The level I was able to play was a snowy level where you had to destroy things and defeat all the baddies. It sounds pretty simple, and at its heart the game is pretty simple. But the combination of party elements, item usage, and strong story focus make this one that is on this fall's must play list for any anime fan.
One of the first things I noticed was the ease of the controls. You use the Nunchuk to move around and the A button to execute attacks. But the game makes several strides to make the gameplay more than a one-button mash-fest. When defeating a big enemy, combos for your character will appear on screen. Complete these combo chains successfully, and you'll pull out a super-awesome finisher move complete with some helpful items to reward you for your efforts. This is a very cool system and helps to ease some of the boredom that may come about from just pressing the A button repeatedly. But the system is surprisingly engaging, and it's just plain fun to play. You'll also be able to use the Wii-mote to wield specific weapons, though I didn't have much hands-on time with this specific function.
Visually, this game looks great. It's got those familiar cel-shaded characters that you've seen before, but environments and textures are very rich. And if you're somewhat dissuaded by the visually tacky/scary graphics of last year's One Piece: Pirate's Carnival, don't be. From my playtime, I have to say that there were no immobile cutscenes or cheeky situations. Although the series is, more often then not, a very lighthearted and goofy series, there's also a serious element to the story that hasn't been fully realized in the game's franchise. Straight up, this is definitely going to be a more serious One Piece game from what I saw, and I am glad for it.
One Piece: Ultimate Adventure, may be written off immediately by those who are either unfamiliar with the series or don't like anime games. But I challenge anyone to play this game come fall and tell me they don't like it. Its combination of platforming and RPG elements is a real winner, and I can definitely see this one being another triumph for the Wii this fall!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer