|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|
In addition to the discovery elements of the game, there are also combat gameplay elements as well. As you run around the various environments you unlock, enemies of varying stature will attack you. Each character will have a standard attack to start off with, and the more you use them, their attack roster will grow in size and strength. Attacks are carried out via the A and C buttons, as well as short gestures with the Wii mote. You can level up your characters quite a bit, but it is quite possible to max out your characters fairly early on in the game, which is kind of a drag. Enemies are also a tad on the boring side, because depending on what enemy they are, their attack patterns are extremely similar, which leads to some really repetitive button mashing and Wii-mote waving. Boss battles are also quite repetitive and are not challenging unless you have completely neglected your characters' growth.
Visually, this game starts out great. The opening cinema scene is one of the best that I have ever seen on the Wii. Characters are smooth and polished, and environments look remarkably lush. However, once you pass the opening scene, the graphics take a pretty steep downturn. The polished and lush graphics are replaced with blocky and textured visuals, and the whole thing becomes a real disappointment. There are also considerable framerate issues throughout the game, especially in areas where the scenery is quite varied. The framerate drops rather abruptly which results in noticeably shaky action during some intervals of the game.
Sound is generally inoffensive, with some mediocre tunes accompanying the majority of the action. All of the American voice actors do an excellent job reprising their roles for the game, and the dialogue is deliver fairly well. The only real problem I have with the sound is the repetitive nature each character's battle noise. This is probably at its worst with the character Zoro, who yells "Oni-Giri" so many times it will drive you crazy.
One Piece: Unlimited Adventure is certainly not a bad game. But its formulaic story, repetitive combat, and poor graphics prevent it from achieving success as a great game based on the One Piece franchise. Perhaps if they take the basic formula of this game and rework it a little bit for an Unlimited Adventure follow-up we might finally get that one great One Piece game. But until then, we'll have to settle for the slightly-above-average One Piece: Unlimited Adventure. It may be the series' best offering to date, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is a completely worthwhile title.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer