I nearly break down in tears anytime I watch a minute of One Piece on Saturday mornings. The awful dubbed voices and extremely over-editing 4kids has done makes one cringe. I want to enjoy One Piece’s story and characters, without painful edits and horrific voice-overs. I had hoped the videogames would be different. Shonen Jump’s One Piece for GBA is tons better than the dubbed show, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.
One Piece revolves around the main character, Monkey D. Luffy, and his quest to become the Pirate King. The game follows the storyline fairly accurately, and takes 6 story arcs to as the basis for the 6 areas in the game. Each area is divided into 3 levels. The first and second levels are very typical side-scrolling action levels, but the second one has a mini-boss at the end. The third level is the boss of the arc. Surprisingly, the game can only be played as Luffy. That in itself leaves a lot to be desired, but Luffy would be the only one who could succeed in these levels because they were almost all designed for Luffy’s rubber arms. The rest of Luffy’s crew is used as support. After finding one of the crew members, you can press L to switch to their special and use it against your foe. Each character has two specials; Sanji’s is probably the most useful because he’ll bring you a chicken to heal yourself.
Hidden in each level are a certain amount of gold coins that you can find. Collecting them all unlocks the ever-so-popular boss mode. There are also little red boxes which I didn’t figure out could be opened until I went back and played Syrup Village, level 2 again. As I said before, many of the levels involve you stretching out your arms and grabbing poles or little floating coconuts (or whatever they are). It reminds me a lot of Klonoa, except Luffy’s very clumsy with his arms and grabbing onto things is a real pain.
One Piece is actually a very pretty game. The one part it really fails on is its lack of cutscenes and the fact that nothing really stands out. The levels themselves are very well done, and the backgrounds are some of the better on GBA. There are a lot of details that could have been added to make One Piece look better. For example, the boss fights are neat and the moves follow the anime well, but the sprites are rather boring. The only boss I was a little bit impressed with was Buggy, the rest were pretty boring.
Thank god this game doesn’t have the dubbed opening theme! I was actually surprised that the soundtrack wass extremely well done. Each arc has one or two different themes that are quite good for a GBA game based off of a TV show. The sound effects are also very well done, and I definitely love Luffy’s bell move, and the ‘Dong!’ it makes after contact. I really don’t have any complaints here.
With 12 levels, and 6 bosses, it’ll last all of a few days unless you play it for 10+ hours straight. One Piece offers a small amount of collecting and some unlockable modes, but that’s really nothing to keep you wanting more. One thing I think this game could really use is a fighting mode. It’d be neat to be able to play against your friends like in the Wonderswan Color One Piece. As a platformer, One Piece offers nothing new to the genre and is a very unimaginative game. If you’re looking for a time waster, it is a good one… until it’s over. After you beat it, it’ll be on your shelf collecting dust.
One Piece for GBA is a surprisingly good anime-based game, but it’s nothing spectacular. The graphics and sound are great, but it fails to offer anything new and feels extremely bland while going through. It follows the story well, and the Marines (Navy in the dub) actually carry what seem to be real guns (as opposed to squirt guns in the dub). I guess that saying a game is better than the dubbed anime isn’t really a good measuring tool. Everything is better than One Piece dubbed.
-Originally Posted by Knives