One Piece: Burning Blood is a fun and frantic fighting game that succeeds in translating the source material to game form.
One Piece: Burning Blood
Developer: Bandai Namco
Platform: Playstation 4, Playstation Vita
MonsterVine was provided with a Vita code for review.
At this point, I imagine that it’s no secret that I enjoy anime games. I’m always excited to see how my favourite franchises transition into video games. Whether it’s Dragon Ball Z, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, or One Piece, each series has a distinct type of fighting, allowing for the creation of all sorts of varied and interesting games.
One Piece is a franchise full of intense and well-thought out battles, between characters with unique and fascinating abilities. Naturally, this is a difficult thing to make a game out of. Bandai Namco succeeds for the most part, however, as One Piece: Burning Blood has different characters and fighting mechanics that make the game feel like One Piece.
The main story mode, called “The Paramount War”, covers the immensely important Marineford arc of the series. You play as four different characters, Luffy, Ace, Whitebeard, and Akainu, as they each experience the battle of Marineford from their perspective. The game presents a condensed version of the plot, but the main themes are all there. It’s entertaining enough, but experiencing what is practically the same story four times in a row gets tiring. However. the story mode is short, so the plot’s repetitive nature isn’t too grating.
Burning Blood truly shines in its different Versus modes. There is plenty of content for players to enjoy, both alone and with friends. Through the “Wanted” Versus mode, players can go against set groupings of enemies using a team of their choosing, with some battles having certain conditions or themes. These battles are divided into a number of varying difficulties, most of which feel more than fair, with a gradual and manageable difficulty curve.
Burning Blood plays in a similar way to Namco’s previous anime-fighter, J-Stars Victory Vs. Players freely run, jump, and attack their enemies in a 3D environment, using one character at a time. Players use regular attacks like punches and kicks, alongside special and ultimate attacks that are exclusive to each character. There are a ton of popular characters included in the roster, making die hard One Piece fans more than happy. Though they need to be purchased using money from battles, the prices for characters are reasonable, which keeps earning characters from feeling like a slog.
Battles move at a quick and pleasant pace, keeping things entertaining. Players can pick up to three playable characters and three assist characters, to form their team, with the ability to switch out at any time. Each character plays differently, befitting of the character and abilities in the series. Recovery times and special moves are all satisfying, with attacks feeling truly impactful when they hit. Each punch has weight to it, allowing each combo to feel better than the last.
Characters have different styles and ways of quick-travel, meaning that every aspect of battle is unique for each character. There are even support characters that evoke effects to help players, depending on the conditions. Fights are always fresh and fun because of the numerous differences between every character.
Burning Blood‘s visuals go a long way in lending the One Piece aesthetic. The iconic art-style looks great on the Vita, and even better on the PS4. The colors and shading of characters and settings make the whole game feel vibrant, as even the smallest details, like the extra shaded lines on a character’s cape, or the colors on Doflamingo’s boa, really make the visuals pop.
Burning Blood‘s sound is as fitting as its visuals. All sorts of wild smacks and crashes are present, and fits the wild action. The music isn’t especially memorable, but the fast paced songs fit each battle well enough.
The Final Word
One Piece: Burning Blood is a heavy-hitting good time. Fans of One Piece and fighting games alike will find something to enjoy in its flashy fighting system, whether it’s the wide range of fan-favourite characters, or the solid fighting mechanics.
MonsterVine Rating- 4 out of 5 – Good