One Piece: Burning Blood Review

One Piece: Burning Blood is a 3D action-fighting video game based on the popular manga and anime, One Piece. Published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, this newly released video game is the first One Piece based game to be released on Xbox One, making it available to gamers across all platforms, including PlayStation 4, PS Vita, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

Heavily based on the anime and manga’s most popular story arc, One Piece: Burning Blood offers a diverse variety of playable One Piece characters and pits these characters against each other in an arena battle of somewhat epic proportions.

Fans of the manga and anime series will certainly take pleasure in this game, being able to play as their favourite characters and utilise each character’s signature move. These quirky signature moves are unique to each character and brings out a sense of familiarity with the One Piece manga and anime.

While signature moves prove to be attractive to fans of the series, basic combat skills within the game are, rather, well, basic, similar in style to other fighting games. The gameplay is unique enough for fans of the fighting game genre, however, such gamers (like myself) who have not immersed themselves in the One Piece anime or manga, will find the story arc relied upon in One Piece: Burning Blood to be slightly confusing and perhaps even off-putting.

The story and plot of the game are revealed in bits and pieces upon completing each fight. There were certainly moments where I had no clue what was going on and had no idea as to how some of the characters within the game related to Luffy, the main character of One Piece.

Despite being slightly confused as to how the game’s story fits together, the combat aspects of the game itself was fun. Visually, One Piece: Burning Blood is stunning and certainly felt as if the game was taking place in a rather realistic world within the anime. Never before have I seen a game be translated so well from a 2D anime to 3D. Each character’s individual features appeared to have been brought to life through cel-shading techniques. The spectacular graphics and crisp, clear visuals of the game made for a rather pleasurable gaming experience, however, this really acts as a mask to hide the lack of a more thorough and captivating plot as well as some seemingly unnecessary levels of difficulty for those who aren’t familiar with One Piece.

One Piece: Burning Blood sits well among other similar games. The way in which the game features each character in top form and brings out some of the characters’ best attributes makes the game desirable to play and certainly is playable for fans of the anime and manga. Without knowing much about One Piece, however, this game may be rather limiting in scope and narrative plot, which may prove to be rather unwelcoming to newbies of the series and of fighting games in general.

Rating: 3/5

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