“Oh look it’s another One Piece game” is probably something that is mumbled across players breathes when a new title in the franchise is released. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but the franchise gets more love then most when it comes to videogame releases. While most of the more recent releases have been brawlers or RPGs, here we have a fighting games. Does it have enough action and interesting for fans and newcomers though?
I’ll be honest, I’m a very, very casual fan of One Piece. I know the franchise, I’ve seen a few episodes, and I know it’s about pirates and treasure. That’s about the extent of my hardcore knowledge, though that aside I’ve been able to usually enjoy the games I’ve dabbled in and this one is no different. Here we have an arena style fighting game, where story and cut scenes permeate each battle to the death. What’s on display though isn’t the most in depth fighting mechanics. It’s simply and has some shade of depth, but it’s something that both casuals and hardcore fans can find something to appreciate, even if it never fully commits to either side.
Story wise there isn’t a ton to offer but what’s there seems adequate enough, especially if players know the series inside and out with its vast roster of characters. The problem with this though comes from the more casual side where I would be playing and just feeling completely lost or detached from what the game or scenario is about. Where I feel the game falters on this end is in prior cases, there have been games, that going into them knowing nothing of a franchise or license, actually grabbed my interest to further pursue it. One Piece Burning Blood just didn’t do it for me, but it does look fantastic.
While it might not have grabbed me from a story perspective, its visual style is absolutely perfectly matched to the franchise. Lots of characters, full of details, and looking as if they could be ripped right from the anime. This included the effects of the various powers, from flailing arms, to growing firsts. Sound wise, it feels on par with the visuals, though I’m not familiar with the voice actors so I can’t even acknowledge if it sounds right or if the regular actors portrayed their characters.
Burning Blood is also lacking for hardcore fighting fans. The mechanics are competent enough, but perhaps too simple at times and slow. This epic battles happen on screen and the controls just don’t seem to be able to keep up with the visual performance that is being project on screen. That’s not to say what’s here is horrible, it just feels as if there could have been much more. One Piece Burning Blood is visually appealing with great use of color and looking just like the anime, but for me it just doesn’t have the excitement or the appeal for me to overlook the downfalls. It’s fun in spurts, but only folks that feel the need to play every One Piece game need apply.
A PlayStation 4 code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.