One Piece: Burning Blood (2016)

Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Genre: Fighting
Year: 2016

Trailer

Review

“One Piece: Burning Blood”is an incredibly stylish and colourful 1 vs 1 fighting game set in the One Piece world.  ‘One Piece’ is a very popular Japanese manga series that has grown tremendously and will celebrate its 20th birthday next year.  There is a huge range of fighters (over 40!) available with each one giving you a basic move set combined with special attacks. These special attacks look fantastic and are complemented by an ‘awakening’ mode, where your character’s move ability will change enabling you to make powerful special attacks.

All the main characters from the series are available to play and this is the first One Piecevideogame where the character ‘Koala’ is actually a playable character.

The scenery and characters are stunning to look at,with the vivid colours adding to the experience. As mentioned at the beginning, this a one on one fighting game, however you can have two more playable characters lined up ready to tag in and fight as part of your team if your character is taking a beating.

The main single player mode is based on the ‘Paramount War’ story arc from the series and you battle through four episodes, each one taking this reviewer just over an hour to complete.  This did feel a little short, however there is plenty more to this game.  There are other modes available such as: ‘Wanted Poster’ where there are loads of fights available; ‘Free Battle’ mode where you can create your own fights, ‘Offline Co-Op Battles’, as well as a ‘Training’ mode where you can practice and learn the special moves of each character in a safe environment.  Lastly, there are obviously online battles (‘Pirate Flag Battle’) as well, where you can challenge players from across the globe.

One Piece Burning Blood - Luffy

One Piece Burning Blood – Luffy

“One Piece: Burning Blood” is a great game that immerses you into the One Piece world. With this kind of variety of characters and game modes on offer, there are literally a ton of fights waiting for you to try – and win.  The Paramount War story arc is well delivered and I had great fun playing against friends and family.

The only thing I would’ve liked to have seen that was missing is a selectable difficulty level. Obviously not all games have difficulty levels, however I feel for fighting games they are a ‘must have’, as they can extend the life of the game as you get more skilled playing it, while also toning down the difficulty if you are a casual gamer and just want to dip in and out of the game.

There have been previous One Piece videogames, however this is the first One Piece game to be released on an Xbox console and it’s available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows.

Downloadable Content (DLC) packs have been made available since the release (including different characters and customizableHUD’s) with more to come in late 2016.

Martial arts

The One Piece world has many characters that have inhuman speed and strength and there are a lot of unorthodox fighting methods exhibited.

In the game a lot of this is on display, mixed with more traditional punches and kicks. Some characters have more recognizable moves from real life martial art styles such as the character Brook.  Brook’s character wields a cane sword and uses a mixture of Iaido and Fencing. Highlighting Brook’s unnatural speed, one of his moves causes the opponent to not realize that have been hit until Brook has sheathed his sword.

The character Sabo also uses moves that trace back to real life martial arts, particularly the use of his steel pipe which he wields at times during a fight.  There are staff style moves, combined with using it in an unorthodox manner. Fishman karate is a fantasy style within the One Piece world and is mainly used by members of the Fishman race, however the character Koala also uses this style and some elements of this are on display in the game.

Other fantasy styles from the One Piece world seen in the game are ‘Black Leg Style’ and an interesting ‘Three Sword Style’ where the characterwields a sword in each hand, with a third in his mouth during combat! This style is called Santōryū (Three Sword Style).  Is Santōryū viable in real life?  You’ll have to make up your own minds. (Disclaimer – we don’t recommend attempting this Three Sword Style, and KFK is not liable for any resulting dental bills, you have been warned!)

Summary

This game’s core audience will be fans of the One Piece world. The game is good fun for all fighting game fans and worth looking at when you are not training.There are enough stimulating differences and contrasts here to stand out from other fighting games and the visuals are pretty (and) impressive.

The battle arenas are far larger than most fighting games and thanks to the sheer number of characters and play modes, as well as how beautifully the game is presented,I thoroughly enjoyed playing this.

Game Rating: 8/10

Stuart Grimes is a fan of all martial arts. He has studied Shotokan Karate for a few years as a teenager and also taken classes in Judo, boxing and Kickboxing. His children have inherited his love of martial arts and currently train over 12 hours a week, incorporating Chin Woo Kung Fu, Gymnastics and Sport Karate. His eldest two children compete regularly and either hold or have held English, British or European titles in the WTKA, WKU, ISKA, WKKC, WMO, WMKF and WKC, as well as a Unity International Games title.

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