GAMES - Review
00:00 - 13th February 2012, by NEO Staff

One Piece: Unlimited Cruise

It's hard not to love One Piece - with its bizarre cast of characters, even by usual anime standards, and a sense of fun running through the whole thing, it's of those animations that always manages to bring a smile to our faces. Similarly, the games based on it have successfully captured that magical essence, but the one thing they've always been missing is depth, both figuratively and literally. Now though, with the appearance of One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP on the Nintendo 3DS, we get all the depth we could ever want in one tiny bundle.

Not surprisingly, things pick up with Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates crew sailing the seas on the Thousand Sunny as you'd expect... at least, until Luffy's dragged off into the sky by some tiny monster-like thing. Cue the pirates weighing anchor by the nearest island in search of him and a whole new adventure opening up before them.

As it turns out though, the dwarf monster is a new character created especially for the game by One Piece author Eiichiro Oda. Named Gabri, he's actually crucial to your adventure as he holds the power to transform the items that you collect into magical component points, which you can then use to clear obstacles and otherwise solve problems. Of course, the trick is finding a) enough items to convert into points and b) the right items, since you'll need specific things hinted at by clues on the bottom screen before Gabri will do his thing. And therein lies much of Unlimited Cruise's challenge.

It's not all hunting for items though; you've got enemies to smash into pieces using a movelist that expands as you continue using the attacks you've got, battles that challenge you to use specific attacks with the payoff being enhanced striking power if you succeed and, most importantly, big boss battles against an increasingly strange array of enemies - just the giant man in the panda bear suit at the start is enough to warn you that things are going to get pretty weird in a hurry.

But then, that's all part of the charm of One Piece, isn't it? High adventure, a collection of colourful characters (all of whom are playable here, since you can change which of the crew you're controlling at the touch of a button) and plenty of humour all crammed into a single package. Thankfully, Unlimited Cruise manages to get it all right rather wonderfully AND looks the part into the bargain with some very nice 3D effects, meaning anyone with a love for Luffy's antics should be right at home here.

(©Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, Toei Animation
Game ©2012 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.)

A fun diversion for fans of One Piece
SCORE: 3/5
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One Piece: Unlimited Cruise Info
  • Type: Game
  • Format(s): 3DS
  • Price: £29.99
  • Cert: 12
  • Distributor: Nintendo

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