One Piece: Grand Adventure Preview

Earlier this week, Masahiro Knittel—associate producer of One Piece: Grand Adventure—held a private press conference and Q&A session with a few members of the video game journalism world. During this conference he answered questions about the new One Piece game coming out August 29, as well as explaining how new features worked to create the most in-depth One Piece game yet.

First, let me get this out of the way: the game is based off of the Americanized version of One Piece, and made specifically for the US market. I’m not saying that’s a good or bad thing, but consider it a warning. If you’re a diehard fan of the original (Japanese) One Piece anime and manga, know that there will be some changes in the names and appearance of many characters, as well as a more toned-down presentation; Smoker is known as Chaser, Ace is known as Trace, etc. For those of you that have played the Grand Battle games in the past, it shouldn’t be a problem keeping track of who is who.

Speaking of Grand Battle, Grand Adventure is like an extension of the Grand Battle line with several noticeable improvements. The combat is a party-fighting style (think Power Stone and Super Smash Bros.), much like Grand Battle was. There are several changes, though. One of the main ones is a system known as Accel-Heat. According to Masahiro, the Accel-Heat System is a gauge-type skill. Players will start at one gauge, and eventually make their way up to three. By using the Accel-Heat skill with one, two, or three gauges filled, your character will gain a different enhancement. At one gauge, Accel-Heat will interrupt your opponents attack or movement, and allow you to counterattack them. At the second gauge (after you pop Accel-Heat two times quickly in succession) your attacks will be strong enough to prevent your opponent from reducing damage from blocking. When you use the level three gauge, you’ll gain the abilities of the first two levels, as well as improve your character’s speed greatly. The speed increase will allow you to move quickly towards and away from your opponent (anyone who has seen One Piece knows what that animation looks like), as well as perform longer and more devastating combos.

But even with the tweaks to the combat system, the biggest addition to Grand Adventure is the Adventure mode. Think of the Adventure mode as a campaign of sorts. At first, you’ll find yourself controlling Monkey D. Luffy as he struggles to build his crew of pirates, and ultimately tries to obtain the legendary treasure known as One Piece. Now, anyone familiar with One Piece’s story is probably saying, “Wait, that’s the same plot as the show and manga! I don’t want to play through when I know what will happen!” Well, that’s where things get better.

Upon completion of Luffy’s adventure, you’ll unlock a second adventure focusing on Captain Buggy. After Captain Buggy, you’ll unlock another adventure, and you’ll keep unlocking more adventures until you beat the fifth—and last—adventure mode. Unlike Luffy’s adventure, Captain Buggy and the captains you’ll control after him have stories completely unique to the One Piece universe. A few of the stories will deal with events in between Luffy’s story, such as what so-and-so was doing when Luffy was fighting Arlong. Other stories, however, will be interesting “What if?” scenarios. For example, what if the story of One Piece made Buggy the main character? Because these stories will be completely original, even diehard One Piece fans will be able to see something new from the One Piece universe. As Masahiro explained, fans will have fun being able to see alternate stories never seen before, and thinking, “Hey, that could have happened,” or “That would have been cool!”

Worried that the new Adventure mode won’t last very long, or that it’s too easy after you beat Luffy’s story with little challenge? Don’t worry! First off, it will take the average gamer 40 to 50 hours to complete all five adventures. Not only will the game allow occupy lot of playing time, but the Adventure modes after Luffy get progressively harder. According to Masahiro, the fifth and final adventure is so difficult that many gamers who haven’t spent time leveling up may find themselves being soundly defeated on the first battle. You’ll have to go back and play missions you’ve already beaten to gain more experience to be able to tackle the last adventure. To gain the experience, you can either just keep defeating enemies, or gain experience by completing set objectives. For example, you may need to beat an enemy and remain over 50% of your hit points. Completing these objectives not only give you some extra experience, but they also unlock bonus content for the game.

Of course, as with any party fighter the multiplayer is a big focus for Namco Bandai. Sadly, GameCube owners won’t be able to play four players at once. However, Namco Bandai has added a neat feature to allow GameCube owners to pit their own personal pirate of choice from the Adventure mode against their PS2 brethren through the use of passwords. When fighting a friend using your pirate against his on the same console, you can just save your data to a memory card and pop it in. But by writing down your character’s password, you’ll be able to enter it in either copy of the game, allowing you to input your pirate into your friend’s copy, even if you own a PS2 and he owns a GameCube.

With new stories, tons of new characters and cutscenes, voice acting by the voice actors from the show, and inviting gameplay, One Piece: Grand Adventure looks to be a game One Piece fans will enjoy, and should become the best One Piece game yet. Thanks to the game starting off by making you complete Luffy’s story, it’s also a great way to be introduced to the series. Look for Grand Adventure to hit the stores August 29, check out the new screenshots (including four exclusive ones) for the game in the screenshot section, and look for a review here on GamerNode later this month.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.