Games I got for my new Wii, part 1: One Piece Unlimited Adventure. Like all games based on a license from some other media, there are glaring flaws which would probably turn off anyone who wasn’t a fan of One Piece. Fortunately, I am a super hardcore One Piece fanatic who squees just being able to run around as the Straw-Hats, so I don’t care.
Licensed games always have problems, but they’re much less of a rip than they used to be. In the early days of gaming, a license just meant that the blob of squares of the screen were described in the manual as E.T. or Spiderman. Later on, when videogames discovered the concept of “looking like stuff”, you actually got to control a vague approximation of (to pull an example from an actually good licensed game) Scrooge McDuck, using his cane as a pogostick to kill gorillas just like he did on the show, but it was still just a few characters you know inserted into a platformer.
The modern age has now dawned and licensed games, while still largely middle-of-the-road in quality, offer must more for the dedicated fan. The recent Simpsons games give the player the chance to explore a world made almost entirely out of landmarks from the show’s history and provide massive amounts of new material from the writers. Ever animated movie has its related game, to the point where it’s expected that if you’re doing voicework for one, there will be that one day on the set where everyone reads lines like “Very good, Po/Bolt/Wall*E/Marjane! Now, lock on with Z and push the A button to punch!”
So, One Piece: Unlimited Adventure. The good: nice character models, lots of lines from the main cast, very authentic translation (Zoro is actually Zoro, not Zolo! When did they change that back?) and plenty of stuff to hunt down (the item collection to create upgrades is a nice touch). The bad: Somewhat generic-looking stages, at a quality that would not be out of place in a PS1 game. Given that One Piece the comic is renowned for the surreal and varied landscapes of the Grand Line, we could have asked for a little more than La Isla Ordinary-Looking. It’s also somewhat unclear what you’re supposed to do next much of time, but then that’s what the internet is for.
Next time: “Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed”. Can Earth survive an attack by a massive interstellar army of lame penis puns?