There is something to be said about animation that does not focus entirely on high-end simulation, state-of-the-art layering, intrepid color schemes and orchestral musical scores yet still manages to deliver an emotionally inspiring storyline. "One Piece," a popular TV anime series on Fox's after-school cartoon lineup, is eye-catching in many ways. It has a compelling storyline that surrounds just a few key characters.
There are ton of antics in "One Piece" that will tickle the fancy of the most austere individual; some scenes made me laugh so hard that I almost broke down crying. Ok... maybe that was too much to admit and perhaps I've lost some cool points, but it is definitely a series that I will continue to watch.
However, I was a bit disappointed in the game, One Piece: Grand Battle. It follows the "One Piece" storyline: a man named Monkey D Luffy who aspires to be the greatest pirate, in a world overrun with pirates. The capricious, whimsical, slapstick humor that takes place in the anime series is also in the game.
The combos in One Piece: Grand Battle are interesting because they are just as silly or extreme as their anime counterparts. You can choose from a variety of characters, including the awesome triple-blade carrying Roronoah Zoro (a gutsy character if I've ever seen one). However, it's really just another fighting game. Not terrible, but not great.
This game is rated "T" for teens and retails for $39.99 for both GameCube and PlayStation 2.
By Chad Chamberlain