When it comes to current games based on One Piece, there isn’t much room on the Thousand Sunny pirate ship for neophytes. One Piece: Burning Blood reshapes one of the series’ most important arcs into a 3D fighting game that’ll confuse anyone outside of its fanbase. But as someone heavily invested in the pirate lifestyle of the long-running manga and anime series, I’m impressed with how just dense the crew is on this voyage, even as I wished for better combat and a broader story in Luffy’s newest brawler.
Burning Blood’s combat will be immediately familiar to anyone who played the underwhelming crossover J-Stars Victory Vs.+. Burning Blood is all about colorful, noisy, one-on-one 3D battles where you swap between fighters in teams of up to three different characters, and the combat is full of flashy action ripped straight from the source. That style makes the early rounds of battle a visual treat, particularly when Haki users enter the fray to pull off some badass dodges and combos. Unfortunately, Burning Blood needs that flash to compel you to learn its somewhat wonky and chaotic approach to combat.