Who doesn't love pirates? From their bright green hair, their samurai swords and love of rice cakes, right down to their rubbery extendable limbs, they're brilliant. What's that? Rum? Parrots? Eye patches? Wrong pirates. This is the pirating world of obscenely popular manga One Piece - you won't find Jack Sparrow here.
What you will find, however, is a Smash Bros-style brawler of surprising complexity, built around a hundred-strong cast of characters you've quite possibly never heard of and whose motivations you don't understand - unless you're a One Piece reader already, in which case, please tell us what unholy manner of creature Chopper is supposed to be.
Unlike Smash Bros, Gigant Battle usually opts for the old fashioned 'whack 'em till they drop' approach. The fighting, however, is Gigant Battle's weakest link. With only one attack button (along with a jump, throw and block), different moves are activated by interspersing multiple taps with directional prompts. It sounds simple, but in practice it's fiddly and doesn't quite work, especially when there's a walking skeleton, a human octopus and a golden-cloaked matador type flinging themselves around the arena - usually at you.
You can always come back when you're stronger, as Gigant Battle is more of an RPG than it first appears. In fact, behind that bright and cheery exterior lies the dark, number-crunching heart of a stats-obsessed monster. Fights earn both experience and currency, the latter of which can be exchanged for new, touch-screen-activated moves.
Now, we'll admit we've got a weakness for a bit of levelling up, but in a beat-'em-up? Surely the point of getting stuck on a boss is that you learn to fight better, not go back and grind until you can destroy him with a flick on the nose?
There's plenty to like about Gigant Battle, chiefly its cheery visuals and vast character roster. But whereas fellow anime brawlers Jump Ultimate Stars and Bleach had combat systems that would have made a beat-'em-up based around the secondary cast of an N64-era platformer entertaining, One Piece: Gigant Battle is purely for Monkey D Luffy's legions of fans.
Order NGamer here and have it delivered straight to your door
If you like your battling frenetic there's plenty to enjoy here, but brawling purists (and fans of old-school pirates) may want to look elsewhere.
- Intricate sprite work
- Stages are packed with detail
- Fast-paced, exciting audio
- Potentially sophisticated fighting is flawed by an RPG-esque levelling system.