One Piece Grand Battle for the Gamecube is a visually beautiful representation of a television show from 4KidsTV, and as ports from TV show to game go, this one seems to have worked out quite well. It is effective both in maintaining the appeal necessary for the show’s regular viewing audience, and in maintaining a light-hearted but overall fun experience for players simply looking for a good beat em’ up.
The story behind the title is that long ago, a pirate was caught and executed, but had reportedly been in possession of the greatest treasure the world had ever known. Upon his death, he declared his treasure the “One Piece”, and that it could be found in the “One Place”. What resulted was every treasure-hungry pirate around loading up his or her ship with supplies, and setting off in a worldwide race to find this “One Place” in hopes of collecting the greatest pirate treasure ever known.
Enter our main character, Monkey D. Luffy, whose main goal throughout is more or less to become the greatest pirate ever. Perhaps the strangest of all the pirates in regard to fighting style, Luffy (as he is commonly referred to) seems to have a body made of rubber, and his resulting fighting style is both hilarious and rather strange at times. He uses no weapon, but that hardly takes away from his effectiveness, and he is pretty obviously the best-rounded of the fighters. That is, if the concept actually applies here.
As far as the various other characters, each has his or her own tale to tell, and they do so by interacting before and after each fight. There is a lot to learn about the type of character your avatar is in the show, because rather than neutral taunts thrown at whoever the opponent may be, the situation over which they are fighting is brought to light, and they share some dialogue before and after each fight that depends upon who they are fighting. For instance, Zolo and Nami fight over a disagreement, by where Nami loaned Zolo some money that he supposedly promised to repay at a ridiculous interest rate, and so they box it out over the disagreement. Such silly motivations are commonplace reasons for fighting in the game, but of course, where the villains are concerned it tends to heat up a little bit. However, it never actually passes the point of heated rivalry.
As the story states, our players are essentially on the quest for the One Piece, which, as far as the game is concerned, is a secondary focus. What it feels like to be totally honest is that our characters randomly meet up as though under everyday circumstances, but they duke it out for one reason or another. The Story Mode being the single player, even the hardest setting is composed of a total of five battles, and at the end, the player is rewarded with a series of unlocks, including characters, sound galleries, art, and et cetera. Being oriented around the finding of treasure, these things can then be located in the section called ‘Treasure’, and this section is a trove indeed. Players have the potential to unlock so many things in this game it is amazing, and once all is said and done, the unlocks very likely consist of all the game’s content in an access-at-your-leisure format. To make a long story short, there are a lot of things to be unlocked by playing through the game.