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One Piece: Unlimited Cruise Special

For: 3DS
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Lost in translation

Product: One Piece: Unlimited Cruise Special | Developer: Namco Bandai Games | Publisher: Namco Bandai Games | Format: 3DS | Genre: Action, RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
One Piece: Unlimited Cruise Special 3DS, thumbnail 1
We gamers really have to stop treating our imports with kid gloves.

As more and more games from the East are being greenlit for release outside their homeland, we’ve got to be a bit more honest with ourselves about their shortcomings.

One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP is a case in point.

It’s a completely botched job. Not just because the voice-acting remains untouched, translated by unreadable subtitles, but because an entire half of the original package has been lost at sea.

Half Piece

Unlimited Cruise is a two-part series, you see, released on the Nintendo Wii three years ago and recently bundled together and jammed into a 3DS cartridge for Japanese audiences.

But it hasn’t reached our shores in one piece. Instead, it's just the first episode of what should be a two-parter. Thankfully, that still leaves plenty of content.

The story is perfunctory. The popular anime series’ quirky pirate crew embarks on a mission to explore a handful of islands and defeat a handful of bosses, all with the promise of a mysterious treasure.

As you step foot on the sandy beaches of your first destination you’re left to figure out what exactly the game wants you to do.

It’s essentially a scavenger hunt. Aside from a few boss battles along the way, most of your time is spent gathering and hoarding items and resources reaped from fighting, mining, fishing, and hitting the odd tree or two.

You can give everything you forage to a crew member, who will prepare your meals, healing items, and new equipment. The majority of what you find will go straight into the gob of the team’s newest recruit Gaburi, who converts everything into points that go towards filling your GP level, a quota that stops you from progressing further.

Hoard Mode

It’s a dull, laborious process. 

Each of the game’s islands is epic in scale, and with the ship acting as your only save point every excursion is a foot-bruising voyage with a few scraps along the way.

Combat is actually one of Unlimited Cruise SP's few redeeming qualities.

Despite being a shallow brawler that you can mash your way through, there are some interesting features. A Break Rush - which you activate by following the list of combos on the touchscreen - makes your combatant more powerful and reaps greater rewards for a short time.

A choice of nine playable characters also offers a diverse combat selection, ranging from all-rounders to heavier, faster options, as well as ranged fighters.

It’s marred by an awful camera and a redundant targeting system, but those who can squeeze any enjoyment out of the combat may want to invest some time in the Marineford Episodes, an entirely action-based story in which you take on battle after battle with cut-scenes sandwiched between them.

After spending hours savaging for lumps of clay, its structured and varied missions provide a nice change of pace.

Luff-less

There’s easily enough game here to get your money’s worth out of it, but Unlimited Cruise SP is hard to recommend even to a hardened fan of the series.

There are very few people who will appreciate the hours of item-gathering, shallow combat, and the poor use of a licence that’s normally more exciting than this. The absence of the game’s latter half is just another nail in the coffin.
 
One Piece: Unlimited Cruise Special
Reviewer photo
Tom Worthington | 20 February 2012
Lacking in character and bloated in fetch work, Unlimited Cruise SP is a clumsily translated import that, just like the game’s missing second episode, should have been buried at sea
 
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Joined:
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Tom Worthington | 01:47 - 22 February 2012
Japanese voice acting is the only option. There's obviously subtitles translating all the dialogue but the size is so tiny that it's hard to read without squinting.

As for the second half of the game, there's no official word on what's happening with it. I imagine it might be saved for a sequel if the game performs well outside of Japan.
Joined:
Jan 2012
Post count:
4
evanilla | 16:50 - 21 February 2012
Is the jp voice acting an option? Or they just took it out of the game? Also I havnt followed the series in a while but im guessing they took the second half out because were further behind in the anime. So are they planning on a part 2?
 
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