This didn't matter. It's a fighting game, so the fundamentals are simple. Pick a funky lookin' dude and fight. Ignorance isn't exactly a barrier to enjoyment in this genre.

Only here it is.

That's because One Piece Burning Blood is the very definition of fan service. If names like Monkey D. Luffy, Trafalgar Law and Roronoa Zoro mean something to you, you'll find a decent enough fighter here. But if they sound like the sort of jumbled nonsense an online random name generator would spit out, best stick to the classics like Tekken or Street Fighter, because there's nothing for you here.

Not being familiar with the source manga or TV anime, I found the whole thing a flashy bewildering mess. The story mode, where I spent most of my time, assumes prior knowledge, so remained incomprehensible.

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Screengrab from One Piece Burning Blood gameplay. Photo / Supplied
Screengrab from One Piece Burning Blood gameplay. Photo / Supplied

But this is a fighter and things picked up when I got to brawling. The combat system is fluid, fast and fairly satisfying. Special attacks are button-mapped and simple to pull off. Depth comes in the available variations.

Like all good fighters, timing is everything. But even here the fan service was just too much. Long animations play after every special attack. Thrilling the first time, annoying thereafter.

One Piece Burning Blood is everything fans of the series would want. Which, of course, means it can't be recommended to anybody else.

Platforms:

PS4, Xbox One, PS Vita, PC

Rating:

PG

Verdict:

A KO for fans, a suckerpunch for everyone else