By Quentin H. / March 30th, 2018
ONE PIECE Bounty Rush is a game that features a -lot- of characters from the classic ONE PIECE franchise as they face off in up to 2 versus 2 player combat. Each player can select two characters from the series to play as that are spread across five different classes: Fighter, Support, Swordsman, Warrior, and Shooter. Each of the playable characters in each class plays differently from each other, and can each earn levels that in turn increase their stats. When one of the characters that the player is playing as dies, the other one will respawn, and it will go back and forth as long as the game is ongoing. During my hands-on demo at the BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Mobile Showcase at GDC 2018, I was only able to select from pre-designated subteam options, though I was assured that I would be able to mix and match whoever I choose at launch.
After I picked my team of two, I entered into a battle match against another real-life opponent in the only available map of Alabasta. I was told that when ONE PIECE Bounty Rush is released, there will be multiple maps available that span the history of the One Piece series that fans will recognize. The stage itself was rather large, and there were a lot of destructible items within the stage that I could attack or have to maneuver around. The map was clearly meant for a full scale battle with multiple players on it, and there was definitely room for everyone to fit on it.
The goal of each match is to collect the most ‘berries’ (the currency of ONE PIECE) and deposit them into the your treasure chest at your starting location, while simultaneously attacking your opponent’s chest to get his or her berries and defending your own chest against attack. If the character you are playing as dies, then all the berries that that character has collected disappears, and you will respawn back at your treasure chest and have to collect more berries again. Whoever has the most berries when time runs out in their treasure chest wins.
I ended up playing multiple matches on Alabasta in ONE PIECE Bounty Rush, and I was able to try out the Fighter, Swordsman, and Shooter classes. Of those classes, I loved Fighter and Swordsman (I played as Luffy primarily), the most. The close up combat was a lot of fun, and I found myself feinting in to attack my opponent, who was often preoccupied with fighting the destructible environment and the spawnable enemies in order to build his/her own berry stash, and killing him in order to set him back as much as possible. That being said, I hated the shooter class, for I felt like it was a very slow and boring attack class (at least on this map) that would cause me to get slain very quickly by an opponent playing a faster-moving fighter or swordsman class. It is also worth mentioning that each character has special attacks that can be triggered by tapping the relevant icon on the game screen, and they vary from character to character.
My only real issue, other than disliking the shooting class, was how the boss fighters were implemented. During a match in ONE PIECE Bounty Rush, a boss character (such as No. 2) would appear on the map. The incentive for fighting the boss character is that when he/she is defeated, he/she drops a TON of berries and that can easily tip the match into your team’s favor as a result. The big issue with the boss, though, is that they are extremely powered up, and can easily kill your character without much effort (therefore resetting your carried berry count to zero, and making you have to collect more berries to put into your treasure chest). I found that the boss characters were more of a nuisance to avoid than to fight, as you can easily get more berries from killing minor enemies/destroying your opponents treasure chest/destroying the environment than from fighting -and dying repeatedly- to a boss character.
Overall, I found my hands-on demo of ONE PIECE Bounty Rush to be a fun free-to-play experience, with a few faults, that is clearly an enjoyable love letter to the ONE PIECE franchise in so many ways. It also doesn’t rely upon a player to be able to be ‘good’ at fighting in order to win.
As of this article’s publishing, ONE PIECE Bounty Rush is currently available to download for free on both the App Store and Google Play.
Who would you like to play as in ONE PIECE Bounty Rush? Are you going to pick up ONE PIECE Bounty Rush?
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