Vist Genki!

Format: WonderSwan Color
From: Bandai
Year of Release: 2002
Onscreen Language: Japanese
Campaign 1 - Banner 2

From TV animation One Piece

Grand Battle Swan Colosseum


Ever wondered which One Piece character is the toughest? Could Zoro take Sanji in a fight? Well this game is probably the closest you'll get to an answer. Modes include Story, 1P Vs Com and 1P Vs 2P.

A real high point in the WonderSwan One Piece series in terms of presentation and graphics, Swan Colosseum gives the player a choice of six characters with which to dish out the pain to the opposition. Play as all the key characters: Luffy, Chopper, Sanji, Usopp, Nami and Zoro and face each in turn as well as other series key players in one round matches.

Swan Colosseum offers some refreshingly different gameplay from the usual 'Street Fighter 2' clones. There's more of a 'Power Stone' vibe to this with each stage being fairly large and allowing the player to explore platforms and acquire weapons and items from randomly placed crates and barrels.

The controls are quite different to what you might have come to expect from a one-on-one beat-em-up too. The player only uses two buttons to play; I to attack and II to jump (twice for double jump). This leaves the D-pad to dictate the kind of attack corresponding to the direction pressed or to block by holding 'down'. This method works well for the exploration elements of the gameplay but seriously limits the range of moves. Aside from the character specific special attack, unleashed by filling the power bar and a secret button combo, each of the cast really only has one attack simply with directional variants. This also does nothing to help the weaker members like Usopp & Chopper especially the later who is already handicapped by his lack of stature.

The gameplay is also hampered by the animation. While it is an impressive feat for Bandai's handheld to pull off and great to watch the winner of a bout can often be determined by the length of time it takes for an attack to land. Large over blown gestures look great and are flawlessly smooth but can mean the difference between getting hit or having the time to react and dodge especially if it was activated by mistake. Never before has punching in the opposite direction to your opponent given them such a window of opportunity.

All that said though, Swan Colosseum is a great game. Sure it's quite short and simple to complete and the fantastic animation can bring up some short comings in the gameplay and the above average music plays next to below average effects but it's still a great beat-em-up and one that can appeal to fans and non-fans alike.

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