One Piece: Unlimited SP

One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP Review

The One Piece universe offers a clutch of potent ingredients for the prospective video game tie-in. For one, the lively Shonen Jump manga chooses the Saturday-morning-cartoon side of swashbuckling pirates for its theme - a celebration of primary-colour braggadocio and easy treasure hunting on desert islands that fits the medium like a glove.

Then there's the brash combat, all Super Smash Bros-style starry effects and speed-blurred limbs, perfect for thoughtless button-mash ecstasy. And, of course, the members of the Straw Hat Pirates pack intrigue and humour within their tight-knit, motley social group, a cat's cradle of affections and rivalries from which many an easily-written cut-scene may tumble. Namco Bandai understands the richness of the license, and One Piece Unlimited Cruise SP is no less than the 32nd game in a series that only debuted in 2000.

In truth, it's a repackaging of two previous Nintendo Wii titles - One Piece Unlimited Cruise 1: The Treasure Beneath The Waves and One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening of a Hero - with some bits removed and some added. At least, that's what the Japanese players were offered. The European version is a different matter entirely. Reportedly, the need for five different language subs (all voice acting remains in Japanese) took up enough cartridge space to force Namco Bandai to simply drop the entire second Episode from the package, a fact the publisher has kept cheekily quiet ahead of release.

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3DS boosts Namco Bandai software sales

3DS boosts Namco Bandai software sales

Tales, One Piece, Ridge Racer numbers in.

Namco Bandai has reported a solid year-on-year boost in game sales, with Nintendo's 3DS affording the publisher a healthy slice of new business.

During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, software sales rose to 3.38 million compared to 3.15 million during the same period last year.

Of that total, PlayStation 3 titles contributed 657,000 sales, Xbox 360 651,000 and the 3DS 622,000. The DS added 614,000, the PSP 595,000 and the Wii a relatively paltry 199,000.

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