Luffy has been on plenty of video game adventures and his latest is in virtual reality. The question is: do you have what it takes to occasionally tap X then mindlessly watch characters fight each other?
One Piece: Grand Cruise consists of two modes: Repel the Kraken and Sea Battle Against the Navy. Upon choosing one, you watch characters talk in an introductory scene then pick a room of the ship to enter. Once you magically teleport to that room, you watch a character or two talk about stuff then Luffy interrupts with urgency. So, you head outside only to see that either a Kraken or a few ships are attacking your vessel. Keep in mind, up to this point, there has been no gameplay as all you did so far was watch characters interact. To be fair, you may have looked at certain characters which triggered a short comment here or there or answered someone's question but that's about the extent of the interaction so far. It is cool to see the One Piece characters in virtual reality but this is a video game and not a VR movie, right?
Next, we get to the gameplay. No matter which "mode" you chose, you'll find yourself aiming a cannon by tilting the DualShock 4 and tapping X to fire. You'll either try and blast away crap that the Navy slings at you such as barrels, cannonballs, and turkey legs or shoot at the Kraken's tentacles until its head emerges then you fire away at that. Meanwhile, there are a few other generic red or blue characters who are helping you by firing their own cannons. Essentially, you don't even have to do anything. You can just sit back and watch your teammates do all the work. There is absolutely no skill required or repercussions for doing poorly.
That being said, you can compete with the opposite coloured team to see if you can beat their score. Considering it has absolutely no impact on anything, it makes me wonder why anyone would care if they win or lose. This is especially true considering just how random the core gameplay is. Trying to carefully aim at a barrage of incoming crap where your cannonballs travel in an arch is maddening so your best bet is to just keep tapping X and hope for the best but like I say, why even bother?
Fighting the Kraken isn't any more enjoyable. You basically just blast away then it falls eventually. After it does, Luffy fights Doflamingo and you can decide whether to give up or not after Luffy gets smacked away. What kind of choice is that? Also, why can't I control Luffy? Instead, you just watch while thinking about how cool it would be if you could do anything besides just sit and observe.
Aside from the few decisions you can make, the different rooms you can visit, and the incredibly basic and mindless core gameplay; One Piece: Grand Cruise doesn't really have anything else to offer. You'll be done with the whole experience mere minutes after you start it and there's no replay value whatsoever. That is, unless you're dying to see what's in the other rooms and what making different choices does. Even if that appeals to you, seeing every possible option won't even take that long to do.
The premise of Grand Cruise seems promising: a virtual reality mini-game set in One Piece's colourful world. However, it's an awful bare-bones VR experience and the fact that they're charging a decent chunk of change for it is ridiculous.
- + It's cool to be able to see the One Piece characters in virtual reality
- - Only consists of one mini-game that isn't even fun in the first place
- - You'll be done with it within minutes
- - Requires virtually no skill / no replay value