Keeping with the One Piece feel, the combat in Grand Adventure is frantic and over-the-top, and different characters have unique suites of moves that suit them. Luffy's fighting style, for example, usually involves him testing the elasticity of his rubbery frame, while Zolo primarily fights using his array of swords. Each character has a good dozen different combos he or she can pull off, as well as a throw and a handful of special attacks that can be activated only when you have enough of your skill meter filled. You can also tap in to your skill meter to summon a support character for a short while. Depending on which support character you choose, they can attack your enemy up-close or with projectiles, restore your health, or even be ridden into battle. The support characters are a bit clumsy, and they're more effective at creating more onscreen chaos than they are at pitching the odds in your favor, a sentiment that applies pretty well to most of the combat. Each character's moves may be unique, but the button combos used to pull them off are all but identical, making it easy to switch from one character to another but eliminating the requirement of any modicum of skill. The decent variety of moves each character is equipped with seems like a bit of a waste, since you can best most enemies just by mashing on the main attack button repeatedly.
Fans who have already played One Piece Grand Battle can expect to experience an uncomfortable level of dÃ©jÃ© vu.
The only real motivation to change up your attacks is to avoid hearing the exact same canned battle cry over and over again, a problem that plagues the whole of the game's sound design. When you're not listening to a generic, synthesized orchestra, you're being punished with gratingly enthusiastic sound bites. The game's visuals are more compelling--the characters sport some solid cel-shading--but virtually everything you'll see in Grand Adventure was lifted from last year's Grand Battle. Top it all off with some stifling frame rate problems, and it's hard to get too excited about the game's presentation.
One Piece Grand Adventure is definitely a more fleshed-out game than its predecessor, but the game feels as though the developer just threw in the features it meant to include the first time around rather than develop a full-blown sequel. If you already invested in One Piece Grand Battle, you should save your money, because you've effectively already played One Piece Grand Adventure. Everyone else, aside from maybe the most devout One Piece fans, should avoid Grand Adventure because of its insubstantial story mode and shallow gameplay.