Shonen Jump's popular One Piece has still managed to keep its audience long after it debuted more than 15 years ago. The series has spawned multiple video games and spin-offs, including the upcoming title Burning Blood. In preparation for its release Bandai Namco revealed some of the support characters that players will be able to utilize on the field.

The support characters include Bepo, Dadan, Karoo, Kureha, Laboon, and the Square Sisters. The characters actually look a whole lot more... eccentric than what their names would let on. Bepo is a polar bear who appears to be in a prison jumpsuit. Dadan is a hefty older woman with a burly frame and a mean face. Karoo is a little bit like a Final Fantasy Chocobo, but it's a duck with a saddle and some strange head gear. Kureha is an older woman – a Doctor at that – who is very hip for her age. Laboon is a giant whale with an extremely scarred up head, and the Square Sisters are a dangerous looking duo.

The support characters can basically be called into battle to help during the fight. One Piece games have typically allowed for tag-team style combat and all sorts of support options, so there's plenty of options and ways for players to mix and match their teammates while doing battle in the arenas.

If you've played the previous One Piece games then you'll likely know how the combat, support system and specials work. In fact, just before revealing the support characters the developers did a 13 minute preview video showing off Burning Blood's combat, combo system, tag system and special moves. Gematsu took note of the footage after it was posted up by the developers, and you can check it out for yourself below.



As you can see, the game's signature fast-paced combat is still intact, and players are able to chain-link normals into specials and then tag out on the fly to do additional damage. The video above also introduced the character Blackbeard to the roster as yet another playable character in the upcoming One Piece title.

If you're familiar with other Bandai Namco games based around Shonen Jump material, the fighting and combat mechanics are pretty much standard fare to what you would find in games like Naruto Shippuden, but the skill ceiling is slightly lower.

Additionally, One Piece: Burning Blood differs from previous One Piece: Pirate Warriors titles due to the latter being similar to Koei's Musuo games in the Dynasty Warriors series, where-as the former is more like an arena fighter not unlike the old Dragon Ball Z titles.

The upcoming fighting game is prepping for release in North America on the PS Vita, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on May 31. The PAL rendition will be set to go live on June 3 along with the PC version.

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