I have always enjoyed Dynasty Warriors-esque games where you are pitted against a stream of numerous opponents and you have to defeat all of them, mashing buttons up like there’s no tomorrow with whatever weapon your character is equipped with. Though these games are frequently lacking in story and can turn into mindless beat-em-ups, I still find it enjoyable especially when absolute boredom strikes.
From Dynasty Warriors to Samurai Warriors, to Gundam Warriors, and even from the recent Bleach addition: Soul Ressurecion, I’ve actually played most of them and found it quite entertaining (although, there are certain levels in the aforementioned video games where I almost threw the controller at the television screen out of pure annoyance), that was why when the One Piece game was announced and was confirmed to be going state-side, I was interested in trying it out as well.
One Piece is one of the “Big Three” manga featured on Weekly Shonen Jump. Created by Eiichiro Oda, this masterful piece of art is seldom overlooked for what many thinks is “weird animation” or drawing styles.
It tells the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy who defies the standard definition of a pirate. Rather than the popular persona of a wicked, hardened, toothless pirate who ransacks villages for fun, profit, and booze, Luffy’s reason for being a pirate is one of pure wonder. The thought of an exciting adventure and meeting new and intriguing people, along with finding the legendary pirate treasure, One Piece, fuels his passion for being a pirate. Following in the footsteps of his childhood hero, Luffy (along with his crew filled with unique (mostly bordering on the strange and bizarre), each of whom has their own stories to tell and dreams they hope to attain) travel across the Grand Line, experiencing crazy adventures, unveiling dark mysteries and plots, and battling strong enemies in order to reach the fable treasure and become the Pirate King.
The allure of One Piece, however, isn’t as widely accepted as, say, Bleach or Naruto who both have massive fan-bases despite their stories being dragged out. That, and the fact that this is a musou game led to some review sites to give this an average (some even giving it a bad) score. However, regardless if you’re a fan of the series or not, you shouldn’t be deterred by the dismal rating this game got, below is my take on this impressive game.
If you’re going to be staring at the screen for a long time as you do with playing video games, you would want to at least look at something decent, if not spectacular. One Piece: Pirate Warriors offers crisp graphics that a respectful nod to how they are portrayed in the manga and anime, staying true albeit in their 3D cell-shaded-selves.
For a musuo-game (mindless hordes of enemies fighting against you, the kind of game where it’s literally you against the whole world) this game is pretty different. I would even go out of the way and say that this is the best musuo game. It has so much to offer. You don’t just bash every enemy in every territory to gain said territory, you actually get to do things Luffy (whom you control 90% of the time) does in the game. From flinging himself from one place to another, clinging on buildings and poles to fly, ballooning himself, shimming from one place to another…almost like Spider-Man.
There are also QTEs (Quick Timed Events) where you have to push the buttons shown on-screen to progress through the cutscene (usually during boss battles and a couple while moving around the map). The QTEs aren’t used excessively in this game, however and the way they appear actually makes sense rather than just because the developers felt like they wanted to add it. Granted, QTEs do tend to keep your attention away from what’s happening in the cutscene since you are busy inputting buttons, so…there’s that.
Although the game lacked the actual music heard from the series (it relies more on the manga’s storyline, I think), the music used in the game still has that swashbuckling, One Piece feel to it. As the game, for whatever reason, wasn’t dubbed in english, the voice actors are also the same voice actors you hear when watching the original japanese series which is an added bonus for hardcore fans.
So, is does this game not have anything wrong with it? Well, not exactly. The game still leaves a lot to be desired and have a platinum-breaking bug where you won’t be able to obtain the platinum trophy (something to do with unlocking a particular coin skill). It also requires a painstaking amount of time to complete the coin collection with the coin drop rate (when it comes to obtaining new coins) at a pathetically low rate (especially when you’re down to your last five) that would leave you grinding, cursing, and grinding some more before you can even get one coin.
There is also the lack of costumes for the characters (without the use of DLCs, only Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji have additional costumes).
Having said that, it is still the first game of what will, undoubtedly, a new mothership title for musuo-games and we will be sure to see more of the Pirate Warriors brand. Overall, I would give this game a solid 8 out of 10 rating, deducting 2 points since I really am irked by the whole coin-system thing and that bug that is, at the moment, still keeping me from getting my platinum trophy for the game.