I will be honest, I have watched a good amount of anime and read a significant sampling of manga in my day, but in all the series I have read or seen, I have never experienced One Piece. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t give the game a fair shake, and that’s exactly what I did with One Piece: Pirate Warriors. Even though I know nothing of the series, I came through this game pleasantly surprised.
Pirate Warriors tells the story of Luffy, the aspiring pirate who wants nothing more than to be the best in all the seas. He also has the special ability to stretch his entire body thanks to consuming a special fruit. You play as Luffy and his band, known as the Straw Hat Pirates, as they travel the seas and battle armies of pirates, military and other foes.
The game is in the same style as other Musou games (like Dynasty Warriors). You have a simple two attack button control scheme, where a simple press of a single button can unleash an attack that will destroy numerous enemies on the screen. Button presses in succession and alternation will result in special combo attacks that can take out a huge group of foes in a flurry of attacks. There is also a special super attack that, when a gauge is full, can be preformed with a single button press triggering a small cut scene showing your character unleashing on a ton of enemies for lots of damage. It’s a very simple formula that is actually rather fun, but can get repetitive after a while.
While in missions, you can team up with partners in combat. You can choose which partner to use at anytime, and as long as they’re in close proximity to the character you’re using, you can trigger the partner attack. When this happens, you complete your combo and string together another combo while temporarily using the partner character.
During the main story log, you play through chapters that follow the story of One Piece. These missions have the player doing a few more things in the game than just going from objective to objective and clearing out enemies. Luffy is the star of the main log, and playing as him has more options for what can happen in the central part of the story. Using his stretchy arms, he will sometimes use them to maneuver around the battlefield to certain areas. This is all preformed in short cut scenes where you have to complete button presses or analog stick movements. There are also action quick time events that occur when finishing some attacks or dodges.
You obtain coins that, when equipped, will offer up better stats. Some coins work off each other so that when certain conditions are met, they become even stronger. These coins can be found when playing through the missions or as rewards for playing well. Characters will also level up during play, and their stats will increase. They may also learn new moves through this avenue.
There is another mode to play called Another Log where you play the main story with other characters to both level them up and to gain more coins. This mode is really more objective based. You’ll get small mission objectives to complete while beating up all the enemies in a certain zone. Defeating a number of enemies in an area will convert them to friendly zones where allies will spawn. After completing all the objectives in the mission, you take on the boss of that level.
There is online multiplayer that allows two players to co-op missions in the form of the objective based levels of Another Log. Here, you can team up to complete objectives and neutralize enemy zones. It is rather fun taking on levels with another player, and with some help, you can play on more challenging difficulties.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors may seem like your standard hack n slash game based on an anime, but with the online co-op, it really makes things fun and keeps things fresh in what is, essentially, an automatic “you win” game. There is a ton of fan service for the One Piece fans, and the game doesn’t look half bad. It may get a little repetitive at times, but for fans of the manga and anime, you may want to check the game out. It won’t turn many heads, but for the amount of content that it brings and the online play in tow, Dynasty Warriors fans will have a pretty fun time with the game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.