Game: ONE PIECE ODYSSEY
Genre: Action, Adventure, Casual, JRPG
System: Steam (also available on PS4, PS5, & Xbox Series X)
Developers | Publishers: ILCA, Inc | Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc
Controller Support: Full
Price: US $59.99 | UK £49.99 | EU € 59,99
Release Date: January 12th, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc.
ONE PIECE is a Japanese manga series written by Eiichiro Oda, which has been serialized weekly in the popular Shōnen manga magazine since 1997. The ONE PIECE manga has also spawned a media franchise which includes video games. ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is a new JRPG set in the world of the popular anime ONE PIECE, where you play as the members of the Straw Hat Crew. Let’s have a look at it.
The Straw Hat Crew
Captain Luffy and The Straw Hat pirates are on their latest ocean voyage. But, unfortunately, nature intervenes and whips up a powerful storm that sees their ship swallowed and marooned. They end up shipwrecked, with the crew members washing ashore on the mysterious island of Waford.
On Waford, they encounter Adio and a girl named Lim, who has a distinct aversion towards pirates and an extraordinary ability to steal powers from others by touching them. Lim steals the Straw Hat pirates’ powers, places them in mystical cubes and scatters them to all corners of the island.
Recover their Powers
So begins a grand story in ONE PIECE ODYSSEY as they set out to recover their powers. The Straw Hat crew also attempts to help Adio and Lim by defeating a handful of elemental colossi responsible for the giant storm surrounding the island.
In addition, the story also plays out in Memoria. It’s a world of memory created through Lim’s unique ability. Furthermore, the unique ability permits the Straw Hats to revisit specific historical locations and events from their past.
Trip Down Memory Lane
The way the story is presented serves as a fun trip down memory lane for fans of the franchise. There are many arcs in the storyline that are recognisable, such as Alabasta and Marineford being featured. However, if you are a fan of JRPGs and have yet to experience the long-running series, ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is a game that welcomes newcomers.
I’ve played a few of the previous ONE PIECE games that have been released throughout the years, and while fans of the series love the games, I was a little concerned that my lack of knowledge about the ONE PIECE franchise would hinder my enjoyment of the game. However, while playing the game, it was clear that it was important for the development team to design a JRPG that appeals to all players, not just ONE PIECE fans.
Exploration in the game is pretty straightforward, with plenty of handholding. There are very few areas that go off the beaten path. Giant markers point where to go and what can be interacted with, so getting lost in the game takes work. Sometimes you have to swap out characters to use the most appropriate one. For instance, to solve a puzzle or reach an item though these moments can be few and far between.
The puzzles are generally simple, and even while exploring, most hidden items or obstacles are overcome by using the character’s unique skills, such as swapping to Chopper to crawl through a hole only he can fit through or using Usopp to shoot an object.
The fun part for me is the combat in the game. However, I found the battles a tad on the easy side and only provided me with a few challenges. Nevertheless, the combat is fun and quick. The Straw Hat crew and enemy NPCs are categorized into effectiveness types of Power, Speed, and Technique.
So when a battle starts, the game uses a Scramble Area Battle system: at the beginning of a battle, enemies and your chosen team of four Straw Hats are placed in different zones within the battlefield.
Furthermore, depending upon your attack of choice, you can target those in your zone or focus attention on another to aid a teammate in need. Dramatic scenes may also occur during a fight, tasking you with completing a specific objective in return for greater rewards.
In Addition, the Power, Speed and Technique elemental effects and the combination of the other battle features add an extra layer to the battle. It’s a fun and enjoyable battle system if a little on the easy side. When I battled some bosses, I had to pay more attention to what I was doing in the battle.
Outside of combat, it is the usual JRPG concept of completing quests for the NPCs and exploring the map and the surrounding towns and cities.
Visuals and Controls
Visually the world of ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is top notch as you would expect. Even the battle scenes during the special moves are a pleasure to witness. Watching my team execute a move is a treat for the eyes, such as when Luffy pulls off his earth-shattering Gum-Gum King Kong Gun move, and the screen lights up with colour.
The music and sound effects are equally significant and add to the gameplay. Voice acting is in Japanese only, with no English dub, so unless you can speak Japanese be prepared to do a lot of reading. ONE PIECE ODYSSEY ran perfectly fine on my laptop; it didn’t have any slow down or crashes. I used a controller to play the game, and I have no complaints, as everything worked as it should.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the ONE PIECE ODYSSEY world. The game is a solid JRPG and was much more enjoyable than other games in the same genre I’ve played lately. In a way, it reminded me of Dragon Quest games, which I love. However, I would have preferred more of a challenge during combat. Nevertheless, it is an impressive love letter to the ONE PIECE amine series.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot