One Piece has since its humble beginnings in the late 90s as a written manga series turned into a franchise with over 700 episodes released, thirteen animated feature films, two original video animation, and five television specials. It has produced numerous merchandise such as trading cards and last but certainly not least, games. We are here, once again, to review the latest game in the hugely popular One Piece series, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 on the Playstation 4. Can too much of anything become a burden or does Luffy and his pirate buddies manage to pull it off once again?
Before I got set with the task of almost yearly reviewing One Piece games I was mainly a Dynasty Warriors guy, so when I first got a One Piece game for review I was somewhat baffled as to why I suddenly was going to start reviewing another series when all I wanted to do was play Dynasty Warrior games. I quickly realized why I was hand-picked for the task. So this is my third One Piece game just so you know before you start hacking at me because of my lack of knowledge on the famous series.
Dynasty Warrior is the easiest way to describe to combat in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, almost endless hordes of enemies at your disposal, and a huge set of power moves and combo moves mixed together and you got the main recipe for what I call entertainment. The bread and butter for me in games like this is the different moves, which keeps games like this from becoming repetitive. Earlier I reviewed Onechanbara, which has the same formula but sadly quickly became way too repetitive, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 however manages to switch up the moves and enemies enough for it to not only become entertaining but a boatload of fun.
As you progress freely through the map at hand you get different side objectives which you are free to pursue, some also comes with a time trial which adds intensity of the objective, but mainly they are all free for your picking at your own time. The main goal is set at the start of the game and it usually boils down to hunting down a set character, beat them in combat, and then get scored based on how well you played the level. Easy to pick up to play and somewhat hard to master.
Other than the main story mode there are two different modes, Free Play Mode which lets you pick a stage of your choice and a player of choice, from stages you have already beaten in story mode, and Dream Log which pins you against enemies set on random maps. These are all replay value aspects of the game as they offer little to no difference from the main story mode, but it is nice that it is included as a boost in the overall replay value of a game of this kind.
Every character you unlock, including Laffy can be upgraded by spending coins which you get from doing missions. This includes upgrading a characters health, damage, and also different combos which helps keep the combat new and fresh when things start to dip towards repetitive gameplay. The amount of different characters included in the game is what I feel the bread and butter of why these games still manages to pull a crowd. This isn’t my first game in the series but I am not a full-blown fan yet, seeing as it has only been a few years that I have been handling One Piece reviews. So I am not all up on the lore and the series, I just know I enjoy playing around with the different characters and see what kind of madness they can combine and unleash on the enemies.
The game do not scream current gen at first glance, but the character models are actually really well put together, and the special move animations are incredibly entertaining to watch. The cut scenes mix up animation and comic book stills, which I guess is perfect seeing where the series had it starts and the fact that it is a manga. But some of the backgrounds can blend in and become rather uninteresting, but to be fair, you will not have much time checking out the backgrounds other then when you are trying to reach another part of the map as the game moves incredible fast from start to finish. At times though the frame-rate can drop when huge hordes of enemies are on screen but to be fair I have yet to experience a game in this genre that hasn’t had that problem, but other than that the games seems like it runs at a good 60 FPS.
Fans of the series would have already bought the game, so this is probably mainly for the people out there who has just recently started hearing the rumblings of the One Piece series and wondering what the fuss is all about. I am here to tell you, as a newly-born One Piece fan, that if you have the slightest interest in games like Dynasty Warriors then you are going to absolutely love One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, for anyone else not familiar with that type of gameplay go check out some gameplay videos and see if the insanity of it all gets you, and if it seems interesting then I know you are going to enjoy actually playing it and experiencing the madness for yourself. GUM GUM!