PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 5 / Xbox One / Xbox Series X|S /PC
Action Role-Playing Game
January 10, 2023
One Piece is an anime that’s incredibly popular, seriously it’s the best-selling manga of all time and has claimed the throne of the King of the ‘Big Three’ – that’s to say, the Big Three anime shows on TV. It holds over 1,000 episodes and has been running since 1999, where the manga has been on-going since 1997. This is a feat all on its own, considering the voice cast of this incredibly popular anime has been working non-stop for 23 years!
So, naturally, when One Piece Odyssey was coming announced, my interest was certainly piqued. It is no secret that I am not usually one for watching anime, let alone reading manga, but of the few that I have watched (and there are very few), One Piece just so happened to be one of the lucky few. With the game releasing on January 10, interested players on the PlayStation 4 or 5 had a chance to try out the Demo in advance – which, by doing so, could reward the player with items for when the game releases, and keeps the progress that they made during the demo. So, it was more than enough reason for me to jump in and see what this new adventure held in store for me.
The Adventure Begins
Though this review originally started through trying out the Demo that released, it should be noted that since its release, my thoughts on this game remain intact and nothing has changed in regards to my overall review.
Starting the game, I didn’t realize that this game’s story was an original story by Oda – who has written the overall story for One Piece. That’s pretty awesome, since you don’t see that often when it comes to anime games, they original creators usually are producers or something. So, I was already interested to see where the story was going to go, given how I’d watched every episode of the show so far. As far as I could tell, since this was a demo and not everything was shared outright – the ship crashes at a mysterious island, where we’re all stranded.
The first thing I noticed, again, maybe this is a normal thing in the other One Piece games – I wouldn’t know, was that the cutscenes were fully dubbed, as if it was truly part of the anime or its own movie, and kept you in suspense much like the show does. Starting the game, you get to see the wreckage and that you’re now on some weird island and the Sunny – which is the boat – is sinking. A little lady picks up the Straw Hat, which belongs to Luffy, and we also see that some people are missing, those being Nami, Brook and Zoro.
But I could tell that the first goal was going to be to find the rest of the crew, and then look for the hat. And I was not wrong; that is exactly what happened.
The gameplay was interesting enough, but I had to adjust myself, since the play style was not something I was used to just yet. I noticed the graphics were breathtaking, given that this is as realistic as I can imagine a One Piece game being – so, I’m not quite sure how that Netflix adaptation is gonna be like.
I loved a lot of the shaders that were used in the game, though some brushed textures were a little strange; which luckily, there is already a mod available to take it out on NexusMods if you’re on PC. However, I must admit that Luffy for some parts felt super weird visually. That was likely due to the fact that he didn’t have a strawhat at the beginning, so maybe I just felt all types of strange because of that.
After talking to the crew, we all gathered by a cave that Chopper had found and we went off exploring.
Something Lost, Something Gained
Walking around was weird, and a little restrictive, where certain zones were cut off from you being able to touch them – my brain went to the fact that if Luffy touches the ocean water, he’ll just fall apart; this is part of the One Piece storyline, since he has ‘Devil Fruit’ powers. But I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case. Learning to walk around, run and use abilities to traverse, took a few minutes to get used to, and I was surprised to find that I would be able to find items around the world to use for things like HP (Health Points), TP (Tension Points), temporary boosts and more. I realize that this is a JRPG, but I guess the thought didn’t really cross my mind.
I was introduced to the combat system fairly early on, where I fought some creatures known Eisa, which taught me basics on how the combat would work – and again if you’ve played turn-based or tactics games, this should come natural to you. The fact that using special Skills would not necessarily run a player out of Mana, was an interesting take on the play style. Instead, you can regenerate your TP (Tension Points), by simply attacking normally without any skills. These points work across all fights, so if you had 500 TP, and then somehow obtained a total of 750 TP, then in your next fight you’d still have 750. Of course, these points can decrease depending on the Skills you use, which are detailed in the skills section once you are in a fight.
I had learned that some battles will have conditional effects that can let you receive extra rewards such as extra EXP, by winning the battle in a specific manner. For example, an early condition, when starting the game, was to defeat all the enemies before Usopp faints. I loved how the game used a lot of classic RPG elements, for example, where Chopper can be used as a Healer – which is pretty nice, given that he’s the doctor of the crew. The combat at first, I felt wasn’t all that thrilling and was a bit uninteresting. However, as I experienced more and more fights, I really found a nice rhythm to it, which brought me back to a time where I played a lot of games that used similar tactic combat strategies, like Legend of Legaia.
Upon reaching Nami, I learned that some enemies have different elements; for example, some will show the attack types like Technique, Power or Speed, which all have their power counters. Where Technique is stronger against Power, Power is stronger against Speed, and Speed is stronger against Technique. There were also identifiers for players to easily see which enemies were stronger or weaker against the character that was up against them.
Unlike other games, I liked that you could switch out crew members without sacrificing a turn really, and if, for example, your preferred crew member was somewhere else fighting, once they finish their own fight, they’ll be able to return to where the rest of the crew is in order to join in on the fight. Whereas in other games, usually you’d be out of luck and can’t use them. After reaching Nami, I was taught quickly about items such as Energy Apples (which are easy to find around the game and can heal crew members). This reminded me of games like Pokemon, where one could use an item to heal or provide temporary boosts to one of the Pokemon on the field.
Unfortunately, this did not last very long, as I had come across a big creature that, I had soon found out, was the Guardian of the Island. After the initial fight, a mysterious girl had come to the area of battle. This mysterious girl just so happened to be the same girl that took Luffy’s hat at the beginning of the game. She had come and touched every character on the chest, one by one, which ended up removing all of the character’s strengths and abilities, by turning them into mysterious cubes which all flew away across the Island. One would be forgiven for comparing it to the Dragon Balls after the wishes were completed by Shenron, but that’s neither here nor there. This opened up the plot even more, which introduced us to a mysterious figure, Adio, who had been staying on the Island for a long time, after having crashed ashore a few years ago.
Cubes, Ice and Everything Nice
Adio then explained his situation, and introduced Lim, the mysterious hat girl that had taken the abilities and strength of the Straw Hats crew. She went into some detail, as for why she had done what she had done, and informed me that all powers and strength could be restored simply by finding the Cubes that had left each character’s body. This, of course, was adding more to the plot and giving additional things to do for the player, which was to restore the strength and skills of everyone.
Adio had taken us to a cave to test our might, although this was still suspicious given how mysterious this new figure was. There, I was able to find various cubes for the characters, which showcased new systems such as the Skill Tree, Equipment System and more. The Skill Tree worked rather basic; the idea was to grab a cube (these Cubes are specified to a character, for example ‘Luffy’s Cube’), and then absorb it. By doing this, the character would receive points to put into any of the skills that they had come to lose previously. The equipment system was just as basic and simple, where finding certain accessories or badges, it could be placed on any character and it would boost their base stats (Defense, Attack, Guts, etc.).
The demo soon finished afterwards, and though my only issue so far was the camera not being able to be moved while doing certain actions, for example with Luffy using his arm as a grappling hook – considering the rest of the game, it wasn’t really a huge gripe.
Check out the video version below:
Overall, I was rather impressed by the fidelity of the game; the storyline felt sometimes a little rushed, but I took my time with it and it felt just well. This truly felt like I was part of a One Piece movie or even a few episodes in the anime, and the fact that the original creator of the series created this story made it that much more genuine. Admittedly, I was a little sad to hear that this game would not be considered canon in the over-arching story of the series, but still it was a wonderful adventure. I recommend this game to anyone, especially to fans of One Piece. Though, again, I’ve not played any of the series’ games, from my understanding this one has been more well received than all of the past One Piece games.
One Piece Odyssey is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and Windows PC.
One Piece Odyssey
One Piece Odyssey is the newest game from One Piece creator, Eiichiro Oda, and Bandai Namco. Bringing an original story for players to venture in, there is much to discover.
Operating System: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Windows
Application Category: Game
- Immersive Experience
- Refined Combat System
- Camera Needs Adjustment During Certain Actions
- Not As Open-World As Advertised