For many years, the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates have thrilled and enchanted readers and viewers throughout the globe. Turning such a beloved and long-running action-adventure collection into sport type has confirmed to be fairly a problem, with many builders stepping up over time to attempt to gamify the magic that is made the One Piece anime and manga so successful, typically to blended outcomes. One Piece Odyssey is the newest such try, and it takes the method of reworking One Piece’s dramatic battles right into a turn-based RPG. Whereas it does a strong job of getting the look and temper of the collection down, One Piece Odyssey sadly affords little greater than a really fundamental RPG journey.
The sport opens with the Straw Hat gang stranded on the mysterious island of Waford. Their ship, Thousand Sunny, lies in a wreck close by and with no apparent technique to restore it, the gang units out exploring this wild new world. An odd younger lady named Lim emerges and, petrified of the pirates, she removes the entire crew’s energy and particular powers. With the assistance of Adio, a moderately suspicious adventurer who calls the island his residence, the Straw Hats got down to get well their powers, study the secrets and techniques of Waford Island, and escape to journey one other day. Alongside the way in which, they’re going to additionally be capable of relive the nice adventures of the previous.
The story shifts its focus from getting off of Waford Island to getting everybody’s full energy again with assistance from island residents Lim and Adio pretty shortly, and that is still the crux of the story for fairly a while. Recovering powers means discovering particular cubes scattered throughout the island and held by the mighty Colossi. Totally restoring the powers contained within the cubes is a moderately concerned course of: Lim should ship the crew to a dreamworld known as Memoria, the place they relive among the most essential occasions of their lives–in different phrases, they enterprise into re-creations of previous story arcs from the One Piece anime and manga, although occasions inside them unfold in another way. (The justification is that “recollections are unreliable.”) Solely by totally reliving these occasions in Memoria–and in some circumstances, venturing even additional into unusual sub-worlds–can the crew restore what they’ve misplaced.
One Piece Odyssey’s narrative is, sadly, moderately disappointing. Over its lifespan, One Piece has given followers many great, memorable tales and created a captivating world crammed with lore and intrigue. The concept of enjoying by way of an unique story filled with motion and journey set within the One Piece world as an RPG is a really thrilling one, however Odyssey largely eschews that potential in favor of revisiting previous story arcs in Memoria so the Straw Hats can get well their powers. These journeys into the previous comprise the majority of the sport’s 30-40 hour playtime. Whereas there are some thoughtfully portrayed interactions from the present-day crew as they revisit locations and folks from the previous, setting the sport in dream-universe tales which have already resolved, even when they play out in another way, robs them of their drama and impact–the conclusions are already recognized, the stakes do not feel compelling, and the characters are merely doing what’s wanted to succeed in the inevitable finale we have seen earlier than. It does not assist that there is a number of fetch-quest and NPC-hunting model padding current, both.
From the outset, One Piece Odyssey does a unbelievable job of capturing the appear and feel of the manga. The character fashions look vibrant, and their animations and expressions nail the goofy slapstick kineticism that defines One Piece’s model of motion and character artwork. Fight animations are significantly properly finished, with Luffy’s rubber-limbed smackdowns, Usopp’s comical sniper strategies, and Robin’s surprisingly sensuous multi-limbed fight submission strikes look dynamic in a approach that feels genuine to the supply materials. The interactions between the characters are additionally in keeping with what followers of the collection have come to anticipate. The Straw Hats banter and bicker with one another as you discover the assorted environments, including a superb dose of attraction to the proceedings and letting the personalities that many have come to like actually shine by way of. The audio dialogue is restricted to Japanese solely, and there’s no choice for an English localization, which is one thing to bear in mind for those who’re a dub fan.
Whereas exploring, characters can swap in and use their distinctive talents (supplied they’ve recovered them) to get by way of obstacles, sling throughout gaps, and discover hidden objects like cooking components. Every character has a number of distinctive subject talents: Luffy can stretch and grapple, Zoro can minimize by way of sure obstacles, Usopp can shoot at particular targets, and Chopper is sufficiently small to undergo small tunnels, and so forth. Whereas this provides some pleasing selection and discovery to subject navigation, the frequent must interrupt exploration to enter a sub-menu and select a brand new chief to make use of their expertise is a little bit of an annoyance. Nonetheless, the strong visible presentation and the fixed crew chatter mixed with all of the exploration talents make subject journey pleasing sufficient to offset the inconvenience of swapping.
In terms of fight, nonetheless, issues begin to slip. Battles are introduced in a standard turn-based format, although in contrast to many turn-based video games, characters can act in any order and be freely swapped in/out with out penalty throughout your part, providing you with a really robust fight benefit off the bat. Once you’re selecting which foes to focus on, there is a Fireplace Emblem-style rock-paper-scissors system in play the place characters are affiliated with one in all three fight varieties that grants injury benefits and drawbacks over different varieties: energy beats velocity, velocity beats method, method beats energy. There’s additionally an added twist the place, upon battle graduation, characters are randomly assigned to totally different “areas,” limiting which enemies they will assault: You may’t goal enemies outdoors of your space with regular assaults (except all foes in your space are KO’d), however relying on character and talents you might be able to have an effect on enemies in one other space with a particular method. This appears like a neat twist on paper, however in observe the targetting restrictions merely show irritating, necessitating you both spend TP to assault enemies out of your space or shuffle everybody round. The presentation of the battles additionally makes it troublesome to inform at a look what number of enemies there are and which zone they’re in, resulting in concentrating on errors and ensuing annoyances.
It is not a horrible fight engine, however it’s simply exploitable to the purpose that it turns into unengaging, and, at worst, an annoying interruption. The liberty to take turns in any order and swap in characters on a whim makes it a cinch to stack your fight get together stuffed with characters with benefits over the opponent, inserting crew precisely the place they’re wanted to mow enemies down and heal allies shortly. You can even arrange highly effective Bond Arts that require particular crew members to be on-field with out a lot problem, additional trivializing many fight eventualities. Some side-quests, such because the Reminiscence Hyperlink quests that unlock Bond Arts, limit the crew members you need to use, which makes issues far more interesting–but these quests are woefully quick.
Additionally, One Piece Odyssey arms out copious quantities of EXP for finishing quite simple random challenges like “beat this enemy in a single flip,” so that you degree up shortly for those who’re partaking in fight with even a average diploma of frequency. Leveling up grants stat boosts solely, as you solely purchase fight strategies after reaching set factors within the story–but these quickly-accumulating stats could make an enormous distinction, even when the general character development is moderately restricted Ultimately, it might probably get to the purpose the place even the character-type system turns into largely irrelevant: In my playthrough, loading up Zoro with a bunch of assault increase equipment and letting him free in auto-battle was typically sufficient to decimate most enemies. Even some “troublesome” encounters weren’t actually difficult in a tactical sense: the enemies both had higher evasion, a particularly robust assault I could not anticipate, and/or had been HP sponges that took approach too lengthy to kill.
Basically, One Piece Odyssey is not a nasty RPG, only a very generic one which strives to do little greater than tick off all of the checkboxes of what gamers anticipate from the style: facet quests, crafting, cooking, fan-service, and so forth. Attaching the One Piece license to it leads to expectations which might be solely partially met: Whereas the Straw Hats are as pleasant as ever to be round, the story they’ve discovered themselves caught in shouldn’t be. In the end, the best sin of One Piece Odyssey is wasted potential, one thing it shares with most of the different online game variations of the franchise.