Straw Hats in Memoria.
In case you say you haven’t heard of One Piece, I don’t consider you. Loads of anime and manga collection are in style, however nothing fairly rivals the multimedia mega-series that’s One Piece. A beast not like some other, the unique manga and anime have been operating with out interruption for over twenty years. There have been loads of One Piece video games by means of this run, however the final two console generations of those interactive spin-offs have principally been ho-hum motion video games with unforgettable authentic tales or overly streamlined diversifications of anime story arcs. for the twenty fifth anniversary of the franchise, Bandai Namco are shaking issues up with One Piece Odyssey, a turn-based JRPG that delivers a nostalgia-fueled narrative that appears again on the Straw Hat crew’s greatest adventures with a nostalgic twist as a substitute of the standard trimmed down spotlight reel.
One Piece Odyssey sees the Luffy and his Straw Hat companions crash touchdown on the storm-covered island of Waford, shedding their ship to the weather and changing into scattered throughout the island. Luffy units out to rapidly reunite the crew, moving into a number of fundamental battles alongside the way in which. It felt like a daring alternative when my first battle noticed me doing over 1000 harm to a grunt enemy with my fundamental assault, and incomes 32K in expertise – perhaps the builders actually favored the massive numbers of Disgaea? – however it rapidly turned obvious this wouldn’t final. After reconnecting together with your crew and having a number of battles the place everybody is supplied with excessive ranges and a load of various skills, a mysterious new character named Lum rapidly strips all of them away from you.
It was an odd feeling having this type of second in an RPG, however it performs into the narrative in a enjoyable approach. Lum has by chance turned your energy and talents into mysterious cubes scattered throughout the island, Her guardian, the way-too-cool gunslinger Adio, helps you observe down the dungeons the place your cubes have been scattered to. As soon as you discover them, although, the Straw Hat crew must activate them and discover the world of Memoria, a dream dimension that manifests as a number of the most iconic areas and moments of the unique collection.
With this, One Piece Odyssey places an extremely refreshing spin on the standard makes an attempt anime video games make to cowl their supply materials. Quite than being sped by means of a watered down reproduction of the unique tales, the trendy Straw Hat crew will get to revisit iconic old-school areas like Alabasta and unforgettable tales just like the Marineford arc with a time-travel twist – reminiscing on their recollections of their experiences, recreating their epic victories to flee the Memoria dimension, and grappling with the surprising modifications to those acquainted occasions that find yourself occurring.
What feels much more particular is the truth that, for the primary time shortly, you actually get to actually discover and savour these iconic locales. The low-key, slow-paced vibe you get in-between dungeon exploration and boss battles simply feels so particular and it even helps make character cameos hit just a bit more durable. Whether or not you’re operating into Smoker and Tashigi, preventing Crocodile, and even assembly the Kung Fu Dugongs, there are small, fan-pleasing moments sprinkled all through the sport that you just didn’t see within the musou or preventing One Piece video games.
Whilst you’re exploring Waford, Memoria, or quite a few dungeons, you’ve received extra to do than simply maintain down the left stick and encounter overworld enemies. You may select to run round as any of the Straw Hats at any time, and lots of the characters have distinctive overworld skills. Luffy is unsurprisingly probably the most helpful character to run round as, sporting long-range merchandise pickups, wall-smashing skills, platform grappling & swinging, and even detective imaginative and prescient – I imply, “Commentary Haki” – that lets him discover hidden gadgets and scan for uncommon enemies. As a lot as I really like attending to run round as my favourite fashionista Robin or the world’s cutest physician Chopper, you’ll be swapping again to Luffy fairly often within the overworld. Sadly, each character you management suffers from some quality-of-life annoyances – your soar animation is extremely inflexible, and a bevy of irritating invisible boundaries or partitions stop the locales from feeling really explorable or alive.
In fight, although, your complete crew shines. Even with most of your skills stripped away and misplaced to the cubes, there are many participating mechanics that type the constructing blocks of fight in One Piece Odyssey. Battles see 4 of your characters (which you’ll be able to swap at any time) squaring off in opposition to any variety of enemies – typically one giant foe, different occasions half a dozen or extra annoying grunts. Each character and enemy has one in all three attack-style classes, rock-paper-scissors type – sword beats first, fist beats gun, gun beats sword. Your particular assaults even have varied ingredient sorts that enemies may be weak or immune to, including extra complexity and potentialities. The one frustration with this method is that the UI could possibly be way more intuitive about letting you rapidly make these swaps. The quantity of button presses and confirmations it’s a must to undergo can be effective when you solely swap occasionally, however I discovered myself swapping characters round a number of occasions per battle.
On high of those elemental combos, fight locations characters and enemies in several ‘battle areas; – so Chopper may be dealing with two enemies in his nook of the sector whereas the remainder of the gang are standing subsequent to a distinct enemy of their space. You may assault enemies in different areas, however solely as soon as your personal space is evident of threats. The system provides an additional wrinkles to strategize round, however because you aren’t bodily shifting characters round in real-time or getting any zoomed-out digicam angles that clearly present the completely different areas, it feels form of faux. It’s like the sport is simply pretending these zones exist for the sake of fight depth.
It’s additionally a bit bizarre seeing what fundamental parts are lacking from the sport that go away the general bundle simply feeling slightly unpolished. You may’t defend in battle, and even skip a flip, which is irritating when a bonus battle goal needs you to land the killing blow with a selected character. Your overworld interplay button is circle however your menu affirmation button is sq., with no solution to change it – a minor factor that led to me by chance closing or confirming approach too many menu choices.
In a bubble, One Piece Odyssey is a promising, however flawed JRPG. Some shortcomings within the overworld design and oversights within the fight design generally is a little bit of a let down. For a standalone RPG expertise, it may be a hard-sell, however it by no means tries to be a standalone, entryway expertise. The general bundle is such an uncompromising love letter to the historical past of One Piece, and in that approach, One Piece Odyssey is an enormous success. All of the awkward overworld points and kinda-okay RPG battles are greater than price getting by means of with the intention to expertise the immersive, heart-warming tour down reminiscence lane that One Piece Odyssey is.