By Operation Rainfall Contributor / September 29th, 2015
|Title||One Piece: Pirate Warrior 3|
|Release Date||August 25, 2015|
|Age Rating||ESRB – Teen|
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 tells the story of our favorite pirate, Luffy, as he sets out on his journey to become the pirate king. This has been his goal for 700 plus episodes, and every now and then I attempt to pop back in to see what the Straw Hat pirates are up to and make sure everything is going well for this awkward group of people.
The gameplay of Pirate Warriors 3 is similar to Dynasty Warriors. You have a map with bases and the player runs from base to base attempting to take them over while hordes of enemies get in your way. The boss fights in the game feature enemies from the anime, which is quiet nostalgic if you haven’t watched the first 200 episodes in a long time. The PlayStation 4 handles the countless enemies on the screen very well as you pull off huge combos and special attacks with your crew mates. Every character that comes with you to battle is able to join you for a special attack and also provide a hard-hitting finisher if they are selected. This is the most exciting mechanic in the game since you can get four characters to all do their specials at once to cause huge amounts of damage, racking up the meter showing that you just defeated 1000+ enemies.
The choice at the beginning of the mission to choose a character is a hard one to make because there seems to be a little bit of balancing issues with some of the characters. Luffy is by my favorite and his attacks are effective against hordes of enemies, whereas Usopp’s sling shot doesn’t do much damage. I find myself cycling through Luffy and Zoro through most of the game, especially during the later levels when the difficulty seems to increase exponentially. I’d like to add that this game looks gorgeous. Seeing 2D animated characters rendered so well into 3D is very impressive.
Pirate Warriors 3 doesn’t feature an original storyline like its previous installments. Instead, it follows the animated series up to the most current arc and then provides an original ending. The story is handed to you in summarized chunks which often can be annoying while playing a mission, as countless dialog events pop in and out while trying to play. Each time a PS4 message pops up saying “Recording stopped” during the dialog scenes, I know this function can be turned off, but most of these ten-second scenes are not important enough to merit these annoying pop-ups over and over again.
Pirate Warriors 3 hosts a great soundtrack that doesn’t feel out of place in the fast-paced beat ’em up. The voice over cast from the Japanese anime of One Piece brings life to the characters and makes it feel all that much more authentic. However, there were some scenes that were missing sound entirely, where the background noise was there and the characters mouths were moving, but nothing was coming out. I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but it comes off as awkward.
After the main story of Pirate Warriors 3, there is plenty to do. The “dream log” mode lets you choose characters — good or evil — and fight as them against hordes of enemies, giving you the chance to level up and acquire skills for the main game. There is also a two-player mode where you can play with others local or online co-op through story missions. This mode surprised me as I attempted to hurt the framerate using special attacks at the same time as my local co-op partner, but the game handled it very well, and no issues were visible.
One Piece: Pirate Warrior 3 is an amazing addition for to the One Piece franchise. It offers fans a chance to remember past episodes and gives old fans a chance to catch up with old friends. Throughout my 13-hour play time, the numerous cutscenes and missing sound bits are the only thing that hold this game back from being non-stop fun. The emotion from the show is definitely present throughout the story of the game. It’s definitely a game for anyone trying to understand just what One Piece is and also enjoy hours of pirate-bashing fun.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Based off the PS4 version which costs $59.99.
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