By Steve Baltimore / September 20th, 2017
|Title||One Piece: Unlimited World Red – Deluxe Edition|
|Release Date||August 21, 2017|
I’ve always wanted to try out something in the One Piece universe. I’ve never watched any of the anime but the characters always looked fascinating when I saw fans post about them, with that over the top style and a very unique flair. So when an opportunity came around to check out the newly released One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition, I jumped on it. Did this title spark my interest in the series and make me want to check out more of the vast media it has to offer, or is it simply another overworked anime franchise? Let’s find out!
I’m going to be honest here, I was pretty lost when it came to story content on this one. I had thought this story took place right at beginning of Luffy and the crew’s journey, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. What this story does is recap some of the major battles the crew has encountered so far while they are chasing after an all new enemy named Red. I can’t say this is a bad thing cause it actually got me interested to go and read some of the manga to see the details of how some of these fights went down, but if you’re new to the franchise, reading a few volumes or watching some of the anime is recommended.
The graphics have been updated for this Deluxe Edition of the game. All of the character models look fantastic in full 1080p. The environments have seen some love as well and look much clearer than in the previous release. I was really impressed that framerate stayed a solid 60 fps even when the crazy boss battles were taking place. Some of the special attacks they use are simply spectacular and cover the entire screen with craziness.
While there isn’t really anything impressive about the game’s soundtrack, it gets the job done. There are plenty of upbeat tunes while slaying all enemies in your path and some more somber tunes to drive the more emotional parts of the story home. The voice acting is all done by the Japanese cast and is just as over the top as the characters themselves. The lack of an English dub may be a hurdle for those that have gotten used to that cast over the years, but for me personally this wasn’t an issue.
Gameplay is broken up into nine story episodes. Each episode takes place in a different land and has an amazing boss battle at the end. Exploring these lands is pretty straightforward: you will basically traverse from point A to B beating up any baddies along the way. Sometimes your path will be blocked by a space distortion that will require you to find a word phrase to pass through. This usually entails defeating a certain enemy or finding a breakable object. These are all pretty easy to find and chances are you will run across them before even reaching the distortion. Some maps have areas that can only be reached if a certain character is in your party. These areas are for loot only, so while its a little annoying to have to come back just to see what’s in these, you will likely be coming back for other materials for upgrades anyways. The only real beef I have with this part of the game is there is no mini map. You have to keep opening the camp menu to see the map and which direction you’re walking in, and while this isn’t a game breaking issue, it’s pretty annoying.
Combat works like mostbeat ’em up action RPGs. You have two attack buttons, a light and a heavy attack, that you can mix up combinations to pull off combos. While this may sound like it would get old fast, each of the characters have such unique fighting styles and different special moves that it really doesn’t. You can go with Luffy’s ranged attacks, Frankie’s brute force, or Zero’s sword skills. You can also equip custom words and item words to each character. These words will provide stat buffs and maybe grant protection against certain status aliments. You will find these words as you explore each of areas of the game and their effects can be leveled up back in town. I had a lot of fun switching in and out all the characters and experimenting with their different abilities.
The next thing I would like to talk about is town building. In the game your base of operations, Trans Town, acts like a world hub. Here you can upgrade your words, craft items, upgrade your bug catching/fishing gear, take on quests, and much more. Not all of the town’s facilities will be accessible from the start. Instead you will have to collect items during your quest to create and upgrade them. These could come from breakable objects, enemy drops, chests, bug catching or fishing. A lot of these items can be obtained by taking on the extra quests in town. You can likely complete the main story without having to do a lot of upgrading, but it was still a lot of fun to unlock the extras and find additional mini games to play.
The game contains one other mode besides the story mode, coliseum mode. In this mode you will choose specific characters in duels to unlock in game items and extra goodies. These battles can be one on one or facing a horde of baddies to defeat in a certain amount of time. At first you will unlock extra characters for this mode only but eventually you will unlock some great items to use in the story mode as well. This mode is a fun little distraction from the main part of the game and it was really cool to take on some of your own party members in combat.
This was my first foray into the One Piece universe and I have to say I had a lot of fun with One Piece Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition. The characters were all great, the combat was tight, there was plenty of stuff to keep me busy while playing the game, and the story was quite enjoyable. This edition boasts all of the DLC from the previous release so there are tons of extra quests and costumes to use on the crew. I got in about 15 hours of gameplay and completed the main story as well as some of the extras. I would say if you did everything this title had to offer you are looking at around 30 hours total. If you already own this title on another platform the $39.99 price tag might seem a bit steep for an upgrade, but if you don’t currently own this title, I would say that it is well worth it.
Game provided by publisher for review purposes.
Action RPGBandai NamcoDeluxe EditionOne PieceUnlimited World Red