Game: One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), PS3, PS Vita, PC
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Omega Force
One Piece can definitely be classified as one of the GOAT’s in the category of longest running anime/manga properties. There are plenty of ways to get yourself up to speed on the latest goings-on of Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew pirates. One of the more entertaining methods you’ll love to do is playing through the many story arcs that make up this legendary franchise. Omega Force has once again taken the reigns of this epic story and mashed it up with the beat ’em up stylings of Dynasty Warriors. We have now arrived at the next sequel in this game publisher/developer collaborative series, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3.
The cel-shaded visual design of these games have always stood out, but they look even more beautiful on the PS4. As you make your way around familiar locales such as Fushia Village and Punk Hazard, you’ll get a kick out of the attention to detail paid to recreating each location. Smashing thousands of rival pirates looks all the more better thanks to the screen clearing team attacks and explosive skirmishes between competing pirate crews. The main story arcs are only displayed through minimal cutscenes, text situations and manga-style page cutouts, which is kind of a letdown. With the move to current-gen consoles, it would have been much better to see much longer and more detailed cutscenes. Everything still looks loyal to its source material and the audio is strong in the musical/voice acting departments.
Like before, you’ll be placed into the most important story arcs of One Piece and play as several characters through out the ages. This has already been done to an extent in the past two games in the series, so there’s nothing quite fresh and exciting here to grab you back in. You’ll probably elicit the most fun from this sequel due to the inclusion of a new mode called Dream Log Mode. This remixed take on the usual story mode formula lets you select your own warrior, venture across several islands and take on all types of missions. There’s a lot more fun to be had here as you take your chosen characters into different situations that don’t stick to the series’ well known plot.
One of the newer battle mechanics that stands out is the use of team attacks. You’ll get the chance to align yourself with other characters and utilize their powers to aid you across each playthrough. Your destruction of helpless pirates and bosses feels way more satisfying now that you have access to the “Kizuna Rush” and “Kizuna Docking.” These new maneuvers manage to keep the repetitive beat ’em up gameplay from getting too stale, but this title still manages to fall into the same trap games of its ilk always do. Laying waste to everyone and everything does tend to get old after a while. You’ll have a ton of fun, no doubt. But that feeling of “been there, done that” will creep up no matter how you feel about this series. It’s about time something fresh gets introduced to this franchise before gamers lose interest forever.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 provides plenty of hours of mindless button mashing and unstoppable destruction. With its move over to the PS4, the game’s manga visuals shine even brighter and gives longtime fans the feeling of watching their favorite episodes. Dream Log Mode and the inclusion of Kizuna attacks helps make this sequel stand out from its predecessor. But like the rest of the Warriors games and spinoffs, the repetitive nature of them all plagues this release too. You’ll have a good amount of fun here, but that feeling will start to fade as you smash the same baddies over and over again.
- The cel-shaded manga visuals truly shine now that they’re powered by the PS4
- Dream Log Mode provides a nice alternative to the retreaded Story Mode
- The team based attacks are awesome to pull off and witness
- The Story Mode does nothing entirely new but add more chapters to venture through
- The beat ’em up, button mashing gameplay remains the same as always and gets old after a while
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