Yo ho! One Piece Odyssey, the first turn-based RPG game in the storied franchise, has been a little bit of a blended bag in its early moments. Whereas the sport knocks it out of the park with the way it portrays the dynamic of the lovable Straw Hat crew, the sport’s “absolutely blown RPG” mechanics are a little bit of a bore to play via.
One Piece Odyssey, developed by Bandai Namco and ILCA, Inc., follows Luffy and crew’s misadventures on the mysterious island of Warford. Warford principally serves because the One Piece equal of the Bermuda triangle in that the Straw Hats haven’t any means to speak with the skin world. There you meet a mysterious lady named Lim. The remainder of the sport has the Straw Hats (minus Jinbe) discover dungeons, crew up towards enemies, and attempt to determine why on earth the island capsizes ships that sail too near its shores. The sport got here out on January 13 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Sequence X/S, and PC.
One Piece Odyssey comes off as a handsome JRPG. My solely two gripes thus far are that the sport railroads exploration approach too typically within the early recreation, and that its turn-based fight is a bit on the simple facet.
As quickly as I took management of Luffy, the very first thing I needed to do was discover the hell out of each pathway in sight. Seems producer Katsuaki Tsuzuki saying One Piece Odyssey is a “full-blown RPG” meant that it will even have the worst facet of the style as nicely: extreme handholding.
Any need to stroll an unbeaten path early on will result in crewmates and the island native, Adio, chastising you for abandoning the primary goal. Must you persist, the display will fade to black and about-face your celebration chief towards the place the sport desires you to go. Seeing as how One Piece is concerning the journey and never the vacation spot, this early JRPG-ism sucks bigtime. Nevertheless, this extreme handholding is supposed partially to ship tutorials on the sport’s turn-based motion.
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One Piece Odyssey’s turn-based combat has an attack-type hierarchy that determines the effectiveness of attacks. Here’s how it works: “Technique” attack types are strong against “Power” attack types, “Power” attacks are strong against “Speed” attacks, and “Speed” attacks are strong against “Technique” attacks. The system works similarly to roshambo, and the game becomes a bit of a cakewalk once you suss out the appropriate party composition against each enemy type.
I found having a party that consisted of Nico Robin (technique), Sanji (Power), Usopp (speed), and Zoro (technique) made battles way too easy to get through. The game occasionally spices things up with the implementation of battle conditions that force you to rotate out party members, but once you’ve familiarized yourself with good positioning and attack-type matchups, battles become an absent-minded affair.
Mechanically, the game works around the simplicity of its combat difficulty by doing the thing most sequel games do: stripping the heroes of their powers. At first each Straw Hat starts off at level 40 and absolutely dog walks enemies with their overwhelming strength. But when the crew first meets Lim, she turns their abilities into cubes and scatters them about the island like dragon balls. Mechanically, this serves as a way to nerf the Straw Hats and encourage farming XP in a battle to recover their abilities. I feared it would mean the rest of the game would ask me to scour every nook and cranny of the sandbox world for each skill individually, but the game, mercifully, has individual cubes dish out a handful of skills for each pirate instead.
Narratively, “the cubening” of the Straw Hats’ powers is clumsy in its execution because it leans into amnesia territory, which I find to be the second most annoying narrative device right behind time travel in how it undoes character growth. While the Straw Hats don’t lose memories over the countless adventures they’ve been on, they do just forget how to do their signature moves. Straight up, Luffy forgets how to “gomu gomu no” (principally his stretchy arms punch), which is nearly too ridiculous to just accept contemplating that’s like his one factor.
The strongest facet of One Piece Odyssey is how the spirit of the sport seems like a playable filler episode within the anime. Whereas usually evaluating a recreation to an anime filler episode doesn’t come off as a praise, One Piece occurs to be one of many few anime to have filler episodes interweaved with canon content material that’s higher for it.
Many of the characters are in good type, too. In true One Piece style, Luffy is food-motivated, Zoro is directionally challenged, Nami will danger all of it (it being her crewmates) for treasure, Usopp is cautious, Sanji is simpin’ for his feminine crewmates (as he ought to), and Nico Robin is hilariously morbid whereas withholding very important details about their state of affairs till she’s one hundred pc positive her theories are appropriate.
Sadly, the odd males out early within the recreation are Franky and Brook. Whereas Franky is delegated to restore the Thousand Sunny, Brook will get shafted narratively. When the Straw Hats crash land in Warford, Brooks’s skeletal physique sank to the ocean ground. In an effort to recruit Brook, it’s essential to restore the Thousand Sunny and retrieve him utilizing its submarine. However that gained’t be for some time. Regardless of his bodily absence, Brook is ready to hang around on the Straw Hat’s campsites by way of his corporeal ghost type. Whereas Brook’s predicament is admittedly amusing, it’s arduous to not really feel prefer it’s the sport’s approach of claiming it wasn’t positive what to do with him. Charitably, the narrative determination to exclude Franky and Brook was the sport’s approach of not overwhelming gamers with its turn-based gameplay mechanics.
As a born-again One Piece fan, Having the liberty to modify between Straw Hats whereas exploring Warford island, listening to their post-battle banter, and having a feast after a day’s worth-of adventurings made taking part in Odyssey really feel like taking part in with One Piece dolls. Time will inform whether or not the rest of One Piece Odyssey’s anime filler episode content material is extra akin to the highs of the G-8 arc or if it simply finally ends up feeling like a reduction Skypeia storyline.