Review: One Piece: World Unlimited Red (PlayStation 3)
As legions of fans will tell you, it is not difficult to be captivated by One Piece, one of Japan’s most popular manga creations, and its latest video game adventure, One Piece: Unlimited World Red, is a good example of how easy it can be. colorful world can catch anyone with an eye for crazy pirate adventures. The title itself is a competent mix of action and exploration that is accessible and entertaining, but is it enough to keep you hooked on the long search for Luffy?
For font aficionados, the answer is almost certainly yes. Like almost every anime or manga going overseas these days, the release is packed with references to the original work. However, that also means that those unfamiliar with the making of Eiichiro Oda won’t get the same buzz from roaming around in this action RPG. Fortunately for out-of-towners, there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy adventure, especially if you are the type of person who loves to take on a myriad of missions and develop an unrivaled group of fighters.
Ultimately, it is quite difficult to determine the influences of the game. At times, it feels a bit like Monster Hunter, particularly in structure. The strangely named Transtown acts as your hub where you’ll collect different missions and buy new gear, before setting off on another journey through a themed level where you’ll either defeat a boss, or gather a number of raw components within a time limit. . Meanwhile, the combat is presented as a kind of fusion between the warriors of the dynasty and a Tales Of title, in which you will have to face groups of opponents using combos that will make you touch the square and the triangle at the same time. that you carry out powerful team attacks. At first it seems like an odd mix that doesn’t gel at all, but give it some time, and you’ll soon find that it makes a solid, if unspectacular, game mix.
As already mentioned, the version follows a structure that we’ve seen countless times before, but it works surprisingly well within context. Playing as the diverse crew of the Straw Hat, all of the protagonist Luffy’s allies disappear under suspicious circumstances just arrived in Transtown, and as such, he will have to navigate to distant lands and locate them. The plot that drags you from one area to another feels disjointed, particularly near the beginning of your adventure, but once the gang has reunited, the proceedings begin to move at a better pace.
Like many licensed titles before it, the narrative basically boils down to being an excuse to cast the many personalities of the source material on a single stage, but as you can imagine, fans will find more than enough reasons to pull it off. Story missions typically consist of choosing a stage from a menu, and then going through relatively linear environments populated by gangs of enemies, before taking on a boss, most of which are taken directly from the source material. The cast is faithfully recreated here – though the title features a unique plot made especially for the premiere – and it’s undeniably fun to see One Piece’s heroes taking on the franchise’s popular villains.
The combat is not perfect, but the variety offered by the playable characters is enough to keep you fresh throughout these 20 hours of travel. Confined to an arena of reasonable size, you will have to overcome different combinations of enemies by launching numerous attacks taken directly from the original work. Luffy boasts quick attacks and quick evasion, the ship’s navigator Nami brings a bit of strategy to the mix – summoning clouds that can produce lightning bolts – and the burly cyborg Franky can build a cannon that you can ride to fire explosives from a first person view. Despite the initial simplicity of quickly hitting the face button in combination, there is some depth here if you’re willing to look. You won’t necessarily have to get into the intricacies of each fighting style to see the main narrative, but doing so allows you to dominate the battlefield in a very satisfying way.
And sometimes, it may take all the practice you can get. Bosses can be challenging if you’re slow to read their attacks, and at worst, these fundamental fights require a bit of trial and error. A few hits from a big baddie and your health may end up in the red, but luckily, there’s a dodge and counter system in place. It’s certainly not the kind of thing found in Assassin’s Creed, but pressing the circle when a specific icon appears above your pirate’s head allows you to avoid all damage – at least, most of the time. At some points, the mechanic will get you out of the way of one devastating attack and leave you wide open for the next one. As a result, it can seem a bit cheap, especially when you are forced to use up your stock of healing items that you might have otherwise saved for a more pressing encounter.
In combination with evasion or blocking, in some character cases, you will also have to take advantageous positions when in a fight. Immerse yourself in a swarm of opposition as if you were playing One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, and you are likely to be hit from all angles, so rushing into space and then unleashing a torrent of techniques on the enemies coming your way is usually the thing to do. easiest way to rack up one piece of kills at a time. Fortunately, you are accompanied by two party members chosen for the vast majority of the game, whom you can switch to at any time by simply pressing the select button. Your computer-controlled allies are extremely effective, and you can even rely on them while nursing at your drastically low level of health. The combat may not be the most polished we’ve seen, but there’s definitely a good sense of teamwork when you’re kicking opponents with your colorful teammates.
Being a part of RPG, there are ways to improve your skills if you have problems. Along with a host of single-use trinkets that can provide attack buffs or health bonuses, you’ll come across custom and item words after completing a mission. On paper, equipping words sounds a bit weird, but in practice, they’re essentially just a quirky version of the standard gear found in every other RPG. Like leveling your group with experience points, the system is accessible and rewarding, and acts as a good reason to search every corner of every environment, where the unique skill of a crew member is often needed in particular to open a door or run through bodies of water so you can find the hidden things.
Fortunately, if you’re a bit sick of running around big places, Colosseum mode offers a welcome change. With its own separate narrative, this additional mode acts as a great way to jump straight into the action without having to worry about leveling up and the other RPG elements that are present in the main version. The same battle system is working here, but it is at the center of what is essentially a small fighting game. You’ll unlock new playable characters as you fight your way through various fights and duels – most of which aren’t available anywhere else – and there are a ton of familiar faces to take down. Alone, the main story feels like enough content to warrant a purchase for One Piece enthusiasts, but the coliseum adds a lot more for its money, and it comes as one of the more pleasant surprises the title gives you.
Unfortunately, the presentation of the game is not that pleasant. It’s pretty clear that the version is a port of a handheld title, with rough textures and without a hint of good lighting, but it at least looks bright and vibrant, while the character models are detailed and well-made. It doesn’t capture the art style or energetic feel of the original work, as well as the fantastic Pirate Warriors 2, but it’s still obvious that the developer has put a lot of time and effort into recreating the lovable franchise of this remake.
Fans should know that they won’t have to travel the seven seas to find the treasures One Piece: Unlimited World Red has buried under its somewhat rough exterior. Unfortunately, even if you are not an honorary member of the Straw Hats, Luffy’s latest outing turns out to be an accessible, well-rounded, and enjoyable action RPG, although we dare say that the tried and tested gameplay structure of the title is it would better suit the portable version of the version.
Review copy provided by Bandai Namco