ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 3
By Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen on September 3, 2015
So... let’s start this review with a confession: I have never, ever watched a One Piece episode in my life, nor did I play any of the previous One Piece games. Is this a bad thing? Well, all you One Piece fans out there would probably say “YES”. But, since Pirate Warriors 3 offers the full story from the start I’m going to disagree with you.
Pirate Warriors 3 is a collaboration between Toei Animation, Koei Tecmo games, Omega Force and BandaiNamco Entertainment, and is part of the Action Musou (Warriors) genre. It has quite a lot in common with the Warriors series; there are literally thousands of enemies to defeat per chapter and while the combo system may look pretty dull at first, it actually goes pretty deep later on in the game. Like most Warriors games, there are multiple chapters in which you can defend or attack certain regions of the map. During your mission you get updates and changes in victory and defeat conditions. While battling, you have the standard warriors type of gameplay, where you can perform simple combos by altering light and heavy attacks. This time however, the Kizuna System ("Kizuna Docking" and "Kizuna Rush") is added to your combat system. This simply means that, when the meter is full, your teammate jumps in for a finishing/extra attack, which you can use on a constant base. As you repeatedly use this other character, a special attack bar grows. When full, this attack bar allows you to summon that character to fight by your side for a limited period of time. The Kizuna system isn’t the only cool feature; there’s also an amazing devastating team-up super attack.
One Piece: Pirate Warrior 3 follows the journey of Luffy, from Fuschia village, where everything has started, to the kingdom of Dressrosa, a mysterious island dominated by the evil Donquixote Doflamingo. As you start the game you’ll get a recap of Gold Roger the Pirate King and how his death sparked the search for the great One Piece treasure, ushering in the Great Age of Pirates. Luffy, eager to start his own band of Pirates misfits, wants to recruit the almighty Zoro, who uses the 3 blades technique. Seriously, he uses a third sword with his teeth. After this recap we’re all updated on what the hell is going on, and so the game starts. The game follows some of the major events and some of the smaller ones, introducing pretty much every important character from the series as well as to the funny, hilarious and crazy world of One Piece and the Straw Hat Pirates.
There are a total of 40 playable characters which you can unlock by completing the “Story” mode and "Dream" mode. The characters are all linked to certain chapters, missions and episodes but, after you unlock them you can use them in “Free” Mode. If you have followed Luffy’s journey from the beginning and know the story all too well it’s probably better to start the “Dream” Mode, which gives you all the joy of battle without the plot. The 40 unlockable characters are: Monkey D. Luffy, RoronoaZoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Tony Tony Chopper, Nico Robin, Franky, Brook, Trafalgar Law, DraculeMihawk, Buggy, Crocodile, Enel, Bartholomew Kuma, Marshall D. Teach, Sabo, DonquixoteDoflamingo, Jinbe, Fujitora, Smoker Tashigi, Rob Lucci, Gekko Moriah, Portgas D. Ace, Edward Newgate, Aokiji, Magellan, EmporioIvankov, Caesar Clown, Akainu, Kizaru, Perona, Boa Hancock, Marco, Monkey D. Garp and lastly Shanks.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is an excellent retelling of the original story and a great introduction for newcomers like me. It offers an amazing time with the Omega Force’s Warriors style gameplay and leveling system. The game looks and runs beautifully on the Playstation 4 and could easily be one of the more enjoyable games I’ve played in a long time!
ONE PIECE: PIRATE WARRIORS 3
Omega Force (Koei Tecmo subsidiary)
March 26, 2015 (Japan)
August 25, 2015 (North America)
August 28, 2015 (Europe)