Review: One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 – A Grand Adventure
With the third installment of the One Piece Pirate Warriors series, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 which is available in North America and Europe, many fans can now relive most of the series epic moments throughout the many arcs and characters available.
The One Piece Pirate Warriors series combines the Dynasty Warriors gameplay mechanics with the world of Eiichiro Oda’s popular manga series One Piece. However, just like the other spin-offs such as Hyrule Warriors and the Gundam Musou series, the gameplay is made to be faithful to the One Piece series.
Personally, I wasn’t really fan of the original story featured in One Piece Pirate Warriors 2, which made me very glad that Omega Force featured the original story in this installment. The game’s story mode is called Legend Log and it allows players to start from Romance Dawn and play all the way to Dressrosa arc which is currently on going in the anime and manga.
Naturally, since the Dressrosa arc was still ongoing at the time of the game’s development it was only logical to assume that the arc would contain filler content. However, most of the characters featured throughout the arc are present so the fidelity isn’t too far off.
One of the things that I missed from the first game is that boss battles actually felt like boss battles instead of simply regular enemies with more health. Even with the increased difficulty setting, it doesn’t give you the feeling of fighting a boss. This is common among Musou titles, but it’s pretty much the only thing that the first game did right.
The only boss battle that is remotely as close to anything from the first game is the battle against Oars. Due to the character’s gigantic nature, his battle is slightly different, almost identical to the one shown in the Wii-exclusive game One Piece: Unlimited Cruise.
He’s the type of enemy that you can only attack at certain moments when he makes himself vulnerable for attacks. While playing that battle can be annoying at times, (especially when he jumped to a different location) it was different from the other battles.
Generally speaking, Musou games can be pretty dull and lackluster due to their repetitive nature. Luckily, this isn’t really the case with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 due to the various missions the game has to offer which adds a lot more replay value.
The length of the level’s however, is what may possibly bore players as you will be spending on average around 20 minutes to one hour completing each level. This is to be expected as for the most part given that players will have to take on waves of enemies and also clear the objectives.
While it was obvious that Omega Force was trying to be faithful to the series, I really disliked the foggy levels from the Thriller Bark arc. It made level progressing pretty annoying and possibly the level I spent the most time on.
In addition to Legend Log, just like all Musou titles, the game also offers Free Log. In Free Log, you will be able to replay your favorite levels from Legend Log with any character you desire. While Legend Log allows you to do that, it’s often limited to the characters involved in the arc.
An additional mode called Dream Log is also be available. Sadly, playing through this mode is pretty mandatory as you’ll need it to unlock characters as well as their costumes. Unlike Legend Log, it felt like a huge chore when trying to complete this mode and what’s worse is that I had to play it all the way through to unlock the characters I wanted.
Dream Log puts the player in a massive map containing multiple levels. When viewing the map in full view, you will notice the locked characters are standing there in other sections of that map. However, before attempting their levels, you must beat the level path leading to their part of the map.
The mode itself isn’t bad, but after playing through the story-heavy Legend Log mode, it was really painful trying to complete this, especially since this mode is pretty dull.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 didn’t have too much of a change from the second installment minus some slight improvements including Luffy being able to use any Haki at will, or Zoro being able to use however many swords desired to use his Ittoryu.
However, the game does bring a new feature known as the Kizuna Rush. While a similar feature was shown in the two previous installments, it is slightly different with One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 because with Kizuna Rush, players can summon additional characters alongside your main character to perform a combination attack.
Up to four characters can be summoned, with the finishing attacks becoming more powerful as more characters join the fray. Naturally like most Musou titles, it’s imperative that you grind to level up your character or use Belly (the game’s currency), to increase their levels. It will only allow you to increase it as high as your current high-leveled character though.
In addition to leveling up via Belly, you may also use the coins you collect per stage to increase your character’s stats (health, strength, resistance, Musou gauge etc.). I advise that players use this system frequently as levels have certain level requirements.
With the PlayStation 4 naturally being a more powerful than its predecessor, the PlayStation 3, you will notice that with this installment, the series has definitely improved graphically, almost resembling the anime.
I can definitely say that One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is the best installment in the series as it has both great gameplay mechanics, it’s pretty faithful to the original series and the amount of playable characters and their new movesets this time around is impressive.
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: Omega Force
Release Date: August 25, 2015