While I haven’t watched the anime in quite some time, I did enjoy One Piece and all of its zany characters back when I did. Long story short, it follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a young man that sets out on a quest to become the pirate king and also find the infamous hidden treasure that the last pirate king hid called “one piece”. Aided by friends (or his crew) he meets along the way, and powers he got from eating a devil fruit that makes his body rubberized, he sets out on this journey. Now players get to help him in Bandai Namco’s One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, which does get a bit repetitive rather quickly, but is still a lot of fun for fans of the series or anyone looking for a good action game.
Since it’s a “warriors” title, Koei Tecmo along with Omega Force are the ones that developed the game with Bandai Namco publishing it here in the US. With that being said, fans of the warriors series already know what to expect here, lots of button-mashing as you fight your way through tons of enemies. There are some pretty cool moves you can pull off this time around though, such as when you defeat enough of them to fill up your Kizuna Rush meter. When full, you become super-powered for awhile and can summon up to four additional characters to fight alongside you and add extra hits to your combos. You can also hit a special attack button during your rush to make you and your partners do a sick, over-powered attack that destroys nearly everything on the screen. These abilities help break up some of the monotony of the button-mashing, and will have fans (and most likely anyone that plays) squealing with delight.
As you play, you’ll earn skill points that you can use to level up your character’s attributes. You’ll also earn coins you can use to unlock bonus additions to your stats to really get your characters ready for battle. These will come in handy as you make it through the different game modes available here. Story Log mode is the base part of the game that follows Luffy and the gang from their humble beginnings to a later point set in the manga series. If you want to switch things up, Dream Log mode allows you to play as a different character besides Luffy and fight your way through missions while earning rewards and unlockables such as artwork and more. There’s also an Online mode where you can either request help or aid someone who needs help on a mission that makes you wish every video game had a mode such as this.
It won’t push your system to the limit, but the visuals look and animate pretty great. The perfect blend of cel-shaded graphics and smooth animation thanks to a nice framerate help to bring anyone who plays into the world of One Piece perfectly. Add in the original Japanese voice actors voicing the characters (with English subtitles), and it feels like you’re playing the anime series.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 may get repetitive early on, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had here if you give it a chance, especially if you’re a big fan of the series. Featuring some awesome group attacks, some neat ways to level up your characters, nice visuals, sounds, and stories from the anime/manga, hardcore anime fans will definitely want to set sail to add this treasure to your game collection.