One Piece Odyssey is off to a promising start for anime fans

One Piece Odyssey is off to a promising start for anime fans

One Piece Odyssey is off to quite a promising start for fans of Eiichiro Oda’s original manga and the anime that has spawned from it as a result. Being an anime fan who also loves video games can be pretty tough as many anime projects turned into games have failed in one way or another. Sometimes a hidden gem will be dropped here or there, though One Piece especially has had a tough road so far. While there have been a few standouts who Pirate Warriors series, single-player adventures have really struggled to blend the fun of the series with the gameplay itself.

But it already looks like that is changing One Piece Odyssey. The team at Bandai Namco and developer ILCA have approached this latest title with the idea of ​​offering a much different experience than fans of the franchise have ever gotten from the games. Not only does it offer a full RPG experience with a turn-based combat system, but it has an original story that takes the opportunity of the series’ 25th anniversary to explore some curious new sides of the franchise.

(Photo: Bandai Namco)

What to expect from One Piece Odyssey

Get the chance to play almost three hours with One Piece Odyssey at a special preview event, there’s a lot that immediately jumps out to someone like me who might have experience playing through all the other games in the franchise so far. Although it doesn’t appear to be part of the official canon for the series, the game is set somewhere in the timeline before Wano and potentially Whole Cake Island as well as the Straw Hats crash landing on a mysterious new island called Warford.

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After coming across a mysterious young girl, Luffy and the others lose their memories of how each of their abilities work and must adventure throughout the island and through their memories to build up their strength and find out the true mystery of the island. It’s necessary to both reset each hero back to square one given how much Luffy and the others can do at this point, but also give the appearance of growth to the game itself.

The team behind One Piece Odyssey made sure to emphasize how hard they work to make the gaming experience as fast and fruitful as possible for players, and you can get that gist right from the jump. Just through the first hour of the game alone (which is the first Waford, before I got to play a bit of the Alabasta level that takes place a few hours after), the Straw Hat party is stacked with each of the available members, Luffy , Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Chopper, Robin and Franky. Unfortunately Brook isn’t available anytime soon and unfortunately I couldn’t gauge if he would be playable at all. The same applies to the newest straw hat, Jimbei.

You gain immediate access to each of the Straw Hats both by exploring the map (where each Straw Hat has its own way of interacting with points of interest in the overworld) and the battles themselves. Battles are spread across the “Scramble Battle Area” which takes your four chosen Straw Hats (of which you can swap out anytime mid-battle) and separates them into different areas where they can take on specific enemies in those areas.

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(Photo: Bandai Namco)

There is also an inherent system of weaknesses and strengths built in underneath. There are three different types of attacks that can hit directly on the main weakness of other types of attacks, and skill points to keep track of what deals with special attacks and much more. It may seem like a complicated system at first, but once the matches roll around, it’s pretty fun to swap out each of the Straw Hats to form not only the best team to take on particular weaknesses, but also the ones that can finish matches fastest.

There is just a lot of attention put into everything One Piece Odyssey. It’s being touted as a game that can take up to 60 hours to complete, and honestly, mileage may vary. The battle system itself seems fun, but it’s going to be the most interesting for fans of the franchise. It may be a draw for RPG fans for the battle system, but it’s real appeal comes from the presentation.

Much attention has been paid to making this as much of a spectacle as possible One Piece’s 25th anniversary. Character models look good, the level up screen (which you thankfully see many times as characters quickly level up) is fun and colorful, and the story elements are quite enticing. There’s a girl who seems to have an ability that’s been teased to come from something other than a Devil Fruit, fan favorite characters returning from the dead, and funny character moments that made me smile quite a bit as just a fan.

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It remains to be seen One Piece OdysseyThe full experience will live up to this early promise when it releases on January 13th on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and PC. But until further notice? The hook is definitely in. But what do you hope to see from One Piece Odyssey? Let us know all your thoughts on it in the comments! You can even contact me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!

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