PREVIEW: One Piece Odyssey – Anime News Network

PREVIEW: One Piece Odyssey – Anime News Network

With One Piece Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Bandai Namco is pulling out all the stops to ring in its birthday with the biggest and grandest adventure the Straw Hats will ever face. The result of their efforts is One Piece Odyssey, a JRPG set to launch on January 12th. We were lucky enough to sit down to test drive the game.

They take place in an undetermined amount of time during the Straw Hats’ adventures, and crash land on the mysterious Waford Island. A young woman named Lim hijacks the memories of the Straw Hats, rendering them unable to use their powers. Using their magic, the Straw Hats go on an adventure to regain their memories while exploring their own memories and past adventures.

In a creative twist, One Piece Odyssey isn’t an action game – instead, as mentioned, it’s a JRPG. A lot of effort has gone into making the Straw Hats’ attacks as big and flashy as they are in the anime and manga, while ensuring that each battle is on a suitably grand scale. When you enter a battle, the four active party members have a certain number of monsters grouped around them. As is typical of a JRPG, you can perform different actions in a battle; attack enemies, use an item, defend or try to escape the battle. In a way related to Final Fantasy X, replacing a Straw Hat with a party member in reserve at any time is possible. Each character focuses on specific skills, so Tony-Tony Chopper focuses on healing, Zoro’s attacks can deal extra damage over time through the Bleed status affliction, Nico Robin’s attacks can stun enemies, and Usopp’s attacks can inflict a variety of other status ailments. So far it’s a good framework for a JRPG and the pacing is good.

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But Bandai Namco was also keen to keep the game fresh for players, so many mechanics change the tide of battle. Some normal attacks can knock enemies into each other, dealing extra damage to entire groups. It’s a rock-paper-scissors system involving Power, Technique, and Speed ​​type characters where you can deal additional damage to monsters through attacks from specific characters. So Zoro, being a Technique-type, can deal extra damage to Power-type characters. This encourages players to constantly switch party members to maximize damage against enemy mobs.

There’s also the Dramatic Scene system, where sometimes a battle will cast a specialized condition on players. In one match we played through, we got a dramatic scene where a troop of monkeys were about to gang up on Usopp; we had to keep Usopp alive before the swarm overpowered him. Defeating the swarm gave us a temporary stat boost for the rest of the match and bonus experience at the end. While dramatic cutscenes aren’t exactly common, they’re frequent enough to ensure that even battles against enemies you’ve seen countless times remain fresh. Overall, while the battle system isn’t the most original take on turn-based battles, it seems very inspired.

Startup isn’t just a matter of crushing battles either. Exploring maps can find memory boxes associated with your crewmates. When your party members reach a certain level, they remember specific abilities; attaching memory boxes to them can make the moves stronger. You’ll only have so many boxes to deploy for each character depending on your exploration, so players will need to be strategic with their resources. Fortunately, memory boxes can be swapped around your skills when you’re not fighting.

When it comes to exploration, the game utilizes the individual Straw Hats as much as possible. Each crewmate has powers that allow them to overcome various obstacles. In our limited playtime, we experimented with some of them: we used Luffy’s rubber limbs to knock down walls, grab objects from afar, and attach to grapple points, while Zoro’s swordplay let us cut down walls that Luffy couldn’t smash.

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The other characters are expected to have their own map abilities that will be revealed later. There is also an “Observation Haki” ability to scan your immediate surroundings. During our playtime, this was useful for identifying particularly powerful enemies that could provide extra experience.

This is handled with images that capture perfectly Eiichiro Odahis signature art style. Enemies snarl and glare at the camera, and Luffy’s crewmates give wild shakes when he says something stupid. Regarding reproduction One Piecehis spirit, One Piece Odyssey is set to pull it off with flying colours. Mark us as impressed with what the game has in store for us. One Piece Odyssey will be available on January 12 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and Microsoft Windows.

Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings Inc., is a non-controlling minority shareholder of Anime News Network Inc.

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