One Piece is a pop-culture behemoth that, unaccountably, by no means gained traction outdoors of Japan. Formally the biggest-selling manga comedian sequence ever, it’s now celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary, and One Piece Odyssey honours that milestone. Earlier makes an attempt to broaden this fun-loving pirate crew’s story past comedian books have lacked credibility, however with this recreation, Bandai Namco goes a great distance in direction of redressing the stability.
It’s, merely, the One Piece recreation that followers have been crying out for all this time: a basic, 40-hour-plus Japanese RPG that brings in all of the style’s best-loved components (and a few lesser-loved ones). It has turn-based battles, embellished with retina-frazzling particular strikes that emphasise every characters’ fashion and talents; weird, typically baffling terminology; layers of side-quests and sub-quests sprinkled with puzzle sequences; and an obsession with cooking and meals. The one factor it lacks is a fishing mini-game.
Story-wise, in line with the comics, it’s bonkers. Neglect coherence, however count on quirkiness. Major character Luffy and his motley band of Straw Hat Pirates are marooned on the mysterious island Waford, disadvantaged of their powers by native resident Lim. Swiftly realising that Luffy and co aren’t like different pirates (they’re too good, for one factor), she then helps them to regain these powers through epic quests set in recognisable locations from the One Piece canon, reconstructed from the crew’s reminiscences.
This narrative conveniently means that you can construct up your characters from scratch, shaping them to a big extent, and one among One Piece Odyssey’s strengths is that the characters’ signature talents feed into each battling and puzzle-solving. Luffy has a physique constituted of rubber, so he can launch barrages of punches on distant enemies, or prolong an arm to succeed in inaccessible areas, or catapult enemies throughout the battlefield. The sport divides its battlefields into areas, giving characters close-up and ranged particular assaults that may be utilized to a single enemy, or a number of. It introduces a welcome, contemporary strategic factor to what may in any other case have felt overfamiliar.
One Piece Odyssey isn’t excellent: it takes some time to hit its stride, and it’s onerous to disregard the scantily clad, anatomically unfeasible presentation of two of its feminine characters. That feels at odds with the sport’s common vibe of naivety and sweetness, which at instances treads the type of territory occupied by the Zelda and Ni no Kuni video games. Its total theme is an examination of the character of friendship, though fortunately, it’s too humorous and weird to ever turn out to be twee.
This can be a distinctive, interesting instance of the JRPG style that additionally nails the essence of the One Piece universe. Followers from each worlds will adore it, and I discovered it to be an ideal appetiser as I await The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom later this yr.