I completed the Arlong Park arc of the One Piece anime this 12 months and took a break to look at another exhibits on my lists and play by some video games I’ve been which means to complete. That’s to say, I went right into a hands-on preview session with One Piece Odyssey with only a sprint of One Piece data, figuring out there are nonetheless 1000-plus episodes for me to look at to make amends for the sequence. After roughly two hours of enjoying Odyssey, I’m rearing to leap again into the anime, and that’s one of the best praise I can provide the game. It doesn’t damage that Odyssey is shaping as much as be an amazing JRPG with some distinctive techniques that can make enjoying simpler for newcomers to the style and extra dynamic for followers of those video games.
I used to be anxious about my lack of expertise heading into this preview, nevertheless it’s clear in One Piece Odyssey that it was essential for the group to design an RPG that appeals to all gamers, not simply One Piece followers.
Logs inside Odyssey fill within the areas for gamers like me, too. When I attain Nanohana in Alabasta, these logs assist me perceive the placement’s significance. They don’t present the complete story of Alabasta, although, which I believe is nice. I don’t even really feel spoiled of that arc; Odyssey provides me simply sufficient data to know the significance of reaching this place within the game. Games based mostly on common anime generally fall into the lure of retelling tales from stated anime, however not practically as effectively. That’s not the case with Odyssey, although, and I believe it’s an amazing basis upon which this story builds in-game. That’s as a result of as an alternative of retreading traditional tales followers already adore, Odyssey makes use of these arcs to inform new tales in acquainted locations.
For instance, upon reaching the sandy desert metropolis of Alabasta, the Straw Hat crew – captain Monkey D. Luffy, Brook, Franky, Roronoa Zoro, Vinsmoke Sanji, Nami, Nico Robin, Usopp, and Tony Tony Chopper – is conscious of their adventures right here. They discuss previous experiences, Luffy remarks about his love for the Spice Bean Restaurant, and extra. It displays what One Piece has performed previously, and the brand new journey builds on that.
Before reaching Alabasta, although, Odyssey units up fairly a disastrous scenario for the Straw Hats crew and the Thousand Sunny ship it sails aboard. A cinematic reveals a mighty storm has knocked the Thousand Sunny off beam, crashing it into the shores of a mysterious island. The shipwreck splits the Straw Hats up, and I management Luffy whereas looking for everybody. It’s right here that Odyssey introduces its distinctive, flashy, enjoyable, and surprisingly in-depth fight system to me.
At this level, the whole crew is degree 40, meant to exhibit their prowess as pirates. And every member has practically a dozen expertise at their disposal, too, like Luffy’s varied Gum strikes. At its core, Odyssey as a turn-based RPG, and folks accustomed to the style will shortly choose up on how the game’s fight works. But trying deeper at its techniques, I discover mechanics impressed by Pokemon and dynamic scenes and menus impressed by the Persona sequence.
You encounter every enemy in a Scramble Area Battle, a system that spreads enemies out based mostly on discipline placement. Luffy could be coping with two enemies immediately in entrance of him, and Sanji won’t have an enemy in his zone, however his long-range strikes enable him to assault these by Luffy. Nami can ignore the enemies closest to her to assist Luffy as effectively, or she will give attention to these in entrance of her. I take note of each enemy on the sector not simply because they will strike at me from any place however as a result of every has weaknesses and strengths dictated by a Pokémon-esque, rock-paper-scissors-like system.
Power-type characters and enemies, and subsequent Power assaults, are sturdy in opposition to Speed, and Speed is robust in opposition to Technique, with Technique being only in opposition to Power. The game demonstrates effectiveness through the use of purple arrows pointing up when aiming for an enemy with a selected transfer kind or blue arrows pointing all the way down to let you already know that transfer isn’t efficient. Some actions carry standing results, too, like paralysis, bleed, and faint, which renders foes quickly unconscious. Skills, which make the most of the strikes followers of the manga and anime will probably acknowledge, dissipate Tension Points, however an excellent efficient transfer can simply rating you sufficient TP for one more talent should you run out faster than anticipated.
The fight is taken a step additional with Dynamic Scenes, that are goals that battles can introduce firstly of an encounter. In one story occasion, enemies paralyze Usopp with a shock assault, and the Dynamic Scene duties me with defeating the enemies earlier than they defeat the paralyzed Usopp, who can’t do something to battle again or defend himself. The enemies focus virtually completely on him, which means I’ve to behave quick to defeat his attackers. Completing a Dynamic Scene comes with additional expertise and rewards, too, and it appears value making an attempt to realize with every occasion.
All of this interprets to a extremely energetic fight system that hooked me simply midway by my first encounter. It’s fast-paced, simple to know, and options minor tweaks like with the ability to swap social gathering members on the fly with out a price that makes fight frantic and thrilling in a means that I believe will preserve style newcomers enticed. The UI and menus, particularly in presentation, are seemingly impressed by Persona, too, making Odyssey’s fight a feast for the eyes. Each transfer carries impressed animation that appears nice and dynamic, and the menus pop with coloration and magnificence. Even the post-battle abstract display screen is harking back to Persona 5, with characters showing on display screen in a classy means whereas a catchy tune performs to indicate success.
On the be aware of music, it’s implausible; maybe even the stand-out function of this complete preview for me. It’s adventurous, piratical, and exactly what you’d anticipate from One Piece. It’s no shock, although, contemplating Dark Souls composer Motoi Sakuraba, who additionally has credit inside the Tales and Super Smash Bros. sequence, is composing Odyssey’s rating. Sakuraba’s rating that I’ve heard up to now in Odyssey is a major departure from what I do know of him finest – the Dark Souls sequence – nevertheless it wraps up every little thing happening within the game in the identical sense of journey the anime’s rating does. I’m excited to listen to different tracks inside the game.
The game’s opening moments are about educating you its fight system, however shortly after, you’re free to discover the beginning areas of this mysterious island, which Robin determines is Waford, a location new to this universe. It’s shrouded in thriller, naturally, as a result of the crew has by no means been there, and solely Robin has heard of it, nevertheless it’s house to unusual relics and artifacts lined in ancient-looking symbols.
I quickly be taught that these are connected to a brand new character created by One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda named Lim. This character is launched simply earlier than the introduction of Adio, one other new Oda creation. Lim determines the Straw Hats to be pirates and, earlier than introductions, makes use of her unusual energy to take the crew’s expertise and power and switch them into cubes that she mysteriously scatters around the globe. At this level, the comfortable degree 40 characters I used to crush enemies are actually degree 2, and their highly effective expertise are gone, too. All I can do now could be use my normal assaults, and I chuckle, watching enemies beforehand take a whole lot of injury factors now take perhaps a couple of dozen.
It’s a enjoyable spin on the standard “how do we make this strong party no longer strong” formulation seen in RPGs, and I like that it’s woven immediately into the story. It additionally makes gathering these cubes, which is on the story’s core, enjoyable as a result of with every profitable mission may come the prospect of a brand new dice and, subsequently, a few of my earlier expertise and power. I’ve to discover the World of Memories to search out extra of those cubes. While I don’t get to see how this world works, it appears to be a portal of kinds that transports me to famed locations from One Piece historical past, just like the aforementioned Alabasta.
Lim takes the Straw Hats’ powers as a result of she fears they’re legal pirates, the sort she has issues with, however she quickly discovers that they’re “good” pirates and regrets what she’s performed, informing them of what they should do to return to their former selves. Enter the World of Memories.
In Alabasta, I do some normal questing – defeat an enemy holding a mission merchandise, return it to this individual, acquire some components so crew cook dinner Sanji can whip up a tasty soup for an area, and extra. The particular person goals aren’t essentially the most thrilling, however trying on the beautifully-rendered world of Odyssey makes it simple. Being capable of management varied crew members at completely different occasions retains issues thrilling, too. Some gamers probably received’t agree with the 3D facet of the game, nevertheless it works for me, as does the odd however quaint painterly visible type. It runs effectively, too.
Side content material in Odyssey isn’t doing something groundbreaking, though I admittedly solely dabbled in it throughout my hands-on time. But I don’t essentially want it to be groundbreaking, and the identical goes for even the golden path. Odyssey is the primary One Piece turn-based RPG of this caliber, breaking the mould of typical anime video games that both go the route of 2D or 3D combating, or motion, and that alone is refreshing.
Even with my comparatively little One Piece data, it’s simple to see how a lot care developer ILCA has put into taking this franchise into RPG territory. Whether it finally ends up being a success within the fandom stays to be seen, and the identical goes for a way genuine to One Piece as a franchise Odyssey is. But if my two hours of hands-on time exhibit something, it’s that Odyssey is shaping as much as be a singular and thrilling JRPG, and one gamers ought to regulate, One Piece followers or not.