I feel like a bit of a newbie to the world of One Piece (even AFTER watching well over a hundred episodes of the anime), but I had a really good time playing through One Piece Odyssey. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the best JRPG you’re ever going to play, but it is one that’s oozing with charm, has some cool ideas, and that showcases a gorgeous world that’s a treat to be a part of.
Check out some screenshots down below:
One Piece Odyssey sees Luffy and the gang getting shipwrecked and separated on a mysterious Island known as Waford, which just so happens to be surrounded by dangerous storms that are too perilous to escape. Typical, right? They’ve also had all of their powers locked away into peculiar cubes, meaning they’ll have to reinvigorate themselves on the island. Fortunately, not all hope is lost: they’re able to regain their power by entering another dimension known as Memoria, where they’ll re-live the iconic events from their entire journey, allowing players to witness the best moments of One Piece all over again.
This means that even players who are completely unfamiliar with the One Piece universe will be able to appreciate the adventure, with the re-visiting of events not only fleshing out the narrative but also showcasing just how exciting the journey has been. Sure, those who are familiar with the story will probably appreciate it a little bit more and it is nicer to have a better idea of who some of the heroes and villains are beforehand, but One Piece Odyssey does more than enough to make newbies feel at home and like they’re not completely out of the loop. The overarching plot on Waford feels equally intriguing too, with plenty to see transpire by the time you reach the conclusion of the roughly forty-hour adventure.
The core adventuring sees you travelling across an array of locales across both Waford and the Straw Hat Crew’s memories, with a surprising amount of depth found when exploring. A lot of this is thanks to each hero’s special actions, with your party able to interact with the environment in a variety of ways to traverse it or find goodies. For example, Luffy is able stretch out in order to grab grapple points in the world, whilst Chopper can venture through small passageways. Zoro can slice away at doors that block your way, whilst Franky can create bridges to cross. Each character brings something different to the fray when it comes to exploration, with their use not only vital to progress through the story, but also when finding some of the best treasures. You’ll be swapping quite regularly, and whilst there’s no doubting that Luffy is typically the most used, you’ll need to utilise everybody’s unique skillset if you want to see everything that the world has to offer.
“Players who are completely unfamiliar with the One Piece universe will be able to appreciate the adventure, with the re-visiting of events not only fleshing out the narrative but also showcasing just how exciting the journey has been.”
And believe me, the world is DEFINITELY worth exploring – not only because it has some cool stuff to find, but because it looks so beautiful. I’m a massive fan of One Piece Odyssey’s world design, with it not only offering some wonderful re-creations of some familiar locales from the story, but also having some vibrant visuals that really capture the vibe of the animated series. The world is packed with extra tasks to dive into too, whether it’s side quests for the NPCs wandering around (which include some very familiar faces) or some clever crafting to flesh out your gear, whilst some neat puzzling aspects ensure there’s more to the game than just going from point A to B. It’s all really fun and ensures exploration in the game never gets tiresome.
That being said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few little niggles. I hope you like fetch quests, because they’re plentiful in One Piece Odyssey. Whilst I’ll admit it’s something players probably expect in JRPGs, the quest variety in the game doesn’t feel particularly exciting or innovative outside of the mainline progression. There were a few areas of the game that felt a bit dull to explore too, with it clear that some locales are more fleshed out than others. This isn’t an issue for the most part, but when you re-tread them over and over again for some of the more repetitive side quests, it’ll become more noticeable. But hey, there’s a lot more good than bad when it comes to exploration, with each issue I had easy to forgive.
Combat takes a turn-based approach, with the player selecting actions for four of their party members as they battle it out with enemies (characters can be swapped out during your turn so you’re always able to tinker around with your team). One Piece Odyssey introduces some interesting ideas in its combat to help it feel unique, with one of those being a ‘rock-paper-scissors’ element where certain attack types are more effective than others. These are broken down into power, speed, and technique, with power beating speed, speed beating technique, and technique beating power. With each party member and enemy having a specific type, there’s an emphasis placed on switching your team around constantly to take advantage of the system (and ensure you’re not leaving yourself exposed with your own weakness). It’s a fun idea that ensures every member of your team gets used throughout the game, with even the most basic of battles forcing you to think things through and not rely on simply mashing out the same attacks.
Check out some screenshots down below:
Another cool element of combat sees your party being divided up into different battle areas, which sees some party members focusing on fighting one group of enemies and other party members facing off against another. Your party will be able to group back up eventually, but only after they’ve defeated the enemies they’ve been allocated. It’s a simple idea and, admittedly, one that doesn’t necessarily make combat more difficult, but it does introduce a few extra elements of strategy that complements the ‘rock-paper-scissor’ system in place. Add to that some additional objectives to complete in combat and it’ll be clear that One Piece Odyssey has a good few ideas on show to spice things up and keep battling exciting.
The only real downside of combat was that it could be a little bit too easy at times. I didn’t die once during my time playing, and whilst I did do a lot of optional stuff, I didn’t really spend time grinding. It’s just a pretty easy game to play through, especially if you take advantage of the varying strategic nuances offered in-combat and keep your party well equipped.
One Piece Odyssey Review
One Piece Odyssey will appeal to both series newbies and veteran fans thanks to its clever approach to storytelling and its fun adventuring. It covers a ton of the iconic events from across One Piece’s vast history thanks to its entertaining memory-diving narrative, whilst the satisfying exploration and unique combat mechanics ensure the journey is equally enjoyable. Sure, there were some elements of its design that didn’t always hit and it’s one of the easier JRPGs that I’ve played, but it didn’t stop me from having a really good time with the game – so much so that it has inspired me to get back into the anime. Only 800-odd episodes to go…
Developer: ILCA Inc
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform(s): Xbox Series X (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series S, PC