One Piece Odyssey Review : Sail the Grand Line with Style

One Piece Odyssey is a classic turn-based RPG game that takes inspiration from the popular Dragon Quest franchise. At first, one might not think that a genre like this would be a good fit for the action-packed world of One Piece, but as the game proves, it actually works surprisingly well. The Straw Hat pirates, the main characters of the One Piece universe, make for an excellent party of RPG characters, each with their own unique abilities and personalities. The world is brought to life with Eichiro Oda’s one-of-a-kind artistic style, filled with imaginative creatures and environments that are both fantastical and humorous.

One Piece Odyssey
(Image Credit: One Piece Odyssey)

Sail the High Seas of Adventure in ‘One Piece Odyssey

One Piece Odyssey also incorporates the over-the-top battles from the manga and anime into the game’s turn-based combat system. These battles provide plenty of material for some of the coolest and funniest special attacks seen in any turn-based RPG. However, some players may find that the fights are not challenging enough and that the need for backtracking through previously explored areas can be a bit tedious.

Despite these minor issues, One Piece Odyssey is still a surprisingly satisfying Japanese RPG that stands out from the typical, by-the-numbers offerings in the genre. With its unique combination of classic RPG mechanics, One Piece lore, and Oda’s artistic style, the game offers an enjoyable and entertaining gaming experience that fans of both the One Piece franchise and turn-based RPGs are sure to appreciate.

The tale unfolds as Luffy and his nautical gang find themselves cast away on the enshrouded isle of Waford. It’s not long before they cross paths with two fresh faces – Lim and Adio – who harbor a deep-rooted skepticism towards pirates. So much so, that upon their initial encounter, Lim and Adio confiscate the powers of the Straw Hat crew with cunning precision, presenting a cunning explanation for why the Straw Hats don’t steamroll every battle with their mere presence. But fear not, as the tides of battle are known to turn in the world of One Piece.

The story of One Piece Odyssey splits into two distinct threads: The first takes place on Waford where the Straw Hat crew sets out to assist Lim and Adio by defeating the elemental colossi responsible for the tempestuous storm that surrounds the island. The second thread unfolds in Memoria, a world of memories brought to life through Lim’s unique ability, which enables the Straw Hats to revisit significant locations and events from their past.

While the plot twists and revelations may not come as a surprise to some, I found both aspects of the story to be thoroughly engaging. Lim, in particular, is a fantastic addition to the cast and it was a joy to see her transformation from being wary and aloof towards the Straw Hat crew to becoming fascinated and occasionally stunned by their individual quirks, eventually forming strong bonds of friendship.

Revisiting the Past, Reliving the Emotion: One Piece Odyssey Brings the Heart of the Series to Life

It’s worth mentioning that One Piece Odyssey is specifically geared towards devout fans of the series, with its story picking up well after the Dressrosa arc (approximately 750 episodes in). The game delves into some of the most impactful moments in the show, making it a challenging recommendation for those unfamiliar with One Piece. However, if you have a strong connection to the world and characters, the Memoria chapters provide rich rewards. These come in the form of alternate “what if” scenarios where the Straw Hat crew revisits pivotal moments from the series with fresh perspectives.

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For instance, seeing the crew react to the sight of the Going Merry docked at Alabasta is a heart-wrenching moment that holds great emotional power for dedicated fans. These moments embody the essence of One Piece Odyssey’s story and are brought to life with impeccable writing that mirrors the tone of the anime and manga, outstanding voice acting, and artistry that flawlessly captures the unique style of One Piece in 3D.

One Piece Odyssey
(Image Credit: One Piece Odyssey)

Unleashing Strategic Battles: One Piece Odyssey’s Dynamic Combat System”

One Piece Odyssey offers a refreshingly simple combat system that sets it apart from traditional turn-based RPGs. The rock/paper/scissors logic is the driving force behind the damage calculation, with each character, enemy, and boss being assigned a type of power, speed, or technique. The rules of the system are straightforward, with power beating speed, technique defeating power, and speed overcoming technique.

What makes the combat system even more dynamic is the lack of a set turn order. Players have the freedom to choose which character they want to take the first move, and they can switch characters in and out at any time without it counting as a turn. This allows for greater flexibility and strategy in battles.

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In addition, players are given the ability to see which enemy will be up next in their turn, giving them an opportunity to plan and adjust their tactics accordingly. Once all four characters in the active party have taken an action, the round of combat ends, and all characters are able to act once again.

Overall, One Piece Odyssey’s simple yet effective combat system adds an enjoyable and challenging element to the game, allowing players to fully immerse themselves in battles and strategize their moves.

The combat system in One Piece Odyssey is simple, but there is one factor that adds a layer of complexity to it. There are multiple zones in the battlefield, and characters must defeat all enemies in their own zone before moving to another. This means that players must consider the order in which their characters will attack, as this can impact their ability to move between zones.

For example, if there is a group of enemies in one zone that are weak to Technique attacks, but the player’s strongest Technique character, Zoro, is stuck in a zone with a single enemy that is weak to Speed attacks. In this case, the player could choose to have their Speed character, Usopp, attack first with a ranged attack to clear the way for Zoro to move to the other zone. Once there, Zoro can then use one of his attacks that hits multiple enemies to defeat them all.

This system adds strategy to the game and encourages players to think ahead and plan their moves to make the most of their characters’ strengths and weaknesses.

(Video Credit: PlayStation)

One Piece Odyssey: Balancing Challenge and Customization in Combat”

One Piece Odyssey presents a unique challenge for players, as the game is designed to be relatively easy for the majority of battles, making the use of strategy unnecessary. Despite this, the protagonist still feels overpowered even without grinding, as they progress through the game. This is due to the Dramatic Scenes system, which adds an extra layer of challenge to specific enemy encounters by providing additional objectives. While these objectives are often simple to complete, the rewards for doing so are substantial and can sometimes double or even triple the amount of experience points earned in a single fight. This creates an imbalance in the game, as even small, less challenging enemies can end up providing more experience points than big, important boss battles. This is a clear indication of poor game balance, which can be disappointing for players who are looking for a more challenging experience.

At the end of One Piece Odyssey, the difficulty increases but this doesn’t necessarily result in more challenging or enjoyable battles. Instead, it prompts the player to pay closer attention to their character’s equipment, which can be enjoyable in its own right. Instead of acquiring new weapons and armor, players find accessories to fit onto an expandable grid, allowing for great flexibility in character customization. Players can assign specific roles to each character and easily switch them up as needed. They can even turn characters like Nami into heavy hitters by equipping them with attack gear. The ability to fuse artifacts and add up to four effects to them makes it possible to turn the entire party into formidable forces.

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Even though the battles in One Piece Odyssey lack tension, the overall combat is enjoyable due to the entertaining special skills. The developers successfully captured the look, impact, and humor of the Straw Hat crew’s notable attacks. Whether it’s the absurdity of Usopp’s Rubber Band of Doom, the coolness of Zoro’s moves, or the destructive power of Luffy’s Gear 3rd and 4th abilities, the attention to detail in bringing these iconic moves from the source material to the game is impressive.

One Piece Odyssey
(Image Credit: One Piece Odyssey)

Visiting Iconic Locations in Memoria: A Mixed Experience

As players journey through the game world of Memoria, they will get to visit four of the most memorable locations from the One Piece series. The developer, ILCA, has done a remarkable job in bringing these locations to life and making them feel like authentic, lived-in places. The Kingdom of Alabasta, for example, is depicted as an enormous area, with two thriving towns – Nanohana and Alubarna – and vast deserts that connect them. Water Seven has a serene vibe, reminiscent of a relaxed Venetian city, with its rivers flowing alongside its many streets. On the other hand, Dressrosa, which can only be explored after the chaos related to the birdcage has passed, creates a haunting and melancholic atmosphere as players walk through its devastated streets. The attention to detail in creating each of these iconic locations is impressive, making players feel fully immersed in the One Piece world.

Out of the four main locations in Memoria, only the first one – Alabasta – became tedious. The main quest in Alabasta extends its length by repeatedly taking players to already-visited places, sending them on repetitive tasks and errands, and leading them through uninteresting caves. The story progress is slow, and it becomes especially monotonous due to the lack of new techniques or abilities that are unlocked upon leveling up. Instead, players are only given a bulk of abilities at the end of each chapter, which creates an uneven sense of progress. As a result, players are stuck with hours of repetitive battles against similar enemies, making the chapter unnecessarily lengthy.

One Piece Odyssey
(Image Credit: One Piece Odyssey)

The First Chapter of Memoria in Alabasta Fails to Meet Expectations but Improved Gameplay in Later Locations

The first location of Memoria, Alabasta, unfortunately failed to live up to expectations. The main quest was elongated by repetitive trips to previously visited locations, and the player was tasked with performing monotonous errands and fetch quests. This made the progression feel uneven as the player only unlocked new techniques and abilities all at once at the end of the chapter. This resulted in hours of repetitive battles against similar enemies, making this particularly long chapter a letdown.

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This was a disappointment, especially since Alabasta is one of the player’s favorite One Piece arcs. However, the other locations in Memoria struck a better balance between maintaining a focused main quest and offering optional side quests. Although few of these side quests were enticing to start or fulfilling to complete, the Hysteria side missions were an exception, as they provided the player with team-up special moves that brought together three party members for a powerful joint attack.

In addition to the Memoria locations, you’ll also encounter various puzzle-oriented dungeons that test your use of each character’s unique field techniques. Luffy can use his grappling skills to cross gaps and grab objects from a distance, Usopp can use his slingshot to trigger switches and knock down objects, Zoro can cut through steel doors, and Chopper can enter small passages and uncover hidden areas. Although these abilities don’t significantly elevate the puzzles or exploration, they do provide visual diversity in the dungeons, offer collectibles to discover, and break up the monotony of simply battling enemies along a path.

Verdict

Despite its shortcomings in battle difficulty and repetitive quest design, One Piece Odyssey shines due to its capturing of the essence of the One Piece story, world, art, and characters. The game is made enjoyable by the strengths of the One Piece franchise, even if the battles lack challenge. The puzzles and exploration, though not greatly enhancing the gameplay, provide a nice change of pace and add some hidden collectibles to discover. Overall, One Piece Odyssey excels in preserving the heart, humor, and soul of One Piece, which is the most critical aspect of the game.

FAQ’s:

What is One Piece Odyssey?

One Piece Odyssey is a classic turn-based RPG game that takes inspiration from the Dragon Quest franchise and is based on the popular One Piece manga and anime series.

Who are the main characters in the game?

The main characters in the game are the Straw Hat pirates.

What makes One Piece Odyssey unique?

One Piece Odyssey is unique due to its combination of classic RPG mechanics, One Piece lore, and Eichiro Oda’s artistic style. The game also incorporates the over-the-top battles from the manga and anime into its turn-based combat system.

Who is the game geared towards?

One Piece Odyssey is specifically aimed at long-time One Piece fans and picks up after the Dressrosa arc.

What is the story of the game about?

The story of the game splits into two threads, one taking place on Waford and the other in Memoria. The Straw Hat crew sets out to assist Lim and Adio on Waford and revisit significant locations and events from their past in Memoria.

How does the combat system work in the game?

The combat system in One Piece Odyssey is based on a rock/paper/scissors logic, with each character, enemy, and boss assigned a type of power, speed, or technique. The turn order is not set, allowing players greater flexibility and strategy in battles.

Does the game offer a challenging experience?

The combat system in One Piece Odyssey is simple, but there are multiple zones in the battlefield that add a layer of complexity to it. Players must consider the order in which their characters attack and move between zones, making the game challenging.

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