[Review] One Piece Odyssey

5 min


One Piece Odyssey is a thrilling, occasionally unpolished adventure that should generally please both One Piece and JRPG fans.
One Piece Odyssey is the most recent Bandai Namco game to explore the One Piece characters and world developed by Eiichiro Oda. The first attempts to bring manga and anime to life cover several genres and date back to 2000. It takes some time for One Piece Odyssey, a JRPG from ILCA, to live up to its potential, but it provides an incredible new journey for both devoted fans and beginners.

As One Piece Odyssey opens, Luffy and his companions are cruising on their steadfast ship when they become entangled in a great storm. On an island where the boat and its crew land, a strange woman drains everyone of their power. The heroes must defeat four guardians to replenish their energy, which would be suicide if they didn’t first relive their earlier experiences. They struggle to build their relationships while navigating warped versions of earlier events where they encounter old comrades and foes (fortunately, they don’t meet many of the less interesting One Piece characters). They believe that soon, they will be able to resume their everyday pirating exploits.

One Piece Odyssey’s narrative offers some brilliant moments, but the most intriguing developments only happen later in the campaign. As they progress, players engage in combat with disposable opponents to familiarize themselves with the character’s non-combat skills. Luffy stretches his arms to grab hold of far-off grappling points because he is made of rubber and is resistant to electrical damage. The hilariously meme-worthy Chopper can get through tight spaces that more prominent characters cannot because he is small and agile. The numerous other party members possess vital secondary abilities that enable them to fuse equipment, destroy gates, locate priceless loot, and perform other similar tasks. With multiple side quests and story twists, those talents bring the environments they explore to live and motivate players to return to familiar territory much later in the game.

Characters have skills appropriate to their nature in the fight, which isn’t one of the more unique turn-based combat systems in a JRPG, but it still feels relatively new. These abilities use TP, which the heroes restore by striking enemies with melee assaults (or by scarfing down consumable items and equipping specific gear). Players must use various skills and keep an eye on resources as they traverse new terrain because TP meters carry over from one combat to the next. Different adversaries may be vulnerable to assaults that shock, burn, or use elemental force, while the heroes have their affinities. It is also possible to easily switch between members of the active party during a battle or even to replace them with backup units. The freedoms and limitations prevent players from quickly skipping through most combat by pressing a single button. Instead, they must adopt a more deliberate strategy that varies based on the enemy units and available resources.

When players run into patrolling foes who are already visible, battles start. Save point beacons frequently come before boss fights, and surprise assaults are rare. Luffy’s extended arms can typically collect most of the loot from a safe distance, allowing players to completely dodge regular monsters without missing out on any. Avoiding conflict is effective since it is rarely required to grind. To make up for the odd encounters that players can choose to avoid, combat frequently introduces additional objectives (such as a specific adversary to beat within a predetermined amount of turns) that yield a ton of bonus experience points. Even when they weren’t fighting bosses, characters sometimes earn several levels at once after conflicts. If you enjoy grinding, it’s not one of the best JRPGs to play, but that’s probably excellent news for everyone else.

Intelligent players will ultimately understand that buying, fusing, and equipping the most fabulous accessories on the market is the best approach to creating a powerful character. Any character can earn the ability to hit hard, resist well against special attacks or status diseases, or even passively regenerate health and TP, thanks to the fusion system. Newcomers to the genre may initially find the mechanic’s finer nuances intimidating, while veterans of more strategic games will quickly see its potential. Then they can create a game that eliminates adversaries more quickly, providing a further defense against some of the game’s more tiresome features. As soon as the heroes are adequately equipped, battles are over quickly.

Sadly, the first few hours the player spends learning One Piece Odyssey’s flow are some of the most boring ones. It doesn’t help that they happen early in the trip before any goodwill can develop. Even worse, the initial regions are incredibly linear. It feels overly restricted when the player is abruptly dropped back onto the one true path after taking the wrong turn at a small fork in the road. Uninspired backtracking is required at certain moments, and the ability to shift around the globe map is occasionally turned off exactly when it could be most helpful. The campaign’s linear aspect sometimes makes an appearance in the latter stages. On occasion, players must return to well-known places before moving on to new territory. Such speed bumps grate more than they usually could because they are at odds with the otherwise fast pace.

One Piece Odyssey has gorgeously detailed environments with port cities, dungeons, and ruins that one might anticipate seeing in a game about pirates and tropical islands. However, a vast desert with a network of uninteresting interconnecting caverns is one of the most significant habitats. It is one of the least exciting locations, which is unfortunate given that players must spend so much time there at the beginning of their quest. Fortunately, succeeding locations offer more fascinating settings and tell more engaging tales, ensuring the experience gets better as it goes on. Additionally, many different goals and side tasks lengthen the time it takes to finish One Piece Odyssey while providing excellent rewards and entertaining diversions. The most exciting side content includes fascinating tales about notable NPCs from the more prominent memories, which have significant issues that the heroes must address. The benefits of helping them include different party combinations that are effective in combat and more chances to examine the game’s central themes of friendship and sacrifice.

Because it is so welcoming to both genre beginners and veterans alike, One Piece Odyssey is simple to appreciate, even for someone unfamiliar with the anime. It provides numerous appreciable gestures to accessible design, such as the suitable introduction of essential mechanics, continued ease of access to instructions afterward, and the unambiguous marking of points of interest on region maps. Players can shorten the drawn-out combat animations that accompany the more potent moves if battles start to drag. Most of the fight and event scene speech is voiced in Japanese, with subtitles that skillfully translate everything for viewers who don’t speak the language. Even after one has spent countless hours in the game’s universe, lovely instrumental pieces play in the background and can express the right mood without the need for translation.

One Piece Odyssey is an exhilarating trip thanks to its gripping combat, unrestricted character customization, and gorgeous locations. Design decisions can occasionally restrict player agency, but the result is rarely long-lasting. The final product is a pleasing JRPG that should keep fans interested, so long as they can get past the tedious opening hours and utilize the numerous features. The game achieves most of its potential after a few early hiccups and is simple to recommend as both a One Piece experience and a JRPG.
One Piece Odyssey is now available for the PC, PS4, and PS5 consoles.

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With over a decade of writing obituaries for the local paper, Jane has a uniquely wry voice that shines through in her newest collection of essays, which explore the importance we place on legacy.


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