In the companies’ latest Dynasty Warriors-inspired title, Omega Force and Bandai Namco set us in the sandals of the ever-yearning pirate wannabe Monkey D. Luffy in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3. Not to get ahead of ourselves, but fans of either series would do well by simply picking this game up.
In traditional Warriors fashion, attacks are all mapped to the face buttons while movement and camera adjustment are assigned to the sticks. At first, because you don’t have too many combos unlocked, the combat can feel just a tad janky. Progressing a little bit into the game quickly alleviates that feeling, though, as more combos employing both basic and heavy attacks become available.
Circle still activates your chosen warrior’s ultimate attack (here called a Kizuna Attack). Pressing it after filling up your partner gauge (you’re able to switch between the two on the fly with up or down on the d-pad) will trigger a duo-attack that is absolutely devastating. Also keeping with the Warriors standard is just how responsive the controls are. Everything just feels snappy and immediate.
Yes, Pirate Warriors 3 looks absolutely stupendous. In fact, it’s easy to say that, at this time, this is the finest use of cel shading out there. Thick, black lines enclose the character detail in a way that truly resembles the anime or manga. And you just get to beat everyone up in cartoon glory!
Not only does the game do a great job of rendering hundreds of on-screen enemies without a drop in framerate, it does so while producing some impressive effects on the super attacks that closely resemble the show.
Characters faces are also extremely expressive, and fans of the show will be pleased to see all of Monkey’s exaggerated expressions intact — and that goes for pretty much every other character in the game. Cut scenes are also great to watch and are often integrated flawlessly into the actual gameplay.
On the audio front, there’s a lot to like. The voice acting is absolutely superb and comical, and the music flows from the whimsical to the intense perfectly between scenarios and cut scenes. It’s quite a neat little package.
So, you’ve played the last nine of 400 Warriors games, what makes us think that you should check this game out? Simply put, it’s one of the most refined and fun picks of the bunch. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 starts you off at the beginning of the series, when unlikely hero Monkey D. Luffy is taunted by a pirate. He swears to become the world’s most feared and revered Pirate King, and the game sets off with us assembling his crew and kicking enemy pirate booty (yarrrrr the booty!).
As with other Warriors games, One Piece throws so many deadbeat pirates at you that you’ll go from 30 knockouts to well over 2,000 in just a few fun-filled minutes. Building up your super meter and taking out 100-plus enemies in a single attack is always thrilling as well.
There are a few things done differently in this game than other Warriors titles, such as the need to collect weapons being dropped in favour of collecting coins to upgrade your characters stats. This makes it a bit less tedious getting each new character up to a truly playable, effective level of skill.
In addition to the regular campaign, there is a free mode in which you may play any level as any character, and also a Dream Log mode in which you go from stage to stage fighting the toughest enemies.
It’s great to see a Warriors title move in such a great direction, and we hope that future games of the franchise take many cues from this. As for One Piece games, we can only hope that there is another one like this that makes just as major of a push as Pirate Warriors 3 did.