Yo ho! One Piece Odyssey, the primary turn-based RPG sport within the storied franchise, has been a little bit of a blended bag in its early moments. Whereas the sport knocks it out of the park with the way it portrays the dynamic of the loveable Straw Hat crew, the sport’s “totally blown RPG” mechanics are a little bit of a bore to play by way of.
One Piece Odyssey, developed by Bandai Namco and ILCA, Inc., follows Luffy and crew’s misadventures on the mysterious island of Warford. Warford principally serves because the One Piece equal of the Bermuda triangle in that the Straw Hats don’t have any means to speak with the skin world. There you meet a mysterious lady named Lim. The remainder of the sport has the Straw Hats (minus Jinbe) discover dungeons, crew up in opposition to enemies, and try to determine why on earth the island capsizes ships that sail too near its shores. The sport got here out on January 13 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Collection X/S, and PC.
One Piece Odyssey comes off as a handsome JRPG. My solely two gripes to date are that the sport railroads exploration manner too usually within the early sport, and that its turn-based fight is a bit on the straightforward facet.
As quickly as I took management of Luffy, the very first thing I needed to do was discover the hell out of each pathway in sight. Seems producer Katsuaki Tsuzuki saying One Piece Odyssey is a “full-blown RPG” meant that it could even have the worst side of the style as effectively: extreme handholding.
Any need to stroll an unbeaten path early on will result in crewmates and the island native, Adio, chastising you for abandoning the primary goal. Do you have to persist, the display will fade to black and about-face your occasion chief towards the place the sport desires you to go. Seeing as how One Piece is concerning the journey and never the vacation spot, this early JRPG-ism sucks bigtime. Nonetheless, this extreme handholding is supposed partly to ship tutorials on the sport’s turn-based motion.
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One Piece Odyssey’s turn-based fight has an attack-type hierarchy that determines the effectiveness of assaults. Right here’s the way it works: “Method” assault sorts are sturdy in opposition to “Energy” assault sorts, “Energy” assaults are sturdy in opposition to “Velocity” assaults, and “Velocity” assaults are sturdy in opposition to “Method” assaults. The system works equally to roshambo, and the sport turns into a little bit of a cakewalk when you suss out the suitable occasion composition in opposition to every enemy sort.
I discovered having a celebration that consisted of Nico Robin (approach), Sanji (Energy), Usopp (pace), and Zoro (approach) made battles manner too straightforward to get by way of. The sport sometimes spices issues up with the implementation of battle situations that power you to rotate out occasion members, however when you’ve familiarized your self with good positioning and attack-type matchups, battles develop into an absent-minded affair.
God bless they’ve pre time skip Robin in One Piece Odyssey 😩 pic.twitter.com/lhq5tI4GJk
— Johnny 🔥 (@JohnnyLockson) January 13, 2023
Mechanically, the sport works across the simplicity of its fight issue by doing the factor most sequel video games do: stripping the heroes of their powers. At first every Straw Hat begins off at stage 40 and completely canine walks enemies with their overwhelming power. However when the crew first meets Lim, she turns their talents into cubes and scatters them concerning the island like dragon balls. Mechanically, this serves as a option to nerf the Straw Hats and encourage farming XP in a battle to get better their talents. I feared it could imply the remainder of the sport would ask me to scour each nook and cranny of the sandbox world for every talent individually, however the sport, mercifully, has particular person cubes dish out a handful of expertise for every pirate as an alternative.
Narratively, “the cubening” of the Straw Hats’ powers is clumsy in its execution as a result of it leans into amnesia territory, which I discover to be the second most annoying narrative system proper behind time journey in the way it undoes character development. Whereas the Straw Hats don’t lose recollections over the numerous adventures they’ve been on, they just do neglect easy methods to do their signature strikes. Straight up, Luffy forgets easy methods to “gomu gomu no” (principally his stretchy arms punch), which is nearly too ridiculous to simply accept contemplating that’s like his one factor.
The strongest side of One Piece Odyssey is how the spirit of the sport looks like a playable filler episode within the anime. Whereas usually evaluating a sport to an anime filler episode doesn’t come off as a praise, One Piece occurs to be one of many few anime to have filler episodes interweaved with canon content material that’s higher for it.
Many of the characters are in good kind, too. In true One Piece vogue, Luffy is food-motivated, Zoro is directionally challenged, Nami will threat all of it (it being her crewmates) for treasure, Usopp is cautious, Sanji is simpin’ for his feminine crewmates (as he ought to), and Nico Robin is hilariously morbid whereas withholding very important details about their state of affairs till she’s 100 per cent certain her theories are right.
Sadly, the odd males out early within the sport are Franky and Brook. Whereas Franky is delegated to restore the Thousand Sunny, Brook will get shafted narratively. When the Straw Hats crash land in Warford, Brook’s skeletal physique sank to the ocean flooring. To be able to recruit Brook, you could restore the Thousand Sunny and retrieve him utilizing its submarine. However that received’t be for some time. Regardless of his bodily absence, Brook is in a position to hang around on the Straw Hat’s campsites by way of his corporeal ghost kind. Whereas Brook’s predicament is admittedly amusing, it’s laborious to not really feel prefer it’s the sport’s manner of claiming it wasn’t certain what to do with him. Charitably, the narrative choice to exclude Franky and Brook was the sport’s manner of not overwhelming gamers with its turn-based gameplay mechanics.
As a born-again One Piece fan, Having the liberty to change between Straw Hats whereas exploring Warford island, listening to their post-battle banter, and having a feast after a day’s worth-of adventurings made taking part in Odyssey really feel like taking part in with One Piece dolls. Time will inform whether or not the rest of One Piece Odyssey’s anime filler episode content material is extra akin to the highs of the G-8 arc or if it simply finally ends up feeling like a reduction Skypeia storyline.