on 21 September 2012
Please note. This is based on the Japanese edition which is exactly the same aside from text change. I've owned the game since March this year and wanted people to know what they were buying before blindly rushing into this one.
So, finally One Piece heads onto the PS3. After what seems like eons on Nintendo systems, and it's a Dynasty Warriors type-game too! Awesome! There's no way this can go wrong...can it?
This is where the game itself excels, especially if you've played a Musou game before, run around punching/kicking/slashing/Sniping/Clutching marines and various enemies. The main mode is split into three various types. 1. Musou version, basically run from zone to zone attacking the enemies with some bosses thrown in. 2. Boss version. There's only one or two of these missions but is essentially 1 vs 1 against a boss character, usually with some extra pieces thrown in between. And finally, the worst part of the game. The 'Adventure' levels. Essentially a long series of platforms and quick time events and small areas with enemies thrown in. These will simply annoy and baffle you. One is where you have to leave Nami on random benches around Drum then go back to pick her up. Another is solving Puzzles in a Tomb in Arabasta. These are long, pointless and at times you will seriously question how this got in yet Skypiea and Thriller Bark got cut.
Cast: One of the first things a lot of people look at with a One Piece game is the cast. Pirate Musou's is rather meagre. (Although you have the main cast which is a plus) Luffy, Luffy (2Y), Nami, Zoro, Usopp, Franky, Brook, Robin, Chopper, Sanji, Ace, Whitebeard, Boa Hancock and Jinbe are all playable. Although the term playable is rather loose. This is really where the cracks start to show. Chopper is obviously unfinished, with them leaving out half of his transformations. Franky requires you to stop and refill Cola every few hits, Nami and Usopp require you to use extra coins to get half of their attacks. Fortunately everyone plays differently. Robin is the army clutching woman you'd expect, Hancock does have the ability to turn people to stone (including the Pacifista and Rabbits), Brook's music comes into his playstyle and Nami will have you dodging around the arena, setting up lightning traps. Everyone has multiple attacks which makes them feel different, which is why it's somewhat nice having a smaller roster with different feeling characters. Although the blocking feature could do some work. It's awesome seeing Jinbe countering enemies with waves and hilarious to see Robin/Chopper blocking Magellan's poison with their Hands/Fur however the game doesn't really make you notice this.
Also people with the Japanese games have noticed that Akainu, Aokiji and Kizaru are playable through various glitches. Other cut things are the Impel Down escapees. You can see from them running around that Buggy, Mr. 3, Mr. 2 and Crocodile have an entire moveset for playable but no way to do so. Also the included artbook (Japan only) shows that other characters are missing alternate clothes. Nami is missing most of hers and the book also shows Miss All-Sunday version of Robin. Also not playable. Other characters are included as 10 second attacks. Like Sogeking (who is noticeably a full character in the main game) and Monster Chopper being attacks rather than versions.
No doubt we'll be seeing a part 2 of the game with all of this included in.
Boss characters mostly cover the main ones. Buggy, Mihawks, Hatchi, Arlong, Krieg, Wapol, Laphan Rabbits, Lucci, Blueno, Kaku, Jyabura, Akainu, Kizaru, Aokiji, Kuma, Crocodile, Mr. 2, Mr. 3, Magellan, Hannybal, Sentomaru, Blackbeard and the Pacifista are all there. Boss selection isn't so bad. Although I seriously question why Smoker didn't get in yet Jyabura did.
You all know the plot. (Hell we've had Marineford forced down our throats so many times that we can choke on it.) the levels include Buggy arc, Krieg Arc, Arlong Arc, Drum Arc, Arabasta Arc, Water 7/Enies Lobby arc, Saboady arc, Impel Down and Marineford. You can already see that it skips some like Loguetown, Little Garden, Davy Back Fight, Skypiea, Thriller Bark (Brook makes a joke about his introduction being skipped) and doesn't touch on the New World. (Luffy, Zoro and Sanji are included from that however) think of it as One Piece lite. Even the levels we do get don't really touch on much. Of course the flashbacks are passed over. Although some other things are too. BB killing WB, Monster Chopper rampaging in Enies Lobby, (actually the whole saving Robin is poorly done in that level considering she's running around with the rest of them.) the final boss of the game is so much of a slap in the face to the series with how absurd it comes across. Some minor unimportant things too. Smoker is missing from the game, despite having a key role in Arabasta and Marineford. Also Hina's scenes at the end of Arabasta and Marineford are included yet she isn't even seen.
The Main campaign focuses on Luffy, although you'll play as Sanji and Zoro on multiple occasions. Everyone else you'll play for about a minute. Except I think Nami and Franky (or was it Brook?) who you don't play as at all. Also included is each character's story. Which is essentially just a few levels. Zoro, Nami, Chopper, Sanji and Usopp have about half a dozen. Robin, Hancock, Franky and I think Jinbe have 2 levels. Brook, Whitebeard and Ace have 1 level to theirs. And they're all the same. Enies Lobby was totally different for Zoro, Robin, Chopper and Usopp however in here they're exactly the same. Oh and you unlock Monster Chopper and Sogeking AFTER that level too. Although some levels do benefit from it. Saboady feels a lot more fun with the exclusive of the Supernova.
Length: I'm including this since so many games don't even have a length. Just 5 hours thrown together and that's called a Campaign. The Main Campaign will take you around 12-15 hours to complete. Each of the other campaigns will take anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours to complete each. And for those going for the Plat. Due to the random nature of the drops you can be playing anywhere from 20 hours to 150 hours. I think I capped out around 50 or 60. And maxed out Luffy, Robin, Chopper, Hancock and Usopp in stats. And you'll be fed up of Saboady (the only one worth grinding on) by the end.
Graphically the game is pretty nice. There are times when it blurs but really I was interested on how the characters came about. Chopper is very fluffy I guess. The cartoony style works rather well with the gameplay. However don't expect anything special. Just see how your favourite comes about.
There's co-op online too, however it was kinda dull. It's the same boring levels only with someone else. Game wasn't really a challenge (except when Nami kept getting killed on Sanji's Sabody level and auto failing you after a minute)
Overall I'd recommend for people to pick up the £25 lite version or if wish to go for a Collector's Edition then import the Japanese one. It comes with an exclusive art book, badges and a CD. As opposed to a ship which you can get cheaper if bought seperately. The game is fun enough for those who LOVE One Piece, and a bit of fun for those who don't. But don't come in thinking it'll be an amazing game. or even compared to other One Piece games. It does it's job, sets the grounds for the obvious 2nd and 3rd one (the latter which likely will be complete and including the obscure characters like Hina, Urouge, Absalom etc)