One Piece Odyssey – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: ILCA
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS5

One Piece Odyssey – Review

Site Score
7.2
Good: Overall atmosphere, Graphics, Fun story
Bad: Extremely slow pace, Awkward controls, Has too much useless padding to make the game seem longer than it is
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It seems that One Piece is going through an all-time high with the release of its new trading card game as well as the highly-anticipated release of One Piece Odyssey. The new game is seemingly a delight for One Piece fans, as it promises a brand new story, which is considered canon, and it allows you to truly get your hands dirty when battling the many villains that cross your path. The Straw Hat Pirates have never looked better, but sadly One Piece Odyssey is not a perfect game.

Story

One Piece Odyssey revolves around the Straw Hat Pirates being stranded on the mysterious island of Waford. The crew washed ashore after being subjected to a very nasty storm, and now their ship is also wrecked. The merry band of pirates regroups rather quickly, but they sense something is off with the island. On top of that, they also need to figure out a solution to fix their ship as well as how to avoid the storm when trying to get away from the island.¬†Before long, you encounter other inhabitants of the island, among which are Adio and Lim. The latter isn’t too keen on pirates and she decides to steal the pirates’ powers, forcing them to regain their strength on top of fixing their ship and finding a way to escape. To regain their powers, they’ll have to explore Memoria, a world that is created by their memories.

The story starts off rather vague, but as you progress, things start getting a bit more clear. The game will have you explore different regions that are seen in the One Piece series through the Memoria realm, and you’ll also encounter many well-known friends and foes. Overall, the story is quite enjoyable and well-brought and there’s more than enough incentive to keep pressing onwards.

Graphics

Graphically One Piece Odyssey is a very pretty game. The title looks like a proper 3D animated series, and we simply loved exploring the game’s different environments. Sadly, we quickly noticed the game has a look-but-don’t-touch formula in play, as the world is full of invisible walls and static objects. Almost nothing in the world can be interacted with, and more than once the static nature of everything also got in the way of the camera controls. When moving close to buildings, the camera will often snap into place or it will prevent you from moving around the camera freely. This caused a lot of annoyance during our playthrough. That being said, the game still looks very nice, but due to the nature of everything just being static in the world, it did take away from its initial charm of having a One Piece universe that you could truly explore.

Sound

The sound design of OPO is quite good. The music is cinematic and stays true to the source material, and the original cast reprises their roles for the voice acting. Sadly, the English cast members did not make an appearance as the game only had Japanese-voiced lines. Nonetheless, we loved this high-quality production, as it’s clear that everything was crafted with a lot of love for the franchise. We would have loved it if all dialogues in the game were voiced, but we understand that would have been a huge undertaking.

Gameplay

One Piece Odyssey¬†is a fairly classic JRPG in which you’ll explore the world around you, complete (side-)quests, and battle enemies. There’s nothing truly surprising about the game, and you’ll find your footing after mere minutes. The game gets a bit more complex as you go, but it also feels like a very by-the-numbers experience.

Except for a few original mechanics here and there, One Piece Odyssey plays it very safe with its overall gameplay loop. If you have played any type of older JRPG you’ll know what to expect. You will be able to explore the areas that gradually open up around you, and you’ll of course be able to engage in combat with monsters and enemies that roam these areas. You can also actively try to avoid battles if you want to power through.

As we just mentioned, the game feels a bit dated and is more reminiscent of JRPGs you’d see on a PlayStation 3. This is mainly due to the very slow pacing of the game and the very awkward quest design. You’ll notice that you won’t be able to explore freely when you have to complete certain story aspects first, as the game will constantly interrupt your exploring with a prompt that says ‘you can’t go there yet’. This is extremely annoying, especially because the game also forces you to constantly backtrack to complete objectives. More than once we found ourselves going back and forth due to bad quest design. We’d have to run to one side of a city to talk to an NPC to then run to the other side to find an object, to eventually do this several more times, visiting the same areas over and over again.

The combat in OPO has a few very original and fun mechanics thrown in the mix to make battles quite enjoyable. Unlike other JRPGs with turn-based combat, your band of pirates actually splits up during battles to fight different opponents in different parts of the battlefield. When one or more members beat their opponents, they will be able to help out the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates. This does spice things up, and it ensures that battles don’t dull down that easily. That being said, the game then once again drags down the experience due to lengthy skill animations and overall very slow combat.

As a whole, the core gameplay loop is still very enjoyable, even with the many basic systems in place. For example, the general difficulty of the game is rather low and the gear system is very rudimentary. You’ll be able to equip a few items on each character. These items are placed on a grid, and you’ll have to puzzle to see what items can be fitted to each character. It’s a simple system but it works.

Conclusion

Even with a few questionable gameplay design choices and a lot of useless backtracking, we enjoyed what One Piece Odyssey had to offer. We were treated to a fun adventure with a lot of the franchise’s iconic characters, and the general gameplay loop also proved to be quite enjoyable. This JRPG would have been an absolute blast a few years back for the PlayStation 3. This is mainly because of pacing issues and dated quest design, but even so, OPO still has a very solid foundation. While not perfect, this one is still very much worth checking out for One Piece fans.

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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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One Piece Odyssey - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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