One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, Fighting
Developer: Koei Tecmo Games
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested on: Xbox One

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Great gameplay, Story cutscenes look awesome
Bad: Kizuna Rush removed, Some emotions won’t be displayed as good as they are in the series
User Score
9.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Finally, the long-awaited sequel to the One Piece: Pirate Warriors series, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 has released after it had been revealed just before Gamescom last year where fans could check out a demo of the game. This new release covers everything from the story until the episodes that recently released. With updated graphics, new game mechanics, while also retaining the already loved features, this game is sure to be a must-buy for fans of the One Piece anime. We were lucky enough to be given a review code to get a closer look on this newest release in the One Piece Pirate Warriors game series.

Story

The story of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 covers the whole series of the One Piece Manga and anime. To have more focus on the story of the last few story arcs that have aired on TV,  a lot of the earlier story is comprised in a big intro where every big event is shown to you. The story mode, Dramatic Log, lets you begin at the Alabasta Arc, where Luffy first meets his brother Ace for the first time since he left to set out on his journey at sea. The game lets you play in the series’ most exciting parts of the story and will let you fight against all the big shots the Straw Hats have gone up against. We definitely noticed that a lot of the anime’s story is skipped with some expansive story-telling in between chapters, but this really is understandable as One Piece now features over 900 episodes and is continuing to be one of the longest anime series to date.

While going through the story mode, each episode will let you choose which character you want to control to get acquainted with multiple characters through the story mode alone. Each episode consists out of multiple events that follow-up each other, which need to be cleared sequentially to clear the episode. After defeating the last boss in an episode, the game’s HUD will disappear to indicate it’s over. Each episode also has sub-missions that are optional side missions that can be cleared for earning a bit more money and adding more depth to your playthrough.

Graphics

The graphics of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 are again, done perfectly with portraying each character just like they look in the anime. For the visualization of the story content of the game, they have upgraded a lot. While the third installment made use of a comic book style of storytelling, with the sequel, they’ve made videos in a more 3D style which directly copies some of the most exciting moments of the series, although every emotion that is perfectly portrayed in the series won’t be on point in this 3D style. While playing an episode after beating one of the important enemies, a cutscene will occur showing what exactly happened in the anime with great detail, making you experience those moments exactly as when you saw them in the anime. All the special moves and skills of each character look very good, just as they did in the earlier games.

Sound

In the sound department of this game, you could say that everything is done exquisitely. All the original voice-actors are used for the voices of all characters. Every move that is used is perfectly accompanied by what the character would say when performing it, for example, Luffy screaming ”Gomu Gomu no Elephanto Gun!!”. Everything is done with the utmost respect for the source material. The music also sounds very familiar as it is recycled from earlier games, or taken from the anime itself, which contributes to the authentic “feel” of the game.

Gameplay

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is an action-adventure fighting game which is a spin-off to Koei Tecmo’s Warriors franchise. This game is the latest sequel to the Pirate Warriors series that lets you relive parts of the story of the One Piece anime series in large-scaled battles. Just like in the earlier installments, you will join massive battles on large maps while encountering a lot of fodder units that’ll be blasted away by all of your character’s attack combinations. These games are basically a power trip where you blast through thousands of fodder enemies and the only challenge is beating the stronger “key” characters from the series. As the characters in the anime are ridiculously strong, this type of gameplay perfectly fits the One Piece universe.

The way you level and upgrade characters and their stats has been drastically changed in this game compared to its predecessor. In the previous one, you needed to earn experience to level-up characters to level 50, limit break them with special medals to unlock the max level of 100 and then earn experience to reach it. As you reached higher levels, your character’s combinations were expanded along the way. In this game, characters won’t have their own level anymore. Now, for upgrading characters, there are two types of maps filled with islands that each have their own process to increase to a stat, unlock a skill or super attack. The first type of map is shared with all the characters, meaning an upgrade done there will benefit all of your characters. The characters also have two own maps that will unlock new moves, further increase their stats and unlock some skills that have a connection with their characteristics or style of battle. The islands on these maps are unlocked by spending a combination of Beli, the in-game currency and medals that are earned upon defeating captains in each level. Some of these medals can only be earned once and can be used indefinitely, but are only found within a specific level or by defeating a specific enemy.

Like in the earlier games, each playable character has their own unique combos which vary from strong attacks focused on a small area in front to wide-ranged attacks that attack the whole vicinity in front of you. Instead of having one super and one ultimate attack to deal big damage to your opponents in one blow, you’ll now have four slots that you can set with super attacks and power-ups that are unlocked in the character maps. The Kizuna Rush system that was used in Pirate Warriors 3 to work together with characters in your team has vanished in the latest game. This would allow allies to join you instantly and combine their attacks with yours. Enemies defeated with those combinations and while you’re in the Kizuna Rush state would earn you exclamation marks that were also a requirement to fully clear a level with an S-rank. The only requirements needed to clear a level with an S-rank in this game are the amount of enemies defeated and the clear time. The ultimate Kizuna Rush, that was a combination of you and your allies’ strongest attacks to blast away all the enemies in front of you, has also disappeared as a result of this. Yes, these attacks were a total overkill, but they were really fun to use.

Again, there are three types of game modes to play in this game, with the first being Dramatic Log, the official story mode of the game that follows the series storyline. Secondly, Free Log lets you replay stages from the Dramatic Log without the story content and you can choose to play as any character you want. Lastly, there’s the Treasure Log that offers more mission-oriented gameplay with many levels filled with a lot of missions to complete, which all have different completion requirements, varying from base capturing, beating enemy commanders and surviving attacks from overpowered enemies. After you’ve cleared the Dramatic Log, you’ll notice that you haven’t got all the medals to fully unlock all characters. These will be needed to be farmed in the Treasure Log for some more expansive gameplay. While most missions in the dramatic Log can be played with a maximum of two players, the missions in the Treasure Log can be played with three other players in an online co-op mode.

Conclusion

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a great sequel to the Pirate Warriors series with improved graphics, great story cutscenes, solid gameplay and a lot of content to explore with the biggest amount of playable characters that will even be expanded with upcoming character DLC. Yes, some great features from earlier games, like the Kizuna Rush and the ally system are missing, but the expanded usage of special attacks makes up for that. The game has definitely kept most of the things that were already good as they were or even improved them, and they made it easier to switch to other characters with the shared upgrades to character’s stats. You still have a lot of grinding to do in this game, what was a really fun aspect of the series, but you won’t need to start all over again with each character. For fans of the anime series and this type of fighting games, this game is definitely a must-buy as it features a lot of the most recent story of the anime combined with great gameplay and a great way of storytelling.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Nickskuh


Administration is my job but gaming is my passion!

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