A classic turn-based RPG in the style of Dragon Quest isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when I think of game genres that would pair well with the action-packed world of One Piece, but as One Piece Odyssey proves, it fits the bill. perfection. The Straw Hats make a great group of RPG characters; Eichiro Oda’s unique art style lends itself to filling the world with fantastical and playful creatures; and the over-the-top nature of the battles in the manga and anime provides plenty of material for some of the coolest (and funniest) special attacks I’ve seen in a turn-based RPG. Those fights would have been better if they were more of a consistent challenge, and I would have liked less backtracking through areas I’d already explored, but it’s still a surprisingly satisfying JRPG Don’t stick to numbers.
The story begins with Luffy and his crew stranded on the mysterious island of Waford. It doesn’t take long for them to meet two original characters: Lim and Adio, who deeply mistrust pirates. So much so that, upon meeting for the first time, they steal the Straw Hats’ powers, which serves to explain why don’t luffy and company win every battle just by looking at his enemies (although that comes later).
what follows is a great story that unfolds on two fronts: the adventure in Waford, in which the Straw Hat crew tries to help Adio and Lim by defeating a handful of elemental colossi responsible for the gigantic storm engulfing the island (what’s the worst that could happen?); and another that takes place in Memory, a world of memories created thanks to Lim’s special ability that allows the Straw Hats to revisit specific places and events from their history. The reveals and twists won’t surprise anyone, but I still really enjoyed both sides of One Piece Odyssey’s story. Lim, especially, is a wonderful addition to the cast, and I was delighted to see her go from being extremely wary and cold of the crew to being intrigued and occasionally amazed by each of their individual quirks, to finally fully embracing the Straw Hats as friends.
Odyssey is aimed squarely at longtime One Piece fans.
It should be noted that Odyssey speaks directly to longtime One Piece fans, as its story picks up well after the Dressrosa arc (some 750 episodes), and it has no qualms about delving into some of the series’ biggest surprises. This makes it hard to recommend to newcomers to the series, but if you’re very interested in the world and characters of One Piece, the Memory chapters offer great rewards. These are scenarios in which the crew revisits crucial moments of the series from new perspectives. Even the smallest things, like the crew’s reaction to seeing the Going Merry docked in Alabasta, are moments of great emotional impact for any fan of the series like me. Moments like these are at the heart of the One Piece Odyssey story, brought to life brilliantly by writing that feels totally in-tune with the anime and manga, great performances, and a fantastic art style that authentically translates the style. unique from One Piece to 3D.
A piece of straw hat
One Piece Odyssey’s combat is refreshingly straightforward, though that simplicity ends up being a double-edged sword. Traditional turn-based combat is based on a rock-paper-scissors logic that assigns each party member, enemy, and boss a damage type: power, speed, or technique. Power beats speed, technique beats power, and speed beats technique. What makes this system work is that there is no traditional turn order, and you are free to choose whichever character you want to take the lead in combat. Even if it’s not in your active party of four characters, you can freely switch it out without taking a turn. You can also see which of your enemies will be the next to take their turn and try to plan it. Once all four characters in your active party have performed an action, the combat round ends and everyone can act again.
The only complication in all of this is that there are multiple zones on the battlefield, and in order for a character to move from one to another, they must first defeat all the enemies in their own zone. So, on paper, there is a certain strategy when deciding the order in which your characters should attack first. Let’s say, for example, there’s a bunch of enemies in an area that are weak to technique, but my strongest technical character, Zoro, is stuck in an area with a single enemy that’s weak to speed. I can get Usopp, my Speed character, to go first using a ranged attack to hit enemies in other zones and free Zoro; Zoro can then clear the other area with one of his attacks that hits multiple enemies.
One Piece Odyssey is so easy in 95% of its battles that strategy is rarely required.
That’s an example of how strategy could come into play. The problem is that One Piece Odyssey he is so easy in 95% of his battles that strategy is rarely required, and there is no way to adjust the difficulty. I never pushed myself (in fact, I ran past plenty of enemies that could have given me even more experience) and yet I still felt vastly superior for the better part of the 40 hours it took me to get to the end. Much of this is due to the dramatic cutscene system, which randomly gives you an additional target during certain enemy encounters. They’re almost always trivially easy, like “defeat enemy C before a crew member is knocked out”, but the bonus they grant is astronomical, sometimes doubling or more than tripling the amount of experience gained in a single combat. I’ve fought packs of rats that gave more experience than big boss battles at the end of the chapter. That is not well balanced.
Towards the end there is a significant increase in difficulty, but even so I never thought it was more of a challenge Or that it made the battles more fun. Rather, it forced me to pay more attention to my characters’ equipment, which is at least fun in itself. Instead of finding new weapons or armor pieces, you find accessories of various sizes and shapes that you must fit into an ever-growing grid. It’s a very flexible system that allows you to assign your own roles to each character, and just as easily change them if you want to focus on a different character or bolster a different attribute. You can even make Nami your big damage dealer by equipping her with attack gear, which is surprisingly effective given that, for a while, she’s the only character who can hit everyone, regardless of what zone they’re in. Over time, you gain the ability to fuse these artifacts together and add up to four effects to them, allowing you to turn your party into true beasts.
Despite the lack of tension during the fighting, I liked the combat of One Piece Odyssey in general, especially since the special abilities are so much fun. They hit the nail on the head with the look, impact and comedy of each of the Straw Hats’ attacks. Whether it’s the ridiculousness of Usopp, the spectacularity of pretty much any of Zoro’s moves, or the devastation of Luffy’s abilities. The attention to detail that the developers have paid in taking these iconic moves from the source material and bringing them to Odyssey is truly something to behold.
On your journey through memory, you will visit four main locations from One Piece history, and the credit goes to the developer studio ILCA, who has done an incredible job to make each one of them look like a real place. The kingdom of Alabasta is vast, with two bustling cities to explore (Nanohana and Alubarna) and vast deserts connecting them; Water Seven has the atmosphere of a cold Venetian city with rivers running through its streets; And while you’ll only get to explore it after all the birdcage-related craziness, there’s a chilling sense of overwhelming grief and loss as you walk the streets of the recently devastated kingdom of Dressrosa.
Of the four, the only one that was not well received was Alabasta, the first location of Memory. The main quest drags on making you go back and forth between places you’ve already visited, sending you on a bunch of errands and fetch quests, and forcing you through drab caves. It’s very slow to get to the heart of the story you’re reliving, and it’s made especially repetitive by the fact that you don’t gain new techniques or abilities by leveling up. Instead, you unlock a bunch of abilities at once at the end of the chapter, making for a jerky feeling of progress. So it’s nothing but hours of the same types of combat against almost the same types of enemies until you get to the end of this extraordinarily long chapter.
The main quest takes you from one place to another that you have already visited.
It was a bummer for me, because Alabasta is one of my favorite One Piece story arcs. Fortunately, others have a better balance by keeping its main quest story-focused and relegating the more menial tasks to optional side quests, of which there are plenty, though few are truly engaging to start with or rewarding to complete. The Hysteria side quests are a notable exception, as they at least reward you with special team moves that bring together three party members for a single super-powered attack.
Out of Memory, you will explore a handful of more puzzle-focused dungeons, which usually require you to use each character’s unique field techniques. Luffy can use grappling points to cross gaps and grab objects from a distance, Usopp can use his slingshot to knock down objects or activate certain switches from afar, Zoro can cut through steel doors, and Chopper can traverse small passageways and access hidden areas. None of these abilities really improves the puzzles or exploration significantly, but they do a good job of varying the visual design of the dungeons, adding some hidden collectibles off the beaten path, and giving you something to do other than walking down a path fighting enemies for hours.
The strength of One Piece’s story, world, art, and characters makes it It’s a pleasure to play One Piece Odyssey, even though I can get through most battles in my sleep. Some way of tweaking the difficulty and adding even a little more tension to combat to make it more satisfying would have been nice, and much of the mission design relies heavily on backtracking through areas already visited, but One Piece Odyssey hits the nail on the head in the most important parts: the heart, humor, and soul of One Piece.