Monkey D. Luffy has begun gathering his crew on his quest to become the Pirate King. Join him as he faces numerous foes and hardships on his quest for the title.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 goes back to the beginning of Luffy’s adventures and his recruitment of new crew members as he heads for the New World. It doesn’t cover everything though, so if you’re like me and haven’t actually watched One Piece before, there are some bits that will likely take you a bit to catch onto. As you progress though, you’ll get to see the hardships the crew faces and watch them get closer to each other. Sometimes you’ll even team up with the most unlikely of people to reach a common goal.
Cutscenes play out in one of two styles. The first style is just a regular cutscene that will progress on its own and is what you usually expect from games these days. The other is a comic book style that will go from panel to panel as the 3D scenes play out within the panel. I typically preferred these ones, partly because I didn’t have a time limit on reading the subtitles, and also because they were just a bit funnier to me.
Pirate Warriors 3 is a large-scale battle type of game, and this was also my first exposure to the genre. You’ll progress through each level, killing thousands of enemies along the way, as you head for each area or boss enemy. Missions will come up that you need to do to either progress in the overall level or to complete it. Sometimes optional missions, Treasure Events, will also come up, requiring you to do specific things to complete them.
Since this was my first time playing this kind of game, I wasn’t sure how much I’d really get into the combat. Well, it turns out it’s just my style of game, because I love beating up hordes of enemies. While I only really fought with Luffy, you get a wide selection of characters you can play with and level up. Each character has their own skill sets available to them. Luffy’s skills are based off the Gum Gum fruit he ate, and while I’m not sure if others can do this too, but this helped me reach further away enemies at times during certain parts of their combos. Overall, I really did enjoy the gameplay style though, because beating up hordes of enemies IS fun!
As you find more characters you’ll obtain their Skill Posters. These posters have certain objectives on them that you need to complete in order to obtain more skills that you can set before going into battle. While the majority of characters require you to play them to unlock things, there are also characters that have requirements that don’t. These include beating them in combat or using them in a Kizuna Attack special.
Kizuna Attacks are possible as your gauge in the top left fills up. When it’s completely flow, the R2 button indicator will appear, and if you press R2 you’ll go into a super attack mode. Every attack you do like this will cause enemies that get hit to have a ! appear. While you can get these on your way to filling the gauge if your chosen partner appears and hits them at the end of your combo, the best way to do it is while you’re in this super mode. At any point during this, you can either press R2 to leave this mode or O to activate the super attack. This will bring up a cutscene with every character involved in your attack – you can get more by cycling through your possible allies and activating this mode with them – and will do quite a bit of damage to anything it hits. Of course, boss enemies also like to avoid these attacks, but ah well.
The previously mentioned Treasure Events are special events at certain points during the levels. When they are available, you’ll both see a ? appear on the mini-map and a ? will appear over your character’s head. If you head to the destination and defeat whatever is needed, you’ll trigger a special event that often helps make a level easier. Sometimes you’ll need to destroy objects, sometimes, you’ll need to help someone get to a specified location in time, and other times you’ll need to defeat a specific boss (sometimes with a specific character). Whether you choose to go for these or not is up to you, but they can often help make battles easier if you do go for them.
Each level also has a Legend Log to complete. These are mostly the same from level to level, however two specific spots on each 3×3 grid will have a different thing to do. The spots that stay the same ask you to S rank the level (an S rank in Time, !’s obtained, and enemy kills, plus the overall S rank), complete all Treasure Events, and complete the level on Hard difficulty. The two spots that differ will ask you to do specific things in the level, such as beating the boss with a Special Kizuna Attack or not letting specific troops flee. I found the defeating bosses with Special Kizuna Attacks to be pretty tricky, especially since they often like to dodge it when they’re low HP and you can only be in that mode for so long before it runs out.
Should you want to take a break from the story, which consists of 4-5 levels spread over 5 chapters, then you can dive into the Dream Log. The Dream Log will set up specific scenarios that you need to take on, and quite a few of them will want you to choose a certain army to go in with. Of course, if you’re a character from that army, then you’re forced to choose them. The levels inside play out like normal, though they lack their own Legend Logs and have no Treasure Events. Working on the Dream Log can be a nice way to level up if you feel like you’re getting underleveled for the main story.
Also within the Dream Log are “Wanted” characters. Once you purchase them from the Beli Shop, they’ll appear on the map and move around as you complete levels. As they move around, their recommended level will also go up, so you probably want to go for them as soon as you can. These can be a nice change of pace from the usual levels, and the one I took on I was able to do underleveled from the recommended level.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 features some addicting gameplay and hilarious story moments. Unlocking everything will take quite a bit of work, though with the scale of the game it’s to be expected. The story mode won’t take overly long – maybe around 20 hours – but once you add in the Dream log and going for 100% completion, that adds in the game time. It also plays quite nicely on PS4, though I did notice some moments of lag if too much was happening at once. If you’re a fan of this style of game or just One Piece in general, this game is worth the pickup. The music is catchy as well, and while all of the voices are in Japanese, the subtitles are fairly on point.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review Score
I would like to thank Bandai Namco for providing me with a PS4 copy for review.