One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review – Snotty Noses and Tears Aplenty

Omega Force come again almost two years after the European release of One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 on the PS3 but this time bring their hack and slash antics to the PS4 and PC. With more mayhem and lots of characters to beat up, is this worth getting so soon after the previous game? Take a look at our One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 review for the full picture.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review:

Today we’re taking a look at Omega Force’s One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 which for the first time sees the outlandish cast of character appear on the PS4 and PC. It has been almost two years since the last game on PS3 and so the question one has to ask is, aside from the visual upgrade, is it worth jumping in for more of the same hack and slash gameplay.

In a nutshell yes, if you’re making the transition from PS3 to PS4 or jumping in on the PC, that’s a given, for PS3 gamers there’s perhaps less of an incentive unless you’re a sucker for the extra story elements. The core gameplay remains pretty much the same, with Omega Force’s trademark actions making themselves well known here.

For the uninitiated, players can tackle Luffy’s story across 22 stages where the onus is on fighting in open environments against a slew of regular forces and more powerful captains with some boss characters thrown in for good measure. There’s a few combos players can utilize and as the story progresses more moves become available. There’s no block button per se but an evasive move which also doubles up as a means of closing the gap between your character and any locked on target. It’s all straight forward and with the option to team up with secondary characters for devastating attack moves or Kizuna attacks and the choice to build up powerful specials there’s enough options to keep the game from being too repetitive and allowing for a bit of individual flair. That said, players who simply wish to button mash can do so with ease and still come out on top due to the forgiving nature of each stage. The only real spanner in the works is the slight tactical elements where players need to stay focused on events that happen during the skirmishes which require being in a certain location for special sequences or aiding an ally before they get taken out. This aspect is a mainstay of Omega Force’s games and certainly makes each stage much more challenging although failure does mean restarting the entire level from the beginning.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 offers a wide range of characters to play with (37 to be precise), across its two main modes of play which are the story based Legend Log and Dream Log. The former also allows for free play where any unlocked character can take on completed stages. Essentially though each mode plays out the same with the core gameplay and unlockables being consistent across each mode which is neat. Players can earn cash to upgrade characters, or purchase extras such as additional costumes, music and movie sequences. The coins also make a return which are essentially the game’s skill levelling feature.

In terms of visuals, the game ups the ante quite a bit over the last game with an overall level of sharpness bringing the characters and on-screen enemies to life with much more clarity than before. The 60 frames per second smoothness is also well apparent on the PS4 with very little to slow it down even when the screen is filled with masses of enemies and regardless of whether they are just standing around doing very little. That said, it’s pretty satisfying to unleash powerful attacks which send large groups of enemies flying across the screen which for some reason doesn’t get old.

The One Piece characters are well animated where players are treated to numerous scenes before and during the stages which adds a bit more personality to the gameplay. Expect lots of crying, snotty noses and shouting here as there’s some excellent use of visual effects and manga style still images interspersed with animated sections making for amusing and entertaining moments throughout. For some, the constant interruption might begin to grate – although for the less patient the option to skip is offered which is handy especially if replaying a level.

The audio is a love or hate it area which has to be said is drenched in Japanese with English only making itself known via subtitles and in the menus. However, the voice overs regardless of their origin are excellent and performed with an intense variety. So even if the native tongue isn’t understood, it’s obvious some great talent has been used to bring the diverse set of characters to life. Sure, a complete localization in English as an option would have been nice, but then again, there’s a certain charm listening to the original Japanese voices. Aside from the voice overs, there’s a usual assortment of sound effects and background music which is pretty much standard fare.

In terms of length, there’s quite a bit on offer here, the Legend Log alone will take up to 15 hours to beat (or more) with some stages lasting 40 minutes and longer. Players then have the choice of upgrading unused characters with earnings, which again takes time, alongside just replaying the game with a different character if desired – especially as each one has their own style to mess around with. The Dream Log mode extends the same flavours as the Legend Log but with specific challenges and bosses to overcome across a set of islands. The core fighting gameplay remains, but the mission structure is slightly more condensed here and makes for a neat extra to play with.

Players can also team up locally for split screen play for up to two players and if the wider online community is your thing then there’s the option to tackle the Legend Log stages with others via creating or searching for games. Players can also request assistance from others at any time in a persistent rescue request option.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 certainly makes its mark on the PS4 as a worthy entry for the series. PS3 gamers might feel a bit short changed in terms of there being little new here. However, with an abundance of entertaining characters and amusing new scenes following much of Luffy’s story fused with compelling simplified gameplay makes it an accessible game despite following Omega Force’s usual formula which they have used for years now. There’s obviously quite a bit of gameplay repetition here, but a healthy cast of characters and progression makes up for it in many ways. Whilst hack and slash games of this ilk aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, fans of One Piece will love the transition to PS4/PC here despite the lack of English voices and probably need no encouragement to buy the game. Anyone else on the fence will find a neat game filled to the brim with content that’s worth picking up if you’re in need to let off some steam and just attack masses of enemies over and over again.

Score 8.5/10

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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