One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 is the latest offering to lovers of the anime in the hopes of satiating our desires to GOMU GOMU NO PISUTORO the ever growing list of antagonists that stand in the way of Luffy and his dreams to become the Pirate King.
For the un-enlightened the premise of the anime/manga One Piece is that in a world where pirate bosses who have gained incredible powers through eating magical devil fruits, war with each other and the marines in the hopes of finding the ultimate booty to become the next Pirate King. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all allowing for some hilarious plot premises and characters. It takes something special for an anime to still be being watch after 600+ episodes without utilising the Dragon Ball Z method of everyone dying and coming back to life every 10 episodes.
At its core the game is Dynasty Warriors with a different skin on but the further into the game and the more intricacies and systems you learn the more you realise this is really just another Dynasty Warriors game with a different skin.This is in no way a bad thing because without the constraints of innovation the lads and ladies at Tecmo Koei and Omega Force have devoted all the time to character design and by setting it in the One Piece universe with all the magic, marines and magnificent maritime merriment there is an overwhelmingly giant roster of characters is as large as it is varied. The sheer madness of the One Piece world really shines through when your character is switching between bi-pedal human to rocket to tank all in the press of one special attack.
The main story last a solid 10 hours and I really enjoyed the whole thing. I was Bro-Oping with my friend Jack locally with Split-Screen which took me back to days where it came as standard in Co-Op Games. Split-screen worked remarkably well considering the amount of entities and action on screen, occasional slow-down of FPS is to be expected when you both do giant special attacks in a close vicinity to one another but they were in no way game-breaking. There is also online multiplayer and a ‘SOS’ option where you can help out players in need which adds to your overall ranking on the world servers, get the highest and you become Pirate King.
After selecting your character from the long list, a process that usually takes me 20 minutes before I just pick Brook because his run animation makes me giggle every time I see it, you are subjected to even more choices that really make such an insignificant and miniscule change to each stat that I only spent an hour doing them each mission, not the 4 hour minimum it would take the most grindiest, cookie-cutter in all the land to perfect.
Even choosing what support character you take with your main hero feels almost pointless for the few times during the battle they will make an appearance. It just feels a little like these RPG elements were stuck on to add a few more unnecessary hours (or decades) of playtime to what could have been a perfectly good game without them. Not every game with multiple characters has to be an RPG, especially when there are dozens of them who all level up individually as you play them.
If you want to unlock more crew members than the 8-10 that you receive during the campaign you can opt to do ‘Crew Missions’ which come in a variety of difficulties all the way up to “JESUS CHRIST I HATE THIS GAME!” mode. I’m a real fan of unlocking all the characters in games which is why I was forever thankful that they hadn’t opted for buying them through DLC and instead made it a challenge for the player to fill their roster. For those that really hate themselves there is the ‘Challenge Mode’ which goes all the way up to “JESUS CHRIST I HATE LIVING!”
I’m not a huge fan of the Dynasty Warriors series and games along a similar theme of cutting down swathes of seemingly endless and seemingly retarded enemies so I didn’t expect One Piece Pirate/Dynasty/Samurai Warriors 2 to give as much enjoyment as it did. Maybe it’s the upbeat music, Japanese shouting or just being the in the One Piece universe but I really couldn’t get enough. It’s difficult to recommend to anyone who isn’t a fan of the series because of how convoluted the story is, not that it is wholly integral to having a good time, I just can’t see anyone who doesn’t have the anime mindset of just going along for the ride and leaving logic behind really getting into the game. Anyone who watches a lot of anime or plays a lot of JRPGS knows to just accept things, I frequently say to myself “Ok then.” When a character explodes into carrots or some kind of other ridiculous shit.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.