One piece is one of those series that almost everyone has heard of, it is a series that has been running since 1997, and has been constantly popular since the release both in Japan and in the west, through the manga, Anime and copious video games. It’s a series that has gone through almost every genre in video games, from RPG’s to fighting and musou style games as well, and they have sold well on almost every format too. When you get these kind of giants in popular media, there’s only so many ways the story can be told, similar to all of the Dragon Ball games, unless you have a massive love for the series, it gets boring hearing and watching the same starting again and again. Of course when it comes to this you get to focus more on the gameplay, as there’s not much to add in the story department anymore, which is always nice when playing a game, though I’m lucky, I only caught random episodes of the show and the only other game I played was Pirate Warriors (Musou).
So One piece romance dawn to me is a completely new experience to the story, but I don’t think there’s much need to go into the story, anything that I saw will pale into the vast amount that there already is out there. Its starts from the beginning, like any good story should, and goes through Monkey D luffy’s ride and struggle to become pirate king and find the treasure that has been hidden on the grand line by the last pirate king. You meet all the familiar faces, be it ally or enemy, from the story line, picking up all of Luffy’s crew men, it’s told as well as it can be, it’s enjoyable and helps progress the story.
Unsurprisingly, having such a strong story it isn’t a surprise Romance dawn is a RPG, thankfully it isn’t a generic turn based, grinding RPG that gets churned out as fast and as low quality as possible, it works. Gameplay its very corridor based, there isn’t much in the means of exploring in each dungeon but there are many different islands to explore, outside of the main story ones that is, it isn’t needed to go through them, but it helps level your character. Once you run into your enemies, it turns into more of a tactical RPG, you can only move your character so far in a circle, and any more and you get penalties which make you wait longer for your turn. At first the penalties are not much more than an annoyance, making very easy matches drag on a little longer, but later on you really need to start being careful about it, as it can cause you to lose some of the harder boss fights.
The combo system is something that also tries to set this game apart from others, at the start each character only has one combo, over time you can upgrade your skills to unlock new combos, and the ability to change how the combo progresses. This is something that you can’t ignore, whilst you’re beginning combo will get you so far into the game, upgrading your combo’s increases the damage you can deal a large amount, not to mention it can hit multiple enemies at once in some cases. Then each of the playable characters have their own special attacks, one that will one hit kill most smaller enemies, and deal heavy damage to bosses, these are usually made up of made up of iconic attacks from the series that each character uses. Monkey D luffy, Zoro, Navi and all the rest will learn moves that we have seen in plenty of times, and they are quite enjoyable to use, seeing Luffies Gum Gum pistol hit multiple targets, it may get a bit repetitive, but there is quite a few different attacks.
Graphically for the 3DS this game is very impressive, I think I’m just used to seeing these generic games come out from Japan on the PS3 with sub Ps2 graphics that I went into this game expecting something that looks like it should be on the original DS which isn’t the case at all. This isn’t going to be a game that beats out Nintendo’s first party titles, but it doesn’t disappoint and the characters looked as close to their anime/manga count part. The part I find most ironic is that this game is actually a port, of a PSP title that was Japanese only, which probably why there is a lack of 3D in this title.
In this day and age, a lot of people are not interested in a port, people have been giving the Vita a lot of stick due to its large amount of ports so far, but I do think Romance Dawn is a good game, and one that one piece fans will enjoy on the go. It is by no means a block busting AAA title, but it is a fun title that does what it needs to do, and manages to tell a story in a interesting way, one that has been told far too many ways so far. With all that said, this game deserves a bit more attention than it’s getting, and a well-earned.
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.