For those who are unfamiliar with One Piece, it is a Japanese Manga series which is the brain child of Eiichiro Oda. Due to its popularity there has been a grand total of 36 games produced so far, with the latest one being Unlimited World Red. Outside of Japan there is normally a smaller market Anime-based games and I will admit that I did not know an awful lot about the franchise. So without delay lets us take a closer look below.
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Genre: Action, Adventure, RPG
Release Date: 27 June 2014
Thanks to the publisher for the review code.
Unlimited World Red is an action RPG that follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy. A young boy that is captain of a crew called the Straw Hat Pirates. The story is that they have gone missing and it is up to him to save them from the Red Count. I am going to be honest and say I don’t much about the Count, but from the way that Monkey seem to know them then I would say that they are a regular occurrence in the series. However you are not alone in this quest and you pick up a travelling companion – a mysterious raccoon named Pato. This little critter seems to have some unique abilities thanks to some gum gum fruit.
When you start you will notice that the characters speaking have been kept in the original Japanese voice acting. This means that you need to read the subtitles that appear bottom of the screen, but to be fair this is not too hard and you still get the understanding of the story and like most RPG’s the on-screen messages don’t advance until you press the button. And for those who are concerned with being a franchise that you don’t know too much about will you still be able to understand what is going? The good news is that you will. The brief introduction of the characters and the easy-to-follow story ensure that non-fans can follow and understand also.
The combat system is a simple affair with it being real-time fighting you use the X and Y button for your attacks. You have combo attacks at your disposal that you can use in the air or on the land. And like used in the Batman games franchise you have the B button that you can use to dodge or counter attacks from your enemies. This works very well and you will also notice that you have a super bar that when filled will unleash a special move to inflict maximum damage. Throughout the game you will level up after combat and also throughout the town you will find chests which have words inside them. These words give you and your team special abilities or unlock portals which lead to other areas.
The game world itself is a nice size to explore and the locations that you visit are varied and colourful. And as well as the main quest there are a lot of side quests to find and complete. Most of the side-quests are available from the pub which is unlocked early on in the game. You also find you can pick up a fishing rod and incest that are quite useful in the game – much in the same as they are in Animal Crossing on 3DS. The enemies are not varied and give a repetitive feel, but the boss battles are fun and some of the best I have played for a while in any game. Also checkpoints are frequent, which is good as when you die you don’t have to complete the same parts over and over again.
Besides the story mode there is the Battle Coliseum mode. This is where the characters take part in a tournament to test their fighting skills. This apparently follows the Dressrosa story arc and takes place with 5 different battle types. Gameplay length is about average for this type of game – 20 hours and the Coliseum mode will give about 8 – 10 additional hours. The one drawback that might make people think twice about buying this game is the fact that there is no online mode.
One Piece Unlimited World Red is a game that is based on an Anime/Manga franchise that is more popular in the East than in the West. There have been various One Piece games and probably a couple of references and characters have been explained in the series at some point. But if you like a good action adventure RPG then you won’t go far wrong with this. A brief explanation gives you information on your quest and characters so you got a basic understanding. Overall a good game that might not be to everyone’s taste due to no English dubbing and lack of online modes.