One Piece Odyssey Review

One Piece Odyssey Review

One Piece Odyssey Review

need to know

What is it? A turn-based JRPG that travels through the past of One Piece.
expect to pay: $59.99 / £49.99
developer: ILCA, Inc.
publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Reviewed on: Windows 11, Nvidia 2080 Ti, Intel i9-9900k @ 4.9GHz, 32GB RAM
multiplayer game? No
go out: Now
associate: Official Website(opens in a new tab)

Twenty-five years ago, Half-Life hit the PC, the first PlayStation reigned supreme, and a little pirate adventure comic called One Piece began. Now I’m approaching 40, gray-haired, but still enjoying the adventures going on with rubber villain Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates. Celebrating a quarter century at sea, the crew embarks on a magnificent JRPG voyage with One Piece Odyssey: A sprawling, captivating adventure that creaks within its own confines.

If you don’t know what One Piece is, or have only seen a few episodes of the anime, Odyssey probably isn’t for you. It’s set about 750 episodes into the anime, and assumes knowledge of its characters, their abilities, and their history. On top of that, much of the game is devoted to (loosely) retracing the events of the four main storylines, reenacted adventures that culminate in stories written specifically for the game.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

While manga author Eiichiro Oda had very little input into Odyssey’s story, he did contribute some concepts and creature designs, including some cute goofy monsters.The Odyssey traps Luffy and crew on Wafford, a forgotten island inhabited by a pair of new characters: big-haired explorer Ardio and mysterious local girl Lim, who, after realizing they are OK A kind of pirate. Fortunately, no one has amnesia, but the Straw Hats have forgotten how to fight, so they embark on an adventure to restore the memory cube that preserves their lost fighting power, and then enter the memory world to relive their four most important… Take risks and relive their failures.

black spot

Odyssey is actually one giant filler arc—the kind of questionable classic side-adventure that animation has to plug in to keep a TV show on the air every week. While Odyssey’s new story and characters are decent enough for One Piece, paradoxically, the game’s narrative strength lies in refurbishing old locations.

While these adventures in Memoria are based on past storylines (Alabasta, Water Seven, Marineford, and Dressrosa), the Straw Hat Pirates know that these are only rough approximations of their adventures and that their actions don’t change what actually happened. Still, they’re all determined to make things better. Even if it’s just a dream, they’ll save everyone they can’t save, win the unwinnable battle, and create a happier ending. What could have been a glorified clip takes on unexpected bittersweet and personal edge, with heroes getting a chance to see lost and fallen friends again.

Compared to the average One Piece filler animation, it has rich character beats, and each cast member has time in the spotlight to discern their feelings and come to terms with their loss. Whereas the comics often have characters tearing up over lost friends or sad farewells, Odyssey is more about coming to terms with the past. Sadly, the sassy skellington Brook only joins the party later in the game, but the rest of the crew has room to breathe. At least when they’re not off track.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

The Odyssey is stuffed with filler, filler within filler. It’s not just a map for side quests, grinds, and treasure hunts—the main story often forgets where it’s going. In one particularly egregious case, a chase across the desert to save a friend was met with bandits who stole the crew’s food, a monkey who stole Nami’s wallet, a river of quicksand, a caving around quicksand (which failed ) and then anyway, the cartoon crab shows up just to get everyone to their destination.

It’s hard for me to get annoyed with Odyssey or Cancer. Distractions tend to lean towards One Piece’s goofy side, and even these odd story digressions lead to some spectacular boss fights and interesting new monsters. There are also some great encounters in the optional side content, including bounties for chasing down rival pirates with their own antics, like the crew part who loves dramatic jumps off cliff tops but hasn’t figured out a “safe landing” yet. But nearly every part of the Odyssey could use some trimming. Missions can be shortened, grinding reduced and backtracking removed to leave a leaner, faster game.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

The main thing you’ll be doing in One Piece Odyssey is getting into turn-based JRPG combat, and thankfully, filler or not, the combat is smarter than I expected. I’d be happy if the game emulated Dragon Quest, but the developers really thought about how to replicate the sprawling, messy cartoon brawls of the source material in an accessible turn-based combat engine. I’ve encountered superpowered naval officers, screen-filling monsters, and plenty of cave-filled bandits, and I’m always happy to see the Straw Hat Pirates raise their hand against overwhelming odds.

Everyone’s a Kung Fu Dugong

Combat in One Piece Odyssey is initially familiar—my four characters take turns exchanging fists with a group of enemies—but the scale is novel. Each party member can engage up to four separate enemies of the enemy on their own field. While some attacks are limited to targeting nearby enemies, others can be used to hit enemies at a distance, or bowl for meatheads by swiping a mook at a nearby partner. I especially like attacks that launch enemies into teammates at a distance, leading to good banter in combat. Some of Luffy’s crew like the new target, while others (Usopp) prefer less.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

A surprise bonus objective called a drama scene is an added twist. Occasionally, the game will ask you to finish off enemies with a specific character, or save a crew member before they’re hit by a charge attack. Completing these objectives provides a huge boost to XP, and sometimes the system is used to inject more personality into battles as well. If Sanji and Zoro were side by side, their rivalry could lead to some banter and their skill points (the equivalent of MP in this game) being fully charged.

Despite all these neat details, One Piece Odyssey lacks a difficulty setting or scaling, meaning the first 5-10 hours are pretty straightforward. Even without paying attention to stats and largely ignoring the synergy between characters, I didn’t see my first character get knocked out until about 15 hours into Odyssey, and the quick heal item let them die in seconds Resurrection after the bell. After that the difficulty becomes slightly less, but it’s a long time to wait for any kind of challenge.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

smooth sailing

Still, even if they’re easy, the fights are fun. One Piece is beautifully replicated, capturing the visual tone of the anime, but introducing a bit of manga style by rendering the shadows as increasingly dense shadow lines that mimic Oda’s art. It’s such a fascinating detail that it feels so natural, I didn’t notice it at first. It helps that the exaggerated, wide-eyed cartoon monster design works in 3D and fits naturally into the more constrained geography.

While mostly linear, One Piece Odyssey’s dungeons and towns are fun to wander around and explore. In the Overworld, each character has their own ability to interact: Luffy can use his stretchy rubber arms to slip through gaps, Zoro can slice through metal rods, Franky can build bridges over specific gaps, Sanji Fresh ingredients can be smelled from a mile away. It’s also usually worth spending time chatting with NPCs. While there are no material rewards, they have plenty of gags—guards who forget their weapons at home, bandits who question their career choices, shopkeepers who get bargained by Nami, and talking savage animals translated by Chopper.

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

As charming as the NPCs are, they don’t have much animation, and the dialogue outside of the main plot scenes can seem a bit stilted and awkward. Thankfully, the combat animations are a treat. Most characters (with the exception of Brooke – the undead get no respect) have an unreasonably long attack list that represents nearly every well-known named technique or attack panel in the comics. The animations are fast, crisp and full of nostalgia. Thankfully, there’s an option to double the speed of all combat animations so that they don’t feel like overlong, non-skippable Final Fantasy summons.

On the tech front, aside from the lack of ultrawide monitor support, there’s not much to complain about here. There’s a decent range of graphics and control settings, and it plays equally well with a gamepad or mouse/keyboard. It even supports high refresh rates, which look great in combat, though some cutscenes only run at 30 fps. If you have Steam Deck, you may want to limit the game framerate to 30 fps for consistency and battery savings, but otherwise you should have no issues. (Not exactly a technical note, but Odyssey only contains Japanese audio. The subtitles or busts, and some of the accompanying chatter don’t get translated at all.)

(Image source: Bandai Namco)

One Piece Odyssey is a beautiful new adventure game with an unexpected bittersweet tone that expands the universe of the revered manga/anime. It celebrates 25 years of pirate adventure while capturing the faintly sad atmosphere surrounding its final saga announcement(Opens in a new tab). Like the TV animation, it’s a bit slack, and a bit of trimming could make for a consistently exciting 30-hour game rather than a tortuous 50-hour game. Still, if you’ve been paying attention to One Piece, chances are you’re here for a leisurely cruise rather than a dash to the finish line.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.