Fans of One Piece were eagerly anticipating a different video game of the Musou genre, which has already entered its fourth chapter thanks to the Pirate Warriors tale. This is certainly no secret. One Piece Odyssey’s release was undoubtedly feared after the semi-disaster that was One Piece: World Seekers, but thankfully, fans now have a game that, despite certain shortcomings, manages to win them over, particularly in terms of fanservice.
The role-playing video game One Piece Odyssey was created by ILCA and released by Bandai Namco Entertainment in 2023. It was made available on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S and is a part of the One Piece series.
In the turn-based role-playing game One Piece Odyssey, players take control of the Straw Hat Pirates and Monkey D. Luffy. Each playable character has a special skill related to their power that is used for navigating, gathering things, and resolving puzzles. The game switches to the battle screen after confronting an enemy on the battlefield, where menu commands are used to direct the activities of the characters. The “Scramble Area Battles” system, which divides engagements into various sections, is the centerpiece of the combat system.
One Piece Odyssey can be positioned chronologically between the conclusion of the Whole Cake Island story and the start of Wano, even though we can assume that it is plainly a story in and of itself.
When a mysterious island is spotted on the horizon, the Sunny is still traveling through comparatively calm waters. The ship is suddenly launched into the air by a “Knock upstream” that fans of Skypiea will recognize well, forcing it to crash near Waford, the recently discovered island, a place bursting with cutting-edge technology and naturally odd occurrences like frozen lightning.
Adio, a traveler who was also shipwrecked in the past, and Lim, a young woman who holds a bitter vengeance against the pirates, are the only people who live in Waford. The narrative at the heart of the newest BNE Entertainment game is specifically derived from this resentment. By dispersing the crew around the island, and beyond, to force them to revert to level 1, Lim harvests the crew’s abilities and memory regarding the use of their powers.
In order to reabsorb the largest cubes and rediscover their abilities, Luffy and his friends must also explore Waford, reconstruct past adventures using Lim’s powers, and, between each memory, defeat the four elemental titans guarding the island. They will be helped in this endeavor by Adio, who appears to be more knowledgeable than a simple castaway, and the navy, which is also keenly interested in the current situation.
Although One Piece Odyssey is far from a perfect game, ILCA’s love for the Eiichiro Oda narrative is evident throughout and bursts from every angle. The characters are well developed, and the combat system allows them to repeatedly display every iconic move that defines them as well as their investigative abilities: Luffy stretching to reach relatively far-off locations, Usopp using his slingshot, and so on for each member of the crew.
In order to counter enemies, players can place their party members optimally between zones. A random system component called “Dramatic Scene” in some battles puts the player in awkward circumstances that play to the characteristics of the characters, such as Sanji being unable to attack because he is surrounded by women, and overcoming them yields bigger rewards. The party members get experience points after each battle, similar to previous games in the genre, and level up once enough points are gathered.
The many memory maps have incredibly lovely visuals, even though they are often too large, like the Alabasta desert. However, the amount of detail, combined with the numerous textures that are clearly repeated, produces a pleasing result. The other side of the coin is a decent bunch of clearly recycled adversaries, simply recolored, another scourge of many JRPGs.
With the justification of locating the upgrade fragments for each character, you will find yourself exploring every nook and cranny of each area of the map, and the abundance of strewn objects also manages to make sense of it.
This brings up one of Odyssey’s issues. If each character has a special ability that is required to access a particular “hidden” object, the player will be forced to switch from Luffy to another member of the crew and vice versa, greatly slowing down the game’s progress. The speed of the game is further slowed down by an excessive amount of pointless conversations and mini-cutscenes, which are thankfully curbed by “trash talk” indicators over NPCs’ heads that let you know whether they are carrying vital information or not.
On the other hand, by accelerating things and introducing some mechanics that players of oriental gachas on mobile devices are already familiar with, ILCA has attempted to revitalize the JRPG. Strength, speed, and technique are the three main classes that everyone falls into – both protagonists and foes – along with the traditional circular system of weaknesses and resistances (strength beats speed, speed beats technique, and technique beats strength). A melee assault can only be made against an enemy within the same area until it is clear, however, a ranged attack can be made against any enemy. Additionally, there are special attacks that can be single melee, single ranged, melee group, single ranged, or strikes that damage all adversaries equally.
Special techniques can effectively be abused without boundaries because there is no mana and instead a system based on technique points that reload with each normal strike. While the fanservice mechanics are superb, each member of the crew has so many unique skills that it can occasionally be difficult to distinguish between two or three of a character’s movements.
The ability to swap out a group member in the middle of combat for another, either already on the battlefield or from outside the original party, expedites the action but also adds to Odyssey’s difficulty, which is likely its biggest drawback. In reality, there isn’t a difficulty setting in the game, and the whole balance tilts strongly in the player’s favor, making the entire adventure far too simple.
Even if there is still work to be done, ILCA has undertaken a wonderfully passionate job that finally provides players with the One Piece game they have been waiting for. According to review aggregator Metacritic, One Piece Odyssey earned “generally favorable” reviews for the Windows and Xbox Series X/S versions, but “mixed or average” reviews for the PlayStation 5 version. During its first week of sale in Japan, One Piece Odyssey for the PlayStation 4 was the second-best-selling retail game. During the same week, the PlayStation 5 version was the third-best-selling retail game in the nation.