One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 has been available out West for more than a week on PC/Steam and the PlayStation family of platforms. This is an action adventure game like the popular Dynasty Warriors games, but with One Piece greatness all over! Anime Games Online had the opportunity to sail with Luffy and the crew in Bandai Namco, Techmo Koei, and Omega Force’s latest adventure to completion as we played through and enjoyed the multiple modes in the game. What are those modes? They are the Legend Log, Free Log, Dream Log, and Online. The Legend Log is the game’s main story mode which restricts playable characters to those related to the story. The Free Log is the story mode, but it allows players to play with any character they’ve unlocked as long as a chapter/episode has been completed in Legend Log. The Dream Log is a side mode that offers the same type of gameplay as Legend/Free Log, but without the authentic One Piece story. Online mode allows players to enjoy the One Piece story chapters/episodes like Legend and Free Log, but with fellow gamers online!

So, what did Anime Games Online think of the game? Here is what we loved and disliked!

What We Love

Uniqueness of characters

There are 37 playable characters on the roster screen and they each have their own unique style that leads to a nice, distinct experience when playing with different characters. Each of the Straw Hat Pirates actually has two different movesets, further diversifying the experience between characters.

Ability to save in the middle of an episode
When playing games, sometimes life happens. The episodes in Pirate Warriors 3 are long, but luckily players can save progress, quit in the middle of an episode (and turn off their system) and come back to the game at a later time to pick-up where they left off.

Story and Cutscenes
The game follows the original One Piece storyline we all know and love from Luffy’s humble beginnings all the way until the Punk Hazard arc. The game also includes the Dressrosa arc, however, this deviates from the anime/manga to provide a unique ending due to the arc not finishing until just recently in the manga. The cutscenes in the game to tell the story are fantastic and brilliantly recreate the world we know with glorious 3D models. Despite not being canon, we liked how the game ended as it captured the One Piece spirit!

Music
The Pirate Warriors series has fantastic music that is very mood appropriate! There are memorable tracks from the first two games in the series along with new ones made exclusively for Pirate Warriors 3.

Co-op
Pirate Warriors 3 shines the brightest when playing with a friend. The split screen and online co-op allows for players to meet the mark for the side objectives quicker and more easily.

Controls
Newcomers and veterans to the Pirate Warriors series will easily be able to jump into the game. The controls are simple and straight forward and learning some of the advanced combos will come naturally simply by playing the game. No practice needed!

Kizuna Rush
This is a new feature in the Warriors series that allows two (1 playable and 1 support) to five characters (1 playable and 4 support) to unleash powerful team attacks and team specials. The experience is very gratifying, especially with Luffy, who can go Gear Second.

What We Disliked

Straggling Objectives
After a mission is fulfilled within an episode, the game would make us wait around a minute or so before we could progress. Essentially what happens when a mission is completed is text appears to acknowledge completion or informing players of something, static images and character dialogue follow, and more text of different sorts appears. This would be all fine and dandy if we could move on to the next mission as all of this is happening, but the game does not let us do anything except fight random enemies until the sequence is finished. There is no ability to skip like there are with the cutscenes and we felt this was extremely frustrating, especially since we like to move on to what’s next, not linger on what’s been done.

This is reoccurring throughout the game – in Dream Log, Free Log, Legend Log, and Online – and feel as if it was created to be like that on purpose. An example of what we’re talking about can be seen in the video below between the 7:29 and 8:36 mark. Nico Robin has completed the mission “Defeat Marines and protect the new ship”, but then there is the sequence with text, then Garp/the Marine Commander/Iceburg/Luffy/Panty Thief chatting, and lastly more text before the next mission of “Help Panty Thief and Lead him to Derelict Island” begins.

Characters Can’t be Changed Within an Episode
Once a chapter/episode or mission has begun, the character a player picks is the one their stuck with. Each episode within a chapter in story mode takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to finish. It can get very repetitive to do the same thing over and over with one character for that duration. There are 37 playable characters, more when including different movesets for characters. We would have loved to have the ability to switch between characters within an episode to alleviate that feeling.

Support-only characters
There are dozens of support-only characters and players don’t have the ability to explicitly select them. In Legend Log and Free Log, they are assigned based on the story. In Dream Log, they are assigned based on whatever the objective of the episode being played is. The only leeway Dream Log allows is, in certain scenarios, players can select a side. For example if the Straw Hats, Marines, and Whitebeard pirates are fighting, players can select a group to side with. However, explicitly selecting your favorite characters as support is out of the realm of possibility.

Closing Comments

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 is overall a great game that we at Anime Games Online would recommend to fellow One Piece fans. We aren’t fans of the Warriors series of games, but its our love for One Piece that engaged us in the game and allowed us to enjoy it along side the brilliant music, fantastic cutscenes, and Kizuna Rush feature! We found Pirate Warriors 3 to actually be most enjoyable after a long day to kick back and relax to! Once finishing the story, we don’t think there is much replay value due to lack of an incentive. There are no rewards beyond the traditional gallery unlocks, something we alluded to disliking in our Dragon Ball Xenoverse review, but going into Pirate Warriors 3, it was something we expected.

REVIEW SCORE: 7/10