reviews\ Sep 4, 2015 at 12:53 pm

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Review

"I'm going to become King of the Pirates!"

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One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3

The Positives

  • Bandai and Omega Force has certainly trimmed a lot of fat when it comes to the content. While that may at first sound negative, doing so allowed them to focus on storylines and arcs in single battles, instead of stretching it out over a series. What that does is makes each story battle take slightly longer, but it also makes it that much more engaging.

  • The cast of characters is truly diverse. I know the general public likes to classify Warriors games as button-mashers, and while they certainly can be played that way (ask my wife) there is still a whole lot of depth in the combat, if you choose to look for it.

  • The Kizuna Rush feature allows you to team up with other characters on the fly. By pressing the d-pad up or down, you can switch between partners, with each one having a unique follow up attack. When the Kizuna Rush gauge builds up, the support character will always unleash a final attack at the end of your combo. Once maxed, you can activate the Kizuna Rush to power-up your combos, as well as your partner's, and finish it up with a joined ultimate attack. It's not only brutally powerful, but it also looks incredibly badass.

  • Unlike other Warriors games, there are no weapons to collect, which streamlines the process a bit, and allows you to focus on combat, rather than running around the map to collect new weapons. However, character growth is tied to both levels and Coins. Coins can be earned through playing various stages, and then those sets can be applied to characters to permanently raise their stats.

  • Newly unlocked characters can be used immediately (if you have enough currency) since you can immediately level them up to match the highest level character. This means you won't have to waste time playing through easier stages just to make their character stronger.

  • Entire arcs are, for the most part, contained to a single stage, meaning you don't waste time fighting minor characters only to fight the major characters in later stages. Now minor enemies appear alongside major enemies in a single stage, and a lot of the time they're also tied to bonus objectives, meaning you can skip them altogether.

  • Free Mode allows you to replay any unlocked mission as any character, and Dream Log is an entirely new mode which has you hopping from island to island, taking on major characters from the show. Dream Log in general is a great secondary mode apart from the main story, as it also allows you to unlock new characters that way as well.

  • Omega Force nailed the look of the game this time around. While the second Pirate Warriors certainly looked more like an animated cartoon rather than 3D models, the third game ups the ante with some gorgeous cel-shading, which pops even more during character's special attacks

  • The presentation is fantastic as well, showcasing cutscenes through manga panels, some of which animate while others are stills. Of course iconic scenes from the show are fully recreated and animated.

  • The framerate, at least on the PS4, was consistently 60fps, with very rare dips happening when executing a multiple character Kizuna Rush finisher.

  • The seamless online co-op is back in Pirate Warriors 3, as the game alerts you when someone is looking for co-op partners, and you can instantly join them with a press of a button.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3

The Negatives

  • Kizuna Rush, while fun to execute, is simply each character executing their super moves all at once. It would have been cool if there were some unique combo attacks between characters, though given the large amount of characters, it's understandable why Omega Force didn't implement this.

  • Even though I liked the fast paced nature of Arcs having one stage per villain, I would have liked some of the stories slightly more fleshed out, especially in a game that completely retells the story all the way from the beginning.

  • Upgrading with Coins can get tedious, as you have to replay certain mission that award those coins multiple times, and also complete all the secondary objectives to receive Rare Coins.

  • Those damn exclamation marks! When you start building your Kizuna Rush gauge, and support characters can be used to finish your combos, the enemies hit by those attacks will generate exclamation marks (!). For some reason, these are used as yet another way to track your performance, as well as raise your crew level. It's a little unnecessary.

  • Pirate Warriors 3 won't make a Warriors fan out of you, if you already had an aversion to the series before. Being a One Piece fan definitely helps, but if you struggled to find enjoyment in past Warriors entries, you won't find any new redeeming qualities here.

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Mike Splechta GameZone's review copy hoarding D-bag extraordinaire! Follow me @MichaelSplechta
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