One Piece Odyssey Review – An Entertaining Filler With Fun Cast
One Piece Odyssey is a project that the developers worked on with much enthusiasm. There have been many One Piece games in the past, but none with the grandeur of Odyssey, so is this big undertaking an enjoyable game? So far, the outcome of One Piece games has been uneven, and there are dozens of them available on various platforms. One Piece Odyssey was marketed as a turn-based JRPG that featured a fresh new chapter in the One Piece universe with a story produced specifically for the game by creator Eiichiro Oda.
The Straw Hat Pirates are stranded on an unknown island in One Piece Odyssey. The first cutscene sets the tone for the remainder of the story, as the crew awakens on the shore and must go in quest of materials to rebuild the ship. This won’t sound as interesting, as it is just an anime filler spread throughout a whole game. If you are not a fan of the One Piece franchise, this game will not persuade you. It also does not explain much of the characters’ backstories, so you will be unfamiliar with them; however, if you have watched any of the anime episodes or read the manga, you will be much more prepared to deal with their personalities.
This leads us to the gameplay, which is where it truly excels. It’s a turn-based JRPG in which the player goes first, followed by the enemies. The fundamentals of battle rely on three levels of skill: power, speed, and technique. Each character is assigned a tier and can utilize it to their advantage over others who are vulnerable to it. This makes the combat feel more dynamic because the game encourages the player to swap characters of a different tier to exploit their enemies’ weaknesses. The battles also rely on an area of effect, thus the party members can be dispersed over different locations and equipped with skills that can either damage enemies from a distance or close to them. This is the fundamental tactic that applies to the vast majority of combat.
I’m not a big fan of the One Piece franchise, but I’ve seen a lot of episodes and played the games, so I’m familiar with the characters. Because the game tosses the player into the wild for Odyssey, some of the humor or story moments may fall flat if you are not a fan of the series. It also follows the stereotype of starting the game with a powerful cast of party members and then abruptly removing their powers in the opening to give the player a taste of what they may experience later. This is accomplished through a critical story moment in the beginning, which I will not disclose, but it adds to the game’s excitement by having a character start at level 42 and then plummet down to level 1.
One Piece Odyssey’s user interface and presentation are ideal for what it is attempting to provide. The menus are bright and colorful, reminiscent of Persona 5, and the battle animations are dazzling. It never gives us the feeling that it was made on a shoestring budget. I’ve played other One Piece spin-offs where it felt like the devs were forced to make cuts, but this is not one of them. The main story is also rather long, clocking in at around 20 to 30 hours depending on your playstyle, but the game is also interspersed with a lot of enjoyable side content, which adds to its overall value.
The game provides a nice nostalgia to fans by introducing some of the anime’s familiar friends and foes, although this may be irrelevant if you are not a fan. There are several interesting areas to explore that have been faithfully replicated from anime/manga. These are portrayed in the guise of another dimension called Memoria, in which the party members attempt to reclaim their powers by reliving significant events from their past. They may be discovered in the memory cubes scattered across the island. These moments also give some background for the characters’ personalities, which fans can appreciate in an otherwise enjoyable game.
Pacing is a major issue in One Piece Odyssey because the game is primarily linear, with a lot of cutscenes alternated with battles and exploration segments. Although it is not an open-world JRPG, there are discrete regions that players may explore and are enjoyable to stroll around. There is also a lot of backtracking, which, when combined with turn-based combat, may make the game feel tedious. The game also doesn’t provide much of a challenge, and dying was difficult. There isn’t much of a challenge here if you’ve played JRPGs before.
I played the game on PC, which is a really good port. If you own the Steam Deck, it also scales nicely. The PC version doesn’t provide many choices for changing the visuals and appears identical to the console version, but it feels well-optimized and runs well at native 4K resolution with 60 FPS performance. The ability to increase battle speed makes it simpler to sit through some of the longer combat sequences.
One Piece Odyssey Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Bandai Namco
- Developer: ILCA
- Platform: PC (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher