ONE PIECE ODYSSEY Xbox Series X Review

Despite its simplicity, though, ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is unlikely to appeal to anyone who isn't acquainted with the series.

By Rayan, Posted 15 Jan 2023

Since 2001's One Piece: Grand Battle!, fans of one of the most popular and long-running manga'nimes of all time have been left wanting new and exciting gameplay features. And it's no surprise that this massively successful manga and anime One Piece launched a new Japanese role-playing game. Rather than the action-packed adventures of past games, Bandai Namco and ILCA bring a new twist to the series by introducing a role-playing game this time.

Surprisingly, there has not yet been a video game adaptation of One Piece that does the series credit and makes the most of its beautiful pirate environment. ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, over six years after its silent development, will transport Luffy and friends to the mystical island of Waford for adventure and more. Despite its simplicity, though, it is unlikely to appeal to anyone who isn't acquainted with the series.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Luffy, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is a game clearly designed with the fans in mind. Yet, as a radical departure from the usual gameplay mechanism of previous One Piece games, skepticism amongst the fanbase is to be anticipated. Fans, however, should expect subtle twists on familiar storylines meant to keep things interesting while also evoking warm sentiments of nostalgia. It can also be a good start for beginners and lifelong One Piece fans to experience the adventures of the ONE PIECE ODYSSEY.

To that goal, manga artist Eiichiro Oda contributed new character designs inspired by his work. All the iconic faces and moves from the previous games have been brought back, giving the characters a lifelike appearance. Also, it recycles plotlines from the past that were very influential. The team behind it completely grasped the brief and successfully executed the desired atmosphere.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY's plot centers on the aftermath of the Straw Hat crew's shipwreck on a mysterious island. You'll spend the first half an hour playing Bluffy to round up the rest of the crew while you explore the island. The adventure occurs at an unspecified period in the future, far from the setting of anime and manga. As soon as you've assembled your team, you'll be introduced to an unnamed character called Adio, who'll aid you in breaking through the game's first hurdle.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

However, your progress will be cut short when a mysterious lady named Lim enters, touches each member of the Straw Hat crew, and removes little cubes from them, scattering them throughout the island so that everyone loses their powers and the characters' levels reset to scratch. Then the Straw Hats crew use their surviving powers to set off on a journey into the past to recover their lost memories and learn more about themselves. In this parallel universe, not only may they restore their abilities, but they can also meet up with old friends.

On the other hand, the crooked leaders of the One Piece universe, the Four Elders, have sent an agent to the island to catch up with the Straw Hats. Because of the well-developed characters, intriguing narrative, and interesting setting, this narrative is a lot of fun to follow. The game will give fans of One Piece a fresh way to experience some of their favorite tales from the series. Much to the delight of the series' legion of fans, a wealth of trivia tidbits is included.

For the sake of gaining knowledge, new fans would explore every possible option presented. Despite this, the storyline relies heavily on flashbacks to introduce new fans to key characters and story cycles from the past. The game avoids superficial comparison by not representing what we've seen previously and rewarding longstanding fans with a lot of blatant nods and a few more hidden ones.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is a classic role-playing game in its own right, combining exploration of large locations with turn-based combat as Luffy and his crew retrace yet another adventure from the anime's more conventional era. The game includes genre staples like turn-based combat, open-world exploration, puzzle solving, character progression, loot, and crafting. But with that unique One Piece flavor.

When you consider that most games inspired by manga'nimes are rooted in combat, this is a welcome change of pace. While the fighting system of ONE PIECE ODYSSEY uses the turn-based JRPG formula, it also implies some unique modifications. There is a paper-rock-scissors mechanism at work here, with the various character classes representing the three elements, and picking the appropriate character to strike with will be crucial.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY fights are never too difficult, however. Despite the lack of any real difficulty settings, the game is rather simple to get the hang of. Character type is also an important consideration in battle. The heroes and villains in a story can be categorized by their use of power, speed, or technique. Power beats Speed, Speed beats technique, and technique beats power in this trio's Rock Paper Scissors method.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

It's not necessary to go too deeply into the whys and hows of this simple system, but rather to just adhere to this concept in order to succeed in battle. However, when it comes to fighting, the whole gang really excels. Combat in ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is built around a number of interesting elements, even if you've lost a lot of your powers to cubes. In battle, you and your enemy face off with four characters, and you may switch between them at any moment.

Using the rock-paper-scissors model, all antagonists and protagonists can be sorted into one of three attack categories. Different adversaries may be vulnerable to or immune to certain elements, giving another layer of complexity and variety to your special assaults. The only real drawback to this system is the clumsy user interface that gets in the way of simple and fast changes.

It's not a big deal if you just switch characters sometimes, but I found myself switching between them many times throughout each fight. Dramatic Scenes occur randomly throughout combat, rewarding you for achieving unique goals. Even though they're not difficult to make, they shift the emphasis of the fight and force you to consider your options more thoroughly.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

Due to the lack of difficulty settings, this is compounded by the fact that, up until the very end, the game's puzzles and other challenges are surprisingly easy. Particularly on Waford, battles are so ridiculous that not even bosses can be taken seriously. The rate at which characters level up is just incredible. Some of the main and side quests require you to sprint back and forth between pretty apparent locations on a relatively small area with minimal deviations or extra pathways in order to defeat an enemy or collect an item, making them more of a burden than a challenge. Even though the enemies have more HP and inflict significantly more damage than normal, thanks to the Memoria segments, it sometimes seems like they merely have greater HP overall.

In ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, you'll find broad fields and tight passageways in caverns and sewers as you go from one area to the next. Players may spend hours wandering the deserts of Alabasta, discovering secret riches and side missions, a unique sensation to each Memoria location. The members of the Straw Hat crew each bring something special to the table when it comes to expeditions into the undiscovered. When exploring as Nami or Sanji, the player may notice hidden coins or materials.

Alternatively, a crew member can mention the presence of a collectable in a chat window, prompting the player to take control of that character. Also, Luffy, Chopper, and Zoro can get about with a variety of different methods, from Luffy's grappling hook-like arms to Chopper's ability to crawl into tight spots. Although it may be tempting to always play as your favorite crew member, switching roles is necessary if there is even a glimpse of loot in the area.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Sexy, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

From a design perspective, the planet is amazing, and as you reach a higher viewpoint, the landscape spreads out before you in all its colorful beauty. However, it is also remarkably short, and after you have truly gotten to the heart of the matter, there is not that much to do other than follow the footsteps of the main storyline. Side-quests are the conventional kind of content that can be found in the game, and despite the fact that these little narrative detours may often be entertaining, they are also not very compelling. Outside of it, however, there's a wealth of exciting exploration to be had in ONE PIECE ODYSSEY.

In the same vein, side missions like bounty hunting may seem a little like a fetch quest, although this is hardly a problem if it means more time spent in the game's universe. Even though they are usually essential to the overall goal, how these quests are designed is the single most disappointing aspect of the game. The excessive number of fetch quests seemed a little too far-fetched. It's especially frustrating when you have to run up and down the whole map five times since fast travel isn't always available or doesn't operate at all for such assignments.

Regrettably, not every world is creative. While Water Seven and Marineford get it right when it comes to creativity, Alabasta is challenging for several reasons connected to the plot's progression, while Dressrosa becomes fairly repetitive. When it comes to the primary storyline with Waford, Adio, and the mystery colossi, it really takes quite some time to get into a groove.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

The UI is streamlined and has quite useful menus for managing resources and other aspects like consumables and extra chores; nonetheless, patiently following each instruction is required to make the most of everything at your disposal. The game takes its time introducing its elements, so you will likely still be discovering new things even after the first 10–12 hours of the campaign. Though it's not the most engaging approach to learning the primary game concepts, which aren't the most difficult in the world, I can see the reasoning for the segregated information structure.

The remaining parts of ONE PIECE ODYSSEY are presented in a manner that is satisfactory enough. Unfortunately, it only comes with the original Japanese voice cast and not a dubbed version. The character models are faithful to the manga's original art style, but they lack the polish necessary to make the visuals really stand out. A little amount of cell shading may have helped unify the anime and the game's aesthetics.

Although several of the characters' special strikes are visually impressive, you will witness them hundreds of times before the game's conclusion. While its visual appeal is lacking, it functions well and has no noticeable bugs. The game's visuals are best experienced in graphics mode since switching to performance mode severely reduces resolution and blurs the images.

ONE PIECE ODYSSEY, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Straw Hat Crew, NoobFeed

For fans of the series, jumping into ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is like going on a nostalgic journey since it rehashes several pivotal fights from the original series in real time. However, for people who have never played a Grand Line game before, this might be daunting due to the large number of characters that only appear in the game for a short time.

Though it does an excellent job of transporting players back in time for epic fights, beginners may struggle to keep up with the story's rapid pace from the very start. Although it shows promise, the game falls short as a quality role-playing game. The overworld design isn't perfect, and the fighting system isn't without its flaws. If you've ever wished you could ride with the Straw Hat Pirates but were afraid of your lack of gaming skills, ONE PIECE ODYSSEY is the journey for you.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4
Publisher(s): BNE Entertainment, Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Developer(s): ILCA, inc.
Genres: Role-Playing
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-01-10

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