The Straw Hat crew sail back to the US in One Piece Unlimited World Red. But is this the game that deserves to be title Pirate King? Or is it merely as Flashy as Buggy the Clown? Hit that link to eat the Game Game Fruit to find out! (Please be aware that due the contents of this game there are heavy spoilers for both the Pre and Post Time skip Eras in the One Piece’s story, so proceed at your own risk)
Unlimited World Red is the newest in the Unlimited World Line of games for the One Piece game franchise, and the second one to reach the US shores. Brought to us by Namco Bandai Unlimited World Red comes to us on the 3DS, Vita, PS3, and Wii U. With the Vita version being sold exclusively at GameStop. The game itself is something special as the author Eiichiro Oda had a personal had in the game creating two characters exclusively for it Patrick Redfield and his pet/personal item/weapon Pato the Pen-nuki.
The game takes place some time after the Punk Hazard Arc with the crew coming to Trance Town after finding Pato adrift at sea. The island holds a mysterious secret as old places and old faces from the Straw Hat’s past come back some how to face them. Eventually the Pirate Redfield, a great pirate said to be on par with both the Pirate King Gol D. Roger and White Beard shows himself and forces a confrontation between himself and the Straw Hats.
Graphically the game is nothing short of spectacular as the world and characters are faithfully recreated in stunning hi definition. Each world is filled with vivid colors that can only be seen in One piece. Characters like wise are nothing short of fantastic and their models with their different attires do not disappoint especially during super moves. There is some slight slow down here and there when large battles are fought, but its nothing extremely noticeable.
The in game music is fine, it each track fits the theme of were it’s played such as a nice soft melody for Trance town or something more energetic while your smashing your way through Punk Hazard. The real shining jewel comes from the voice track. The entire One Piece cast returns to do their roles including the old villains and friends that appear in the game. Redfield is voiced by Masachika Ichimura. Ichimura is more well known by western fans as the original Japanese voice of Mewtwo from the first Pokemon Movie at its made for TV sequel Mewtwo Returns. Pato is voiced by voice actress Tarako whose known roles are Senritsu (Hunter X Hunter), Kiara (Inuyasha), and Tomiko Shinshi (PatLabor)
The controls for the game are pretty standard and responsive. They somewhat mirror Pirate Warriors(Dynasty Warriors One Piece Style) as there is a weak and strong attack. Along with those are a jump button and a special action button that works with each characters special abilities both in and out of battle. The layout is very simplistic and it works well regardless of the system it’s played on.
Whew boy there is a lot to cover here and some parts will be only touched on and expanded in the replay value section. First off the game itself is a solid action adventure game with some minor platforming. You initially only control Luffy then as you gather your crew mates your able to take three of nine straw hats with you on each mission. Each of the Straw Hat crew comes with their own functions which work well depending on your team build. Chopper, for example, is the crew’s doctor, so in the game he can restore life and undo status effects. People like Luffy, Zorro, and Sanji are naturally straight up brawlers while Brooke is your buffer/debuffer character. Each fit their theme well and use the wildly known formula of character archtypes in games through the ages.
In between missions you’ll be spending time in Trance Town. Trance Town is a central hub of the game that you’ll be building and expanding as you progress through the game adding some additional game play time and replay value. Having only played for the first 5 hours I would like to say I’m either a quarter to half way through the game’s main story. So this may very well clock in at roughly 10 hours of total game time just for the story alone. There are various other elements the game has to expand the length of play time by helping Trance Town grow by collecting various items and doing quests as you progress through the game. As Trance Town grows so will you’ll be given the option to particpate in mission’s that down advance the story, but help collect items to grow the town further, grind character levels, and eventually get alternate costumes with their own special attributes for the Straw Hats.
The only real knock in game play is that this was initially a 3DS game that got ported to the Vita and home consoles. As such the world map is not on the secondary screen when it’s not on the 3DS and the areas are expansive enough to were you do need to look, while not frequently, it is more often than you would like too. It does slow down the pace of the game to keep checking it.
Now as I mentioned before as you grow Trance Town, you’ll be given access to various other elements in the game. Building a Music Venue allows you play the sound track of the game, while the bar gives you the ability to complete missions for costumes, xp, and items to help build the town. The missions have some variance. Thus far there are missions that reenact memorable scenese from the series such as Luffy and Ace’s battle during the Maineford arc, or something as mundane as collecting 10 blue fruits from trees at Impel Down. Not only that, but the various citizen’s of Trance down will have fun mini games for you take part in to earn reputation needed to take harder quests and more items. Further more to keep you coming back aside from the main story there is also a Colosseum Battle Royal mode that lets you take on the games various bosses, generic enemies and eventually the Colosseum’s head Don Doflamingo. Even the Colosseum mode has it’s own small story line as the Straw Hat crew and friends are trying to get their chance to take on and take down Don Doflamingo.
If your a One Piece fan this is a must own game as it’ll have a ton of your to enjoy or remember depending on how far you’ve got in the anime. As a non fan this is an fun if somewhat run of the mill action brawler, but will have enough to do to keep you interested. The game is a marvel to watch and the care that was taken to produce the story is something to behold for any anime or One piece fan. I can highly recommend this to anyone looking into it.
Please Note that the reviewer was using a Vita to review the game
The game’s official website (Jp only): YOHOHOHOHOHOHO!