With their fighting skills, Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate buddies are perfect for action. However, the Straw Hat Gang’s new RPG adventure relies on a turn-based battle system. Can that work?
I’ll admit it: I don’t have a complete comic book collection by one piece at home and also know the TV series anything but inside out. I still like the straw hat pirate with his rubber limbs, scantily clad companions like Nami or mini reindeer Tony, and I liked the one-piece offshoots, among other things warriors– Series have fun.
That’s why I should actually take the same with me One Piece Odyssey only the latest iteration of the series focuses on turn-based combat, which isn’t necessarily my favorite role-playing game. Here you can find out why I still enjoyed the adventure (announced for this year) when playing Gamescom.
|Ah well, an island…|
Orangutan King King loves white woman
I could first try to tell you what the plot of One Piece Odyssey is actually about. But ultimately that’s just as irrelevant to me personally as the fact that series creator Eiichiro Oda wrote the story himself. In any case, the dialogues in the GC demo, which are completely set to music in Japanese and English, are entertaining – in local areas you will have to be content with German subtitles, since Bandai Namco currently does not pay the costs for a complete localization.
In any case, the allusion version puts me on an island off whose coast the ship of my straw hat gang capsizes at the beginning. Specifically, I advance to an area called King Kong Garden. The name says it all, because girlfriend Nami was kidnapped by a giant monkey that could easily climb the Empire State Building. And that’s despite the fact that he’s not a gorilla, but an orangutan, sorry, shit-brown fur.
Of course I have to save Nami from the stupid-looking beast, and not alone. Because in the demo I also have Usop, Chopper and Nico Robin in tow, among others. The fact that all these companions, or even Zorro, who joined later, is only seen in the dialogue sequences, cutscenes or the fights seems a bit out of date. So while I’m walking along the linear paths with Luffy, Luffy, or whatever you want to call the primate pupil, swinging over chasms with my rubber arms in between or collecting crafting material at the edge, there’s nothing to be seen of my companions.
Incidentally, the linear paths are not a special phenomenon, as the French PR boss tells me when asked. As in the demo, there are only small side quests or areas that I can also explore. But I can’t get to a shipwreck in Demo, because after all I have to knock the monkey out and make sure that Nami’s skimpy bikini top still fits properly. But in the final game I could walk back the path later and face the additional task. So I just keep going straight ahead and have to compete with a few other enemies in round battles on the way to Redfur.
|Pinocchio’s nose is known to be made of wood, others have the same in front of the hut.|
Overpowered in round combat
I don’t have to explain to you in detail how role-playing games with turn-based combat systems work. However, One Piece Odyssey takes a slightly different approach, because the battle scenes are divided into several zones, between which I can later walk back and forth with my characters. For example, if one of my fellow combatants is put to sleep or rendered virtually incapacitated by an electric attack, the only way I can heal them is to defeat all enemies in their zone. The range of my attacks also plays a role. However, my heroes in the trade fair version are all equipped with such blatant skills that I hardly notice any of these potential limitations.
I also hardly notice anything about the charging of the special attacks, which are apparently made ready for use by previously attempted damage. So here I just fire off a Gum-Gum Gatling, single target or larger area attacks and have no problem knocking out the larger numbers of Eisa that appear in front of me. The fact that power attacks are most effective against speed enemies, speed attacks against tech enemies, or tech attacks against power enemies is also irrelevant in the demo. My heroes are all already at level 50 from the start and even go up several levels before I finally reach the monkey.
It also falls quickly when using Gum-Gum-Bezooka or a Thunderbolt attack from Nami, which also has the chance of causing a paralysis effect on the opponent. I seriously believe that this system, which actually seems complex, has some depth. Since I’m easily 20 levels or more higher than my opponents here, that doesn’t matter in the audition. But the potential is definitely there!
In addition, due to the linear level structure, my fears that grinding will play a central role are limited. But who knows, although Grinding is also in the new version of implemented by the same developer Pokémon Shining Pearl/ Shining Diamond far less pronounced than before – with Japanese studios you can never be completely sure about this point.
|It’s good that One Piece Odyssey doesn’t support smell emulation…|
Pretty anime style
In the presentation, One Piece Odyssey doesn’t necessarily uproot tech trees, but the anime style appeals to me. The animations are also very chic outside of the fights, and the fat special attacks in the fight are absolutely fun. I didn’t even ask whether the game offers 30 or 60 frames, native 4K or not. Because if that’s crucial for you, you should probably look around in other genres.
In any case, at the end of my playing time, the King Kong blend lies in the dust without me having to make a great effort. Honestly, I would even have fun with this game if it were like this all the time, but I hope that the challenge will be significantly greater in the end or that I can at least adjust it that way if I wish. Anyway, the demo is over and I had fun. And that’s exactly what I expect from a game set in the one-piece universe. Despite some remaining question marks: Mission accomplished, I’m looking forward to it!
Author: Benjamin Braun, Editor: Jörg Langer (GamersGlobal)