One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, the same as Dynasty Warriors but a lot more realistic. Don’t believe me? Think about it, Dynasty Warriors is ‘loosely’, and I use that term in as loose a sense as possible, based on real people from Japanese history while Pirate Warriors is based on badass super humans. Characters from both cut down normal cannon fodder like I mow the grass. The question is, is it more realistic for the real people or the badass super humans to wipe out enemies by the hundreds? Much like Skylanders though Dynasty Warriors was just really boring to me. I can only pretend to care about characters I don’t know for so long before my patience runs out. Unlike Pirate Warriors or say the Disney version of skylanders, still kind of boring but I feel slightly more invested because I at least have some small grasp of the characters. Since One Piece is by far one of my favorite manga and I know it better than Donald Trump knows his own ass I can say I was invested long before this game was even being made.
So what’s good? Well the story is kind of butchered but it still retains most the important bits from the very beginning to Punk Hazard. For the first time in a long while they even included all the Straw Hat crews’ intro stories. Even the Usopp story has been included and that has been primarily skipped over by every game since the PS2 versions, which sucked because I liked to use Kuro. The animation is also very appealing in certain cut scene’s, like the end of the Going Merry, a scene far more likely to get me to cry than even Old Yeller. My only problem is that every time there is a cut scene, which happens a lot in story mode, my PS4 got all pissed off at me and refused to record anymore. Why the hell not?! Considering this story has been going on for around a decade now I don’t think there will be that many spoilers. I wouldn’t even care that much if it wasn’t for the warning going off and on constantly that I had entered a blocked scene. The part I’m happiest about though is that they left the Japanese voices and they actually fit the game for once. English dubs generally suck or they developers cheap out and try to ham bone in pre-existing voice work.
The main problem though is that the game can become really boring. Maps all function the same with little difference and enemies are all changed at a cosmetic level at best. There are a lot of my favorite characters to choose from now which is good but after a while all attacks just look like so much pixelated maelstrom. Some characters also feel poorly balanced. I unlocked Gecko Moriah quickly because I always wanted to play as him but he was so slow and left himself so open to attack even minor bosses were an annoyance. Then there are some characters you have to question how they got in at all, the giant rabbit? Really? Of course some interesting twist dragged me out of my stupor; the fight with Oars being a prime example. It was interesting, different and actually fit with the story. Then of course it jumped around the map nonstop dragging on the fight far longer than it should have gone and suddenly a good fight just became annoying.
All in all it is alright, if you are a fan of One Piece or Dynasty Warriors you’ll like it, since it was practically made for fan boys anyways… or whatever the gender neutral term is. I personally think it is the best of the series because it at least makes sense functionally. The coin system in the first Pirate Warriors was so ridiculous I eventually just left it and number two never came to America and I can only afford so many titles from overseas. The coin/leveling system in this game is still annoying but much better than previously because you can tell how and what you need to level up. Even if leveling up takes forever and can only be done with one character at a time instead of your entire team. Some of the side missions are kind of vague in what they want or how exactly you can go about them as well but that only really matters if you are a perfectionist or a trophy hunter.
One new feature called the Dream Log has some potential. Basically you have a large map with a bunch of random fights and you unlock new ones for every victory. Primarily it is used to unlock bad ass characters and as an alternative to grinding, which you will have to do at some point. It too becomes unforgivably long though. I have done some 20 fights and I have hardly put a dent into the map, unless of course it opens up a lot after a certain point. Again though, after 20 fights it all feels like the same fight over and over again with just a couple of different players involved. I guess it is just an unavoidable part of the genre but it really sucks the life out of the player after a while. You can buy levels but you also need money to buy gallery items and there is not enough to go around for everyone.
There is also a multiplayer mode that actually works really well, except players can’t just drop into a match. It helps to get past difficult parts of the game if your level is not high enough. It almost becomes a little too easy at some points though since two players can easily cover the map if they are good enough. The only thing that confused me is that I never saw another American player. Everyone I played with was either from Germany, Italy or some other part of Europe I have no interest in seeing. Some spoke broken English while most just yelled at me like I was in a WWII documentary. In the end it all comes down to how much grinding can you put up with to play a One Piece game?