REVIEW: ‘One Piece Odyssey’ is a Grand Adventure (PS5)

Reading Time: 4 minutes

One Piece Odyssey — But Why Tho

To mark the 25th anniversary of Eiichiro Oda’s hit manga and anime series One Piece, developers ILCA and publishers Bandai Namco Entertainment have released One Piece Odyssey. This JRPG takes players through a new story featuring Luffy and his famous Straw Hat Crew as well as some new twists on old stories.

One Piece Odyssey takes place primarily on the legendary island of Waford, a new location in the One Piece world. The Straw Hats discover they have lost their powers, and they need to explore the island to find out what happened and how they can reclaim their abilities. Along the way, One Piece Odyssey introduces Adio and Lim, two new characters created by Eiichiro Oda himself. Adio and Lim both have a deep distrust of pirates, so they are reluctant to help the Straw Hats at first. The relationship between the Straw Hats and Adio and Lim is a really interesting one, and I really enjoyed getting to see the growth throughout the game. Adio and Lim are two really excellent characters that feel right at home in the One Piece world.

My favorite part of One Piece is watching the crew grow together and build stronger relationships with each other. One Piece Odyssey does an excellent job of continuing that growth by pushing the crew to the brink and giving them a chance to learn more about themselves in the process. One Piece is certainly a funny and entertaining series, something that is seen quite clearly in One Piece Odyssey, but there is a lot of heart behind the characters that really makes them special. I’m glad One Piece Odyssey gives them a chance to explore themselves and their past.

As a part of their journey to get their powers back, the Straw Hats end up traveling back to some of their more memorable moments. The events of Alabasta, Water Seven, Marineford, and Dressrosa are all retold in One Piece Odyssey. There is a twist though, which is good news for fans who are already quite familiar with those stories. Since the stories are being re-lived through the memories of the Straw Hats, things don’t quite happen the same way. It was a nice way to include some fan-favorite stories, locations, and characters in a way that still felt unique. It is incredibly challenging to re-tell such famous stories in a way that is refreshing for old fans but still welcoming to newcomers, but One Piece Odyssey manages to do that quite well.

The best part of getting to re-live those journeys is getting to see the beautiful world design in One Piece Odyssey. Each of the old locations that One Piece Odyssey revisits look just like fans of the series remembers, but freedom to explore allows for more to be seen that otherwise might have been missed. Using each character’s special skills to traverse new paths also opens up a world of beautiful creation. Waford itself also looks like it was pulled straight out of the show, even though it is a completely new location. Moving from places like Alabasta back to Waford felt natural like it has always been a part of One Piece and we just hadn’t seen it yet.

In terms of gameplay, One Piece Odyssey is a relatively typical JRPG. Battles take place in a turn-based style with three battle types — strength, speed, and technique — that have varying levels of effectiveness depending on the battle type of the enemy. It is not a hard pattern to learn, and often times I found that even attacks that weren’t effective still did a large amount of damage to the weaker enemies. There are also special skills that each character has that are unlocked as the game goes on. These skills are the same ones that are shown throughout the One Piece anime but can only be used after the Straw Hats have beaten certain chapters of the story. The battle system on paper doesn’t stand out, but in action, it was really easy to get a grasp of and was really fun to play.

Not every JRPG mechanic in One Piece Odyssey is a good one, however. There are some really frustrating mechanics that used to be prevalent in JRPGs but have recently been phased out. The most frustrating of these for me is that players can only save the game at certain save points throughout the map. It works well in terms of world immersion, but as someone who had to play in intermittent sessions, it was really frustrating to not always be able to save before I got up. The other mechanic that was really cumbersome at times was the sheer amount of backtracking to complete minor objectives that could have easily been more streamlined. Having to constantly run back and forth across a large open-world map got old real fast, and One Piece Odyssey could have easily succeeded without that. Neither of these were enough to make me not want to play, but I was quite frustrated at times.

Overall, One Piece Odyssey is the best video game story set in the One Piece universe to date. A delightful story and beautiful worlds more than make up for some more frustrating and outdated JRPG staples. Non-fans of the franchise might have a harder time getting into the already-established world, but it’s a hurdle that can absolutely be cleared. Whether players are newcomers or lifelong fans, One Piece Odyssey is a grand adventure absolutely worth going on.

One Piece Odyssey is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series S|X, and PC.


One Piece Odyssey
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Overall, One Piece Odyssey is the best video game story set in the One Piece universe to date. A delightful story and beautiful worlds more than make up for some more frustrating and outdated JRPG staples. Non-fans of the franchise might have a harder time getting into the already-established world, but it’s a hurdle that can absolutely be cleared. Whether players are newcomers or lifelong fans, One Piece Odyssey is a grand adventure absolutely worth going on.

But Why Tho? A Geek Community
%d bloggers like this: