Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Released: August 28, 2015
Are you a fan of beating the shit out of people indiscriminately? Are you also a fan of murdering thousands and thousands of people per level just so you can hit the S Rank rating for said level? Well, have I got a game for you. One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is, in essence, a reskinned Dynasty Warriors game. If you don’t know what Dynasty Warriors is then you’ve clearly just awoken from a coma induced by your own stupidity.
There’s not a lot that can actually be said about One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 that hasn’t been said about Dynasty Warriors, Dragon Quest Heroes or Hyrule Warriors. These are all the same game, more or less and unlike Lords of the Fallen there isn’t a better version I can compare it to. Where Dark Souls was the epitome of a genre and Lords of the Fallen a cheap copy, Pirate Warriors isn’t a cheap copy but rather a new label that’s slapped onto an existing product. It doesn’t do much different from its predecessors while also being very different.
Dynasty Warriors isn’t better than Pirates Warriors and Pirate Warriors isn’t better than Hyrule Warriors which isn’t better than Dragon Quest Heroes. They’re just different. The copy place girl, that Ross cheated on Rachel with, wasn’t better, she was just different. This is the exact same situation and I defy you to tell me different. My basic gist is that if you’ve played one of these games than you’ve played all of these games with some minor changes here and there to give each game a fresh look. Strip away all the paint and tat you’ve basically got the same game 3 times over.
In Pirate Warriors, you take control of a character from the show whether it’s one of the Strawhat Pirates, Marines or any other pirate crew available and the objective is to complete each level in order to advance the storyline. That is if you actually feel like playing the storyline. In the game, you are given an option between 3 game modes, Legend Log, Free Log and Dream Log.
The Legend Log is the main storyline campaign, which I give zero fucks about. I’ve read the manga, seen the anime and played previous One Piece games and that’s why it was excruciating to play. The Free Log allows you to go back to the different levels of the Legend Log in order to 100% clear each level so you can unlock all the different tat the game has on offer. The Dream Log, by far my favourite, is a game mode that has you travel to different islands on the Grand Line and has custom scenarios on each island for you to beat.
The Dream Log is the most captivating part of the game because it gives the developers a carte blanche creatively to do whatever the hell they want with the characters. Unless I was doing the Legend Log, Tashigi was the character I played with the most. Mostly because she’s not a character you could play with in the other games I played.
The overworld is basically an archipelago and some of the islands have main characters in control of an Island.
When you beat the controller of the island they become available as a playable character in the Dream Log as well as the Free Log. There are some cases where you can’t play with certain characters even if you’ve unlocked them for the Free Log. For example, I have unlocked Shanks but he’s not someone I can play with in the Dream Log because I have yet to take over his island. I can use him in Free Log but fuck that noise. Dream Log all the way!
Regardless of what mode you play the actual mechanics are the same throughout. When you reach an island or play a story campaign, you have a win condition and a defeat condition. These are the main conditions you need to keep an eye on during gameplay but you also get missions during the campaign to complete separate from these conditions. So let say your main goal is to defeat Whitebeard and not have any of your allies flee. While trying to achieve this you are given smaller tasks to do, like taking over a certain camp or defeating a generic pirate captain, while making sure none of your allies flees from battle.
Sometimes, however, the conditions repeat on different islands but the only difference being the actual characters in the scenario. So the conditions for the Whitebeard scenario I had on a different island on the archipelago but the main person to beat was Alvida and a bunch of East Blue pirates.
In essence, this is the entire purpose of the Dream Log. Defeat various One Piece characters and gradually take control of the entire archipelago you can unlock even more characters to play the Dream Log with. An ouroboros of gameplay if you like. There are a lot of characters to unlock most of which I have not unlocked because you need to play the Legend Log for some of them.
Each character has upgradeable stats you can increase by getting coins. This is different to money, which is called Beli in One Piece. Think of the coins as commemorative or collectable coins even if you can get 99 of each. Possibly more. Every character also has rare coins that you need to get to upgrade certain aspects of that character’s stat. These coins are usually reserved as the last upgrade you can get for each stat.
Each character has a wanted poster which acts as another way to unlock passive skills. Every time someone’s crew level increases you can unlock that character’s skill. Mihawk has a skill called combo enhancement which does exactly what it says on the tin but only by a little. At Level 4 you get combo enhancement+ that somewhat enhances that combo and at level 5 it greatly enhances that combo. The skills change depending on the character’s personality. Nami’s skill gives you extra Beli at the end of each fight.
There is a total of 64 characters in the game and each one has stats to increase as well as wanted poster skills to unlock. That’s a lot of shit to get but I don’t think I’ll get anywhere near that. I’ve consistently played the Dream Log because obviously, Tashigi is bae and the storyline can suck it.
When you get down to the nitty and gritty of it the game actually doesn’t have that much to offer. During fights, you can chain combos
for more damage increasing your special attack gauge. Once that reaches maximum you can enter what’s called Kizuna Rush. In this state, you do a combined special attack with your crew member for even more damage.
The game is the same throughout with only your objectives changing along with the scenarios. Your experience will not vary that much from the Legend and Dream Log but the latter is a lot more fun to play. If you’re interested in the story then go read the manga or watch the anime but I’m not going to tell you about it.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 has managed to keep me interested for 27 hours, a lot more hours than Lords of the Fallen but it’s fake. Like how sports personalities keep saying that it was a team effort when we all know the reason Liverpool did that well was because of Suarez. I was mostly in it because of the subject matter rather than the gameplay.
The game appealed to me because of One Piece not because the game is amazing. It’s a good game and there’s loads of content to complete and stuff to unlock but it’s all superfluous. I don’t need to max out Tashigi’s stats but I’m compelled to do so because the game keeps throwing these fucking coins at me and I can’t get rid of the fuckers.
The weird and interesting takes on fights also kept me playing for ages. There was one island where the marines were fighting against one another and I had to pick a side during the fight. Having picked a marine as my character this added a bit more weight to my choice because it boiled down to what would Tashigi do. Japan needs to start making WWTD bracelets and ship me a couple for free.
There was even a time where I had to pick to be on Zoro’s or Sanji’s side because they’d gotten into another fight amongst themselves. It was reasons like this that I kept playing the Dream Log and totally ignored the Legend Log. You have an actual map you can traverse that reminds me of the map in the Galactic Conquest mode of Battlefront 2. The original not the EA one. If the EA one popped into your head, you close your browser right now and sort your life out yeah?