Published on January 16th, 2023 | by Abdul Saad
One Piece Odyssey PC Review
Summary: One Piece Odyssey could've been one of the best anime game adaptations to date, but it failed painfully in providing a competent narrative separate from the original story. Thankfully the game offers well-crafted gameplay elements that make it worthy of being recommended to at least One Piece fans.
One Piece Odyssey is the latest JRPG adaptation of the popular multimedia franchise One Piece, published by Bandai Namco and developed by ILCA. Unlike many popular JRPG adaptations that have been real-time, developer ILCA chose to implement a turn-based system instead. Thankfully, to great success as the game provides some of the best features I’ve seen in most good JRPGS. However, it’s unfortunate that while the game offers several well crafted and executed gameplay features, it fails woefully at providing a decent, meaningful narrative.
One Piece Odyssey takes place after the series’ time skip arc and follows the Strawhat pirates. After a big storm, the crew washes up on a mysterious island where they meet two new characters, Lim and Adio The former takes the crew’s powers as a result of a misunderstanding, and in order to fully reclaim them, they’ll need to venture into their memories and relive past adventures. As you can probably tell, the plot isn’t anything special. It is essentially an excuse for the developers to skip making an entirely original narrative. Instead, it relies on players reliving experiences and events from past story arcs with minor quirky changes thrown into the mix.
After the first two hours of moving through the admittedly well-designed island, players will then be forced to play through missions in each significant arc of the series, starting with the first major and fan-favorite Alabasta arc. However, what’s unfortunate about this is that not only do fans have to experience these arcs yet again, but they do so by mainly playing through several incredibly mundane and repetitive quests, most of which feel more akin to generic JRPG sidequests than any major narrative missions. Players will spend less time reminiscing or learning about past arcs and more time doing empty, nonsensical, and inconsequential missions, from the usual fetch quests to tutorial quests that somehow occur through the first ten hours of the game.
Thankfully, gameplay-wise, One Piece Odyssey provides a very satisfying experience that’s very Dragon Quest-like in both aesthetic and execution, despite its simplicity. Outside boss fights and scripted battles, players will confront enemies moving around each level and engage in turn-based combat. The combat system is not unlike most standard JRPGs, as players will be able to control and switch out any party member on the fly. They can also use a variety of restorative and combat items, physical attacks, as well as the special “Bond Attacks,” which lets specific groups in the party execute devastating attacks once they’ve reached a sufficient bond level.
Additionally, to thrive in combat, players will have to learn the ins and outs of the three rock-paper-scissors-like attack types: Strong, Technical, and Speed. Each has a weakness and is effective against another, and the system is quite easy to understand. I also appreciate that you can swap out party members at any position and at any point during combat without using up a turn as long as both members have not already used their current turn. This allows players the flexibility to use the best party member to fight an opponent at any time and is incredibly helpful. My only gripe with the combat system is that it’s quite simplistic. What you see is all you get and that several enemy types, while well-designed, are repeated many times or have too many similar variants, especially early on in the game. When not in combat, players will traverse several notable locations in the series, all of which sport excellent art direction and are incredibly fun to explore. Players will also pick up accessories that improve several character stats, including HP, attack, defense, and more, as well as cubes that expand the accessory slots.
Outside gameplay, One Piece Odyssey also features great visuals via crisp models, excellently crafted level designs, smooth and interesting exploration and platforming elements, and quick item gathering. The game also runs smoothly with no glitches or lags and with smooth, excellent framerates. Lastly, the game features the anime’s great voice cast, so it’s no surprise the performances are outstanding and incredibly accurate to the characters.
Overall, One Piece Odyssey could’ve been one of the best anime game adaptations to date, but it failed painfully in providing a competent narrative separate from the original story. Thankfully the game offers well-crafted gameplay elements that make it worthy of being recommended to at least One Piece fans.