After the first initial trailer of One Piece Odyssey, I wasn’t sure what to expect. We got told it was an RPG with a story told by Oda. The graphics looked great, and we got only a few details of the characters. Luckily ILCA gave us a dev diary soon after that detailed more information.
Knowing it was focusing itself as a turn-based JRPG, I got excited. I love the cast and the world of One Piece, so getting a game that gives us more time with the Straw Hats and immersing ourselves in the world is something I have wanted for a while. Other games I have tried of One Piece all felt a little thin in terms of how it dealt with the characters.
Game Name: One Piece Odyssey
Platform(s): PS4,PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X (Reviewed), PC
Publisher(s): Bandai Namco
Release Date: January 13th, 2023
Using One Piece Odyssey as a framework for a JRPG of the One Piece cast was a masterful idea. The characters lean themselves well to a JRPG setting, and system. You can have a range of strategies and parties with the Straw Hats crew as the focus. All this creativity on setups gives me a love for finding different ways to make specific strategies overpowered. Sadly the min-max type gameplay One Piece Odyssey encourages makes what is a relatively easy game, almost laughable in difficulty. I don’t hate that there is not much of a challenge in a lot of the combat, especially in the later half of the game when you get access to some serious special attacks.
One Piece Odyssey starts with the Straw Hats stranded on a mysterious island, as they are traversing in the ocean. With some quick thinking and maneuvering from the pirates, they land on the island with the only casualty being their ship, Thousand Sunny. After fighting one of the island’s mysterious colossi protecting it from intruders, they meet Lim and Adio. Lim immediately removes your powers, resorting Luffy and the gang to becoming level-one versions of themselves. Starting a JRPG from level one is very common, and ultimately it works with the narrative well.
Now the One Piece cast needs to find these cubes that Lim put their powers in order to gain their strength back. There are four Colossus on the island, all harboring giant cubes that require the gang to beat them in order to grab them.
The giant cubes, however, require the Straw Hats to go back and relive their memories in order for them to absorb the knowledge inside these mysterious cubes. Lim and Adio seem to want to help you get your powers back, but you get to learn about why they are on the island and how they ended up there. This game has two main parts to the game. Traversing Wanford Island, gathering the big cubes from the Colossus’, and going to the world of memories and reliving certain parts of the manga/anime of One Piece.
Combat in One Piece Odyssey is turn-based. It also uses a fun Rock Paper Scissors weakness system. You have Power characters, Technique characters, and Speed characters. Power beats Speed, Speed beats Technique, and Technique beats Speed. You also have a variety of areas in combat. There can be enemies next to a character in an area or even by themselves. If there are no enemies nearby, a character, they can move to any other area. If enemies are in your area, you must beat them before moving to a different battlefield area.
Your skills range from close combat skills, long-range combat skills, recovery skills, and buff skills. Close combat skills can only affect enemies in the same area. Long-range combat skills can target any area, even the one you are currently in. Recovery and buff skills can affect single or multiple party members. There are a few skills that can affect all areas, but there are only a few, with many of them being unlocked only in the second half of the game.
I mentioned that this system is very customizable. You get access to accessory making pretty early on in the game. However, you don’t get a lot of accessories worth it in the first half of the game. Nico Robin can use common accessories to fuse into accessories you find in the game to give added buffs. An accessory can have four different skills or stat boosts engraved into it. I usually like giving Luffy the most attack and letting him go HAM on everything. Just like the source material!
Gaining experience is extremely easy in One Piece Odyssey. When engaging with normal enemies in the overworld, they will oftentimes have requirements to get more experience from the fight that will show up. For example, having Luffy defeat one before a crewmate gets knocked out. This gives an absurd amount of experience points for successfully meeting the requirement. Nearly almost ten times the normal amount of experience points. Thanks to this feature, you don’t have to defeat many enemies to grind experience.
Sadly though, this often makes it too easy to gain levels. By the time I got a warning of what level I needed to be before a fight, I was almost 20 levels higher than the recommended level. Obviously, this makes fights much less challenging, and the difficulty spikes aren’t near enough to warrant this kind of easy experience. One Piece Odyssey could benefit from having a difficulty setting to limit experience or even limit requirements on the normal enemy fights. When fights were challenging in the first half of the game, it required lots of strategy. By the second half of the game, I could defeat most enemies by just giving an attack buff to Luffy and then doing one AoE attack that will one-shot everything on the field… even bosses.
I think it is rather telling of a game based on what is the first mod someone does of a video game on PC. And to no surprise to me, the first mod I found circulating online for One Piece Odyssey is a difficulty modifier.
Gum Gum Fruit
While traversing the maps, dungeons, or even Wanford island, there are many places to explore. Exploration does get easier if you play as Luffy as he can grab items with his stretchy arms from far away. You can skip ladders by using Luffy to grab the ladder’s top rung. Most of the exploration is much easier with Luffy, but you can play as most of the Straw Hat crew in the overworld (Sadly not Brook or Franky). Luckily there are incentives as playing to some of the other characters. Chopper can get into small spaces, Usopp can use his slingshot on far-away items like birds nests and buttons, Nami can find extra Berries on the ground, Sanji can find cooking ingredients, Robin can find tomes, and Zoro can slice through metal. Though, Luffy will still be the best one to explore as.
The 3D models of One Piece Odyssey complement Oda’s character designs well. I also think the animations they use in battle are fantastic. They show a lot of power and impact. You can tell a lot of care went into the world of this game and the visual representation to make it feel as close to Oda’s ideals as possible.
The monsters you fight, the new characters, and even the island itself are well-constructed. The models also have great expressions on their faces at times. Namely, Nami has fantastic anger faces throughout the game.
The One Piece
Overall I loved the time I spent in One Piece Odyssey. The combat is innovative, the characters are represented well, the world feels faithful to the vision of Eiichiro Oda, and ultimately shows many of the best parts of the series. There are indeed problems with difficulty, and some of the dialogue at the end surrounding parts of the game don’t really make a lot of sense based on the beginning of the game, but it is a solid JRPG with fun mechanics.
If you are a fan of One Piece, this is a must-play experience. If you don’t like One Piece, then maybe give it a try. If you are new to the world of One Piece, and don’t want to get into the series because of the length of the source material, give it a look! Or go check out the demo that does a good job of giving a taste of what to expect of the game.
One Piece Odyssey has pretty bite-size introductions to the memories of some of the series best moments. You might come out of the game wanting more One Piece in your life, and boy do I got some good news about that, there is a lot of One Piece to digest!
Review Disclosure Statement: One Piece Odyssey was provided to us by Bandai Namco for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
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One Piece Odyssey is a solid JRPG experience with great animations, characterizations, and story beats. It lets you relive some of the best moments of the series in bite-size chunks. The ease of difficulty can feel boring to fans of the genre, but overall a great experience.
- Great Animations
- Innovative Turn-Based Battle system
- Easy to understand mechanics
- Game gives out experience points like they are candy
- No big difficulty spikes