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Game review - One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4

03 Apr 2020

One Piece is a manga/anime franchise that has been going on for well over two decades now. Aside from a hit TV show, the series has also released lots of video games over the years. 

One of the popular sub-series for the franchise is the Pirate Warriors games. These games are based on the famous Dynasty Warriors titles which have a love and hate relationship with most gamers. Some people find them enjoyable, while others feel the Dynasty Warriors formula gets old pretty quick. 

As for myself, I’m just a casual fan of One Piece. The most recent thing I watched from the series was an enjoyable anime film that came out back in 2017 in New Zealand. I have not kept up with the series since, so this game should give me an indication on what has been happening. 

In terms of Dynasty Warriors style video games, I actually enjoy them and adding One Piece to the mix is a perfect formula. There’s a reason there’s four games already in the series as fans of the franchise love to beat up hordes and hordes of enemies on the screen. 

If you have never played a Dynasty Warriors game before, they are pretty much video games that allow you to become an overpowered warrior. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is no different as it’s similar, but just with the One Piece franchise stuck to it. 

The best thing about the game is that you can mow down hundreds to even thousands of enemies all at the same time. Most of the enemies in this game are very easy to kill and it can be very satisfying just hacking and slashing anything that moves. 

More impressively, the game does not drop in frame rate or lags each time you kill a bunch of bad guys. The game remains stable no matter how many characters will appear on the screen. This just goes to show us that video game consoles have progressed over the years and it’s great to see how much stuff can be put onto the screen nowadays. 

The only downside to the Dynasty Warriors formula is the fact that the gameplay might be considered to be too repetitive for some gamers out there. I have to admit though, it did feel somewhat monotonous at times playing One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 because it can get boring facing the same kind of enemies over and over again without any real challenge involved. 

However to somewhat combat the repetitive gameplay, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 changes up the formula by giving players sub-missions to complete as well as adding mini-bosses and bosses to vary up the battlefield. Mini-bosses and bosses are somewhat harder to kill and you will need to use your special abilities in order to take them down. 

Each character has access to four special abilities that operate through a cooldown system. You can use the special abilities as much as you want, but you have to wait for a special meter to replenish before you can utilise them again. The special moves are cool to use because they can deal a lot of damage to multiple enemies simultaneously! 

Another thing I liked about the game is the number of different characters that you can play as. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 features 43 unique characters for you to choose from and even more characters will be added to the roster as future DLC. 

What’s even more admirable is the fact that each character plays differently from each other. For example, one character could be slow but more powerful while another character could be proficient with weapons such as dual swords and whatnot. Most of the characters in this game are enjoyable to play as, although there was only one character that I thought was the weakest of the bunch. 

Arguably the worst character in the entire game is Usopp because he’s only armed with an ineffective and useless slingshot. This slingshot has poor range and it’s unable to knock out as many enemies as every other character in the entire game. If you see Usopp as one of the playable characters in a story arc, I’d advise you to choose someone else instead!

Another issue I had with the gameplay is the fact that this game does not have a lock-on feature. Sometimes I would be focusing on an enemy boss, but they would run away and I would continue attacking the air instead. Not to mention the camera can sometimes get chaotic when there are so many enemies surrounding you all of the time. 

Aside from the story mode called Dramatic Log, players can also play through other different mission modes called Free Log and Treasure Log. These modes pretty much allow you to do various missions outside of the main story and you also get a chance to play as more characters that you’ve unlocked in Dramatic Log. 

If you don’t want to play through the game by yourself, you are able to join in and play with other people online. Playing online can be fun because real human players are much more reliable and useful compared to the A.I. 

Graphically, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is one of the best looking anime games I have played all year long. The good graphics come at a price though because the loading times for levels and certain cutscenes are usually quite slow for my taste. It would have been better if the loading times were faster. 

Overall, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a decent Dynasty Warriors type game that fans of the anime and manga will enjoy a lot. The new story mode is enjoyable to play through, although some people might say the gameplay gets too repetitive. If you love these sorts of games though, you will be thoroughly entertained. 

Verdict: 7.5/10