Luffy and his rag tag band of Straw Hat pirates are back once again with their second PS3 outing. And while this is a Dynasty Warriors spin off through and through, anyone who loves One Piece will be very happy with this game.
Pirate Warriors tells its own unique story in the world of One Piece. Characters relationships are changed after many pirates from around the world have gathered and called a truce in order to kill the Straw Hats. This means that Luffy and co. will have to team up with some unlikely friends in order to save the day. The story is largely told through chat dialogue between characters before and after each battle. These conversations are rather lifeless and get boring quickly, but luckily they can be easily skipped. Luckily, the best story moments play out in fantastically made cut scenes that show off how pretty the PS3 can be.
The game is very good at introducing the world to new comers; every time a character is introduced it shows their status and relationship to the Straw Hats, and sometimes it will show off what powers they have. However, the game does expect at least a small amount of knowledge about the One Piece universe in order for players to have the most enjoyment.
Pirate Warriors is a Dynasty Warriors game, without a doubt. Whether or not that is a good thing really comes down to if hammering the same buttons again and again to kill thousands of enemies sounds fun. If it does, then Pirate Warriors is great. But that’s all the game really has going for it. So anyone expecting an exploration game like One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP will be very disappointed.
But for those who enjoy the DW games, this is a fantastic addition to the genre. Every character feels unique and powerful, and every level up gained nets more moves and actions that can be performed to kill hundreds of enemies at once. But it isn’t all the same; PW2 introduces coins that the player can equip to boost their stats. These coins have characters on them, and depending on what characters are placed near each other, they will get stat boosts (E.G. Nami and Luffy together gives a ‘crew’ team mate boost) It introduces a small meta game of coin hunting that helps increase the games length even more past its 10 hour campaign.
Apart from all the little things in the game, it all still boils down to mashing buttons until everyone in the area is dead. And this gets boring quite quickly. But what makes up for this, are the boss battles. Every stage will have a boss (meaning an important character from the anime) who will want to fight. These boss fights are brilliant knuckle biting action packed brawls that really put the players skill to the test. The feeling given from defeating a boss with a slither of health is one unlike any other.
There are a few nitpicks that might annoy some people. There is no English voice option, and while this won’t annoy diehard fans who adore the Japanese voice cast, it’s just a little thing that might stop newcomers from truly falling in love with the show. The music is boring. It’s not bad, but in no way is it good. It fits the fights fine, but does little more than that. It’s incredibly forgetful music that repeats on loop and quickly gets annoying to a point of muting the TV.
One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 is a great example of taking an anime license and doing it justice. It’s addictive gameplay mixed with its incredible amount of fan service make One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 one of the best Dynasty Warrior games yet, and one of the best anime license games in recent memory. If you’re a fan of the genre or the show, this game won’t disappoint.