One Piece: Odyssey PS5 Review – One Piece is currently the longest-running anime and mangas on the market, so it makes sense that video games will be produced based on such a popular franchise. Though One Piece has had many video game adaptations, Odyssey is a unique take on the franchise that not only sets it apart from many past iterations; it catapults it past many others.
One Piece: Odyssey PS5 Review
A Strong Story That Utilizes Its Source Material To Full Effect
One Piece: Odyssey follows the straw hat crew after their reunion after the battle of Marineford. Setting sail again, Luffy and his gang crash on a mysterious island after a severe storm. The crew quickly realizes something is weird with the island as lightning is frozen in crystals, and a ghostly light reaches into the sky from the island’s centre.
Upon exploring the island, the crew encounters Lim, a young girl who, realizing Luffy and company are pirates, uses her mysterious powers to strip the crew of their abilities by locking their knowledge of their skills into memory cubes and scattering them across the island.
Upon realizing the crew isn’t so bad, she decides to help them, along with her mysterious partner Adio, to recover their memory cubes and uncover the island’s secrets.
The Straw Hat Crew is perfectly realized in Odyssey, and their personalities are constantly on display. Usopp is always afraid of anything he deems dangerous, while Robin is keen to study and learn about the island’s mystery.
The Straw Hat Crew Is Perfectly Realized Down To The Smallest Detail
If you’ve been a franchise fan, you’ll know what to expect, but if you’re new, Odyssey is a great game to jump into and learn just what makes One Piece so popular. Newcomers will be able to soak up plenty of backstories in the encyclopedia, so you won’t be missing out. Still, most importantly, you’ll travel back in time and experience the Straw Hats adventure leading up to the game’s beginning.
Lim sends the crew back in time through their memories to recover some of their abilities. While in their memories, you have to play through events of the anime and manga but with a few differences.
Battles in Alabasta against Crocodile and rescuing Robin from Enies Lobby are just a few memories you’ll get to play through while encountering many of the franchise’s most memorable characters, such as Smoker and Trafalgar Law.
Plenty Of Memorable Locations To Explore Across The One Piece Franchise
Exploration is pretty linear in Odyssey. There aren’t any significant open-world sections to explore, and for the most part, you’ll be limited to the locations the game wants you to go to, not giving you much room to explore.
When looking at your map, you’ll see plenty of locations to go on the island, but you’ll always be stopped and told you’re going the wrong way if you aren’t moving to your objective. Things become more open as you progress, and you can revisit old locations at your leisure, but it does hinder exploration when you first visit a site.
There are plenty of side activities to do once things open up a little such as cooking, creating trick balls that Uusap can use in combat and hunting down Bounties of other pirates to earn extra barriers (currency).
As you explore, the crew all have a role to play, and each one provides various skills to unlock all the secrets of the world. Luffy can use his Observation Haki to point out items and hidden memories to add to the encyclopedia. Sanji is the only one to find cooking ingredients, and Usopp can shoot materials down in high-to-reach areas such as trees.
Each character provides different benefits, but it can also be a pain to constantly switch between each character every time you explore a new location to see what that character will reveal. It just means you must run through areas back and forth with up to six different characters so that you won’t miss anything.
A Rock-Paper-Scissors Mechanic Utilizes The Entire Straw Hat Crew
Odyssey features a turn-based combat system that relies heavily on a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. In this case, each party member and enemy fall under a Power, Speed or Technique category: Power beats Speed, Speed beats Technique, Technique beats Power. This is the fundamental rule in combat, and using it to your advantage is essential.
The good news is you can switch between any member of your party whenever you want to give yourself an advantage as long as that character hasn’t already acted out their turn.
When the battle starts, enemies and party members are grouped randomly. For example, Luffy can be grouped with two enemies; Robin will be grouped with one enemy, while Usopp and Sanji will be alone. Luffy can only attack and be attacked by the enemies he is grouped with. Robin can’t attack anyone in Luffy’s group because she has to deal with her enemy, while Usopp and Sanji can attack whoever they want.
Challenges Pop-Up In Combat That Add Quick Objectives To Clear
It’s here where combat can become strategic, and every character becomes essential. If Luffy is in a group with enemies that give him a disadvantage, you can swap him out with any team member on your roster that includes party members in your battle party or those you have in reserve to give you an advantage.
With the grouping mechanic, there are also chances that special conditions will arise that provide extra EXP or item drops if completed. These conditions vary from defeating an enemy with a single attack to more complicated ones that see one of your teammates stunned in battle and beating all the enemies before the said character is knocked unconscious.
As mentioned, combat is turn-based and as such you’ll take turns attacking enemies, using memorable skills, or using items. It’s not all that complicated and, quite honestly, not very difficult. I found Odyssey to be a reasonably uncomplicated game when exploiting my enemy’s weaknesses, and I never found myself in any tough battles, including most of the bosses.
Playing Tetris With Accessory Equipment
There isn’t any traditional equipment in Odyssey. Instead, you’ll equip accessories that provide various stat increases on a grid system. This system plays out like inventory management in games like Resident Evil VIII. Each accessory has a different shape that you can manoeuvre onto your grid. The better the accessories, the more room it takes up.
You can equip various weaker accessories but have four different ones or two big ones that boost two stats. It’s a fun little system that allows you to combine accessories to gain better stats but at the cost of other accessories.
A Visual Style That Perfectly Brings The One Piece World To Life
Visually, Odyssey looks excellent. The attack animations are ripped right out of the source material, and the world is visually pleasing. Eiichiro Oda’s unique character design is in full bloom, with brand-new monsters and characters designed specifically for this game. It keeps in spirit with the source material with its goofy designs.
The game’s soundtrack is surprisingly good and feels like an epic JRPG orchestral score. Unfortunately, Odyssey isn’t dubbed into English which I think is a missed opportunity since the anime dub is pretty solid. The big problem comes when you’re exploring, and characters begin to talk, making it difficult to read the subtitles while running around. I was forced to stop exploring to read the conversation playing out.
One Piece: Odyssey is a surprisingly great JRPG that takes the actual turn-based combat and adds a little extra breathing room and strategy, even if that strategy makes things too easy.
With a strong story, a wonderful world to explore, and plenty of side objectives to accomplish, Odyssey isn’t just trying to cash in on the One Piece license. It’s a full-fledged quality experience designed for fans of One Piece and JRPGs alike.
One Piece: Odyssey is now available for PS4, PS5, PC, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One.
Review code kindly provided by PR