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PS3 Game Review

One Piece
Pirate Warriors 2


Format: PS3
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games Europe
Developer: Omega/Tecmo Koei
RRP: £49.99
3 391891 970679
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 30 August 2013

One Piece: Pirate Warriors has had a long and successful history, including a manga, an anime show and a console game. The game was commercially successful to warrant a sequel. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 diverges from its predecessor, whereas the original game used a cannon story, this game offers up an original tale.

Review imageTaking its influence from the anime and manga, you get to play all of the characters from the original. At the start of the game you can only access the Pirate Log mode, which is where the story waits for you; a tale of lost shipmates and unlikely alliances containing all the fan-favourite playable characters - twenty-seven in all - as well as a plethora of the more minor ones. Each has their own special ways of fighting.

The story is enjoyably coherent, with lots of franticly frenetic fights to wade through. Once past the first few chapters you start to add new characters, which can be played and levelled up, an insanely easy task, which makes grinding superfluous, as you get an embarrassing level of wealth for completing a level which can also be used to purchase various media files and upgrades.

Review imageAlthough it makes sense, the story only exists to create a frame. Luffy’s Straw Hat Pirates stick their noses where they shouldn’t and become separated, having been turned evil by a black mist, leaving Luffy to form an alliance with the marines chasing them in order to get his crew back. Each mission requires you to complete specific tasks, capture territory, beat thousands of enemies and finally face various bosses.

You will spend a lot of time mashing the square and triangle buttons as you plough through armies of minions, occasionally dodging with the X button. The X button allows you to string together moves, or even cancel your current attack. A lot of the bosses you face have special modes where they are impervious to your attacks, but worry not as you too have a ‘style’ mode, if the bar has filled up, which slows time allowing you to dance around like a loon disposing of difficult enemies. If that’s not enough to even out the field then you can call on allies, including inviting another player to help you out in an on-line co-op. Other modes allow you to fight with changed parameters.

Review imageAlong the way you can collect coins and other treasure which allow you to unlock the characters special moves. No prior knowledge of the franchise is required as the game boils down to smashing your way through levels, although if you’re a fan the likeness and character of Luffy and the rest of his universe will delight you endlessly. One thing which may well turn some players off is that the game is presented in its original Japanese audio track, with English subtitles. Now this really works for fans of the show, but it might put newcomers off.

There are some problems with the game, the combination of the sheer numbers of opponents and the rather strange camera means that in the middle of a massive fight you can sometimes loose both yourself and your main opponent. That said it’s a minor niggle in what is a bright and enjoyable cavalcade of comic violence and the nearest experience to having control over an anime you will find.


Charles Packer

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