One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Deluxe Edition Nintendo Switch Review by SwitchWatch
Developer: Omega Force & Koei Tecmo
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Release Date: Out Now
Price as of Article: $59,99 USD, £49,99 GBP
Game code provided by Bandai Namco for review
If you are a One Piece fan then this game does a good job of condensing a lot of the story into this game and covers a lot of the story arcs and considering there are over 800 episodes of the anime this is some feat to be fair.
If you are a fan of the series then you will know about Shells town and Zoro, Beratie, Arlong Park, Enies Lobby, Marine Ford parts 1 and 2, Punk Hazard and Dressrosa.
There are of course more arcs in between but this should give you an idea. For those that have not watched the series then this tells the story of Luffy and his crew’s journey over a 15-hour adventure and while for those who watch the series this may feel a little brief, for people new to it, the game does a commendable job of introducing people to the world of One Piece.
As a Dynasty Warriors infused game, made by the same people, you kind of know what you’re going to get from the soundtrack even before you’ve played it. You know it’s going to be awesome. Pirate Warriors 3 really hits the nail on the head infusing both franchises so well. You’re guaranteed completely over the top metal solos, something the series is so well known for and this doesn’t disappoint. The grunge-y distorted guitars and intense drums are music to any Dynasty Warriors fans. It’s not only Dynasty Warriors though, One Piece is definitely shining through in this soundtrack with lots of upbeat trumpets. And when I say lots, almost throughout every music track trumpets are front and centre alongside the crazy guitar solos.
I also didn’t expect the wackiness that comes into this one. Obviously the trumpets help with this, but genre shifts and less intense tracks really make it unique at points and I really think the One Piece franchise really helped with that aspect. Overall, the music is just sublime, at least if you can take the completely over the top nature of it. It adds hugely to the gameplay and would be a much lesser game without.
There isn’t an option for English Dubs in this one for those wanting it though although I like to play these games with Japanese dub because I think the emotion comes across better and I don’t mind reading but thats just me.
Visuals and performance
The game has been released on PS4, Vita, PS3, PC and now the Switch after a couple of years on other systems. As this game is a Musou similar to that of Dynasty Warriors it’s important to be able to slah through of hundreds of enemies at once and so while the game is smooth and stable, graphically it’s not the most detailed game you will play on Switch. Often you would see the backgrounds lacking detail although the characters are portrayed and drawn well. The moves and animations are all decent enough.
The game runs at 30 FPS and while I don’t have the figures I would hazard a guess that this isn’t running at full 1080p or 720p in docked mode. I would say this was done to keep the game running as smoothly as possible which is fine. If you don’t require the game in portable mode and have a PS4 then you will get the best graphical fidelity on that system and if you have a high specced PC then of course the game will look better there also. I did not encounter any slowdown which I was a little worried about baring in mind how many enemies are on the screen at once.
The other thing that is quite annoying is the camera at times has a mind of its own, sometimes it’s in the right spot and others it get’s stuck so you can’t see what you’re doing. It’s easy enough to correct but does become irritating.
Lets, first of all, explore the differences of this version of the game to the others. Firstly you can play the game in local Co-Op with a friend using a Joycon each which is certainly a nice to have. Secondly, this includes over 40 DLC’s that have come out over the last couple of years. For completionists wanting to delve deeper in the story then the DLC is a welcome addition.
Now those who have played part two will also no doubt wonder about the differences, there are six new characters added to the Roster which means every member of the Straw Hat crew can be gathered together. Each character has new move-sets and there is a slight graphical upgrade but for the most part, the game plays quite similar except there are no QTE events at all here which to be fair you may or may not miss. I wasn’t bothered. Then as mentioned the story follows the Canon One Piece Story.
If playing through the story mode you will be looking at 15 hours completion time, each chapter allows you to play the game in a number of large arenas where you will have to defeat many hordes of enemies which really are just there for you to have fun with. As you defeat enemies more of the map opens up where you will have to take over territory which will also be protected by sub-bosses.
Let’s get this straight the battles are fun and feel satisfying, each character moves set suit each character well and being able to kill many soldiers in one go feels awesome. Pulling off moves is nice and simple from stretching out Luffy’s leg and swinging it to smash a load of enemies out the way to pumping your fists in a number of eneimies at the same time always feels great. Button mashing will only get you so far in this will be fine in easy mode but try hard and you will need to learn the combinations. There are a good few move sets to learn and having over 40 playable characters means there is plenty to keep you occupied.
This game introduces the Kizuna rush which allows you to tag in a partner and sometimes more later on where you can work together for a short period of time to form huge combinations allowing you to kill hundreds of enemies which feels great.
The maps are large and there is a mini map to point you in the right direction often with changing objectives, ie protect this territory, or some type of timed even which if not completed in time it’s mission failed. Often once you kill a certain enemy or complete a certain task you will move onto the next and its often possible that you will have defeated 2000 or 3000 enemies by the end of the mission.
There is though for me an issue with the pacing of the game. The battles for some reason felt really long being 20 minutes or so each and it soon started to feel like the game was becoming repetitive to play. Often you would go through the motions to hear the next part of the story. I would end up playing one mission and having a break before coming back to play another mission such was the repetitive nature of it. The other issue was the cut scenes which would often interrupts the action just while I was getting soaked into it.
To be fair it does try to mix t things up by offering conditions or certain challenges within each level, treasure events, and coins to collect which help with levelling up your characters. While the RPG element is not as deep as some games at least the option is here.
Dream log is another mode which funny enough was preferable to me, it meant I could choose any character to play and just go straight into battle which would allow you to unlock more coins, characters and items. Complete that to get the opposite of dream!
The only added benefits are that this has all included DLC and that you can play with a friend with the Joy Cons anywhere but I still feel this could have been cheaper, those that own the game on another system but want this portable will find it hard to stomach paying the full asking price. Those that don’t have the game really have to like One Piece and Musou games like this. It also doesn’t help that this has been released a week before Hyrule Warriors.
I think the game is too expensive for the £54,99 asking price in the UK and yet our American friends can buy this game for only $39,99 on the Eshop which in today’s exchange rate is £28,76 so let me work this out. It’s an incredible £26.23 difference so you could almost buy 2 copies in the USA for the price being charged in the UK and for our European friends it’s 55,99 Euros so the most expensive is in the UK. So is it worth your hard earned cash? In America just about in the UK and Europe no. Someone at Bandai needs to sort out the pricing because it’s quite frankly bordering on absurd and it was the same with Naruto. There is no excuse that I can see to have such a difference in price especially when we are talking digital copies so if you want this game do yourself a favour and make an American Eshop account. Do not pay extra if you don’t have too.
Battles are fun
Nice being able to play with a friend
Too expensive in Europe and UK
Too many interruptions