Juan over at SwitchWatchTV got ahold of the new One Piece and Dynasty Warriors crossover game, One Piece Pirate Warriors 4! It seems like a fun romp and definitely a game for fans of the series. Check out the video review below, or continue downward to read Juan’s review here on SwitchWatch.co.uk.
If you follow the One Piece anime, then you are in a for a treat as this game consists many of the arcs you will love from the series. And even if you are not a fan, it’s still enjoyable nevertheless, but it could be a major spoiler if you do want to watch the series.
The story arcs included are the Alabasta Arc, Enies Lobby Arc, Marineford Arc, New World Arc, Whole Cake Island Arc, and a game original, the Land of Wana Arc.
If you have watched the anime, then you are going to love playing through these arcs even more. Whether you like One Piece or not is another matter, I absolutely love the adventures of Monkey D, Luffy in his quest to become the Pirate King.
I have played my share of Musou games on the Nintendo Switch, most recently Warriors Orochi 4. I will say straight off the bat that this one is my favorites, and that maybe because I have an affinity already to the main character and care about how the story pans out. While One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 is a Musou game which plays like many other Musou games I have played, I feel that this one is the most accomplished and probably one of the best Koei Tecmo have made yet.
One of the first things you will notice when battering the multitude of foes is how some buildings and objects are destructible, lending to an awesome feeling when carrying out a number of combos and bits of buildings flying everywhere along with dust from your destruction.
Then there is the chain ground strikes to air where you can carry out killer combos in the air and then wonderfully take your foes and absolutely pummel them to the ground. It’s something which feels a little different, and if you have played the wonderful Attack on Titan, then you will know what I mean when it comes to how great aerial combat can feel especially when it is as fluid as it is here.
As always, there are a number of moves you can pull off with the differing characters, like with Luffy and his superhuman rubber-like elasticity, which always reminds me of Inspector Gadget but is just a good overall character to play. Of course there are a raft of other characters too that you can choose to play, but there are also ones which have not made the cut, which is a bit annoying to say the least. Some others have been added from other story arcs, but it would have been nice to have them all here. I’m sure many of you will be checking out Vinsmoke Reiju.
I will put a link in the description so you can see the full roster of 40 playable characters. Each having there own type, Power, Speed, Technique, and now Sky. Zoro being a power type, he will have a lot of destructive combos on ground but not so good when he is in the air. A speed type character will have some long combos but link combos are reduced. The Sky type will allow a lot of combos to be carried out throughout the air. I tend to prefer power more than the others, but that’s the thing. Each of you will have a preferred character type and style that you wish to use. Figuring out all the moves and combos, linking them together, and dealing massive amounts of hurt is what I love about these games.
Switching forms is specific to certain characters, and you have the option to equip forms as skills. In game with a certain combo of buttons you can switch forms to your liking.
Characters Missions play out in mostly the same way with these games; Kill hundreds of bad guys, practicing your combos, and then kill a number of mid bosses before then having to kill the big boss – and here they are bigger than ever! They take up huge portions of the screen and look impressive forcing you to think of differing strategies. Even better, you can play as these bosses, too!
After completing each mission, you will be scored for how quickly you completed the mission and how many of the side quests along with main quests your were able to complete. Missions also have random events which pop up from time to time, including a whole load of enemies coming from nowhere to loot boxes which adds an element of surprise.
Berries are the game’s income, and you can spend these on the growth map for each character, upgrading, Life, Stamina, defense, and much more, like airborne attack enhancements.
Before battle, you can choose which special moves you would like your character to equip, which can be activated by pressing R and the corresponding X, B, Y, or A button. Skill slots can also be filled with enhancements like pursuit or Bounty hunter, each giving certain increases in certain stats while in battle.
A number of modes include Dramatic log allowing you to play the story arcs in the order they are meant to be played. Free log allows you to play the chapter that you wish, and treasure log which allows you to enjoy various episodes featuring a host of unique characters.
Each episode is divided into multiple ranks. In the beginning, the East Blue class can be played, but satisfy the criteria for each rank and you will be able to challenge for higher ranks, allowing you to play Grand Line and New World Episodes. Core episodes are the key to progressing through the treasure log.
Online, there are a number of missions you can play where 2-4 people can play in co-op, which works very well indeed and is a lot of fun when playing with friends. My only compliant, and it’s the same compliant that many will level at Musou games, is that they become samey and repetitive after a while.
That may be true, but I also think it depends on if that’s what you want or not. For me playing a game like this, I know more or less exactly what I am going to get, and I have fun not having to think too much and that’s just fine. This does what it does, and it does it brilliantly well and is fun.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE
The visuals look very different to what has come before. The framerates are certainly a lot smoother than they have ever been on the Switch, even though it is playing at 30 FPS, I really enjoyed how smooth it was in terms of performance. I did however notice quite a bit of pop when running around quickly and this may be an annoyance to some. It was both noticeable in handheld and docked, although future patches have been confirmed and may reduce this, but it is there.
The in-game visuals are nice and colorful, and the characters look great. I especially enjoyed the massive bosses and their designs. The backgrounds still don’t have as much detail as I would like, but I guess that’s the price to be paid for having to have so many enemies on screen at once. However, the destructible environments do add to the epic feel of the fights.
Animations look fluid and the characters do not resemble plastic. A lot of animations I noticed, however, are the same as from Pirate Warriors 3, which I reviewed if you want to check that out too. Otherwise, this plays great in both docked and in handheld. However, one point to note is the load times are dreadful right now. There is a patch coming, and I hope they can speed things up because it feels like an eternity waiting for a map to load.
This is voiced in Japanese with English subs, and there are no options to have English Dub. I will let you guys argue over whether that’s a good thing or not, but personally it does not bother me in the slightest. I like the music tracks and ,the sound effects and I don’t really have a bad word to say about it. It’s very good quality and satisfies me.
This is a full Triple AAA title which is going to cost you 49,99 for a digital purchase in the UK and $59.99 dollars in the USA. You can nab a physical copy for around £45 on Amazon. Then there is the absolute beast of a special edition called the Kaido Edition, which is an incredible £149,99 and has the game and a 30 Cm Led Diorama. Should you be feeling flush you can pick this up exclusively from game.
Like anything of this type, the value really depends on how much you like this type of game. You can easily spend 50 to 100 hours on it without a problem, but most who just want to complete the story will see far less than that.
Story - 8/10
Gameplay - 8/10
Audio - 8/10
Visuals & Performance - 8/10
Value - 8/10
One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 has added some new gameplay mechanics, destructible environments, and visuals which look better than before. While all of this adds value to the game, most of you will want to play through those story arcs that you have seen through the Anime and to that degree this is a great game for the fans. If you are brand new to this then there is plenty to enjoy, but be aware Musou games are not for everyone, and some tire quickly of how repetitive they become no matter how many characters or new moves are added. Perfect then for those who require some great action without too much thought.
- Follows anime story arcs.
- Fantastic audio visuals.
- Great value.
- Bad camera