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Review

One Piece: Pirate Warriors Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • PS3

Zany flair puts a bit of wind in its sails, but One Piece: Pirate Warriors is still a shallow, tedious game.

Monkey D. Luffy and his crew of Straw Hat Pirates have used their zany personalities and unusual powers to sail to manga domination. But the inventiveness that has helped One Piece stand out from its manga and anime brethren is barely evident in One Piece: Pirate Warriors. This shallow game spends most of its time doing a fair imitation of the tired combat of Dynasty Warriors games, occasionally changing things up with rote puzzles and with grappling sequences that you don't have much control over. Wacky animations lend Pirate Warriors a bit of superficial personality, but underneath the surface, this is a dull knockoff of an uninspired series.

Main Log mode recounts the adventures of the Straw Hat Pirates across the One Piece storyline. It doesn't capture much of the excitement of that storyline, though. The plot is largely advanced through scenes in which characters talk about their adventures while a static image of them enjoying a picnic is displayed. The Japanese-language voices are overflowing with energy, but the accompanying, unmoving visuals make the story fall flat. If you come to Pirate Warriors not already knowing the tale of Luffy's adventures, the storytelling here certainly won't reveal what all the fuss is about.

And the gameplay doesn't make up for the excitement that's missing from the story. You spend most of your time playing as Luffy, running around battlefields to complete objectives. You're frequently swarmed by enemies, but these foes pose no challenge whatsoever. They exist simply to be clobbered by you. So you push some buttons, pull off some wild-looking attacks, and defeat them by the dozens. Different button combinations make Luffy use his rubbery limbs in different ways. He can charge forward in a flurry of fists, swing his legs around like a whip, or slingshot himself forward into enemy crowds. And by holding a button down, you can make him charge up certain attacks. But most enemies demand so little from you that there's little incentive to use one attack over another. And the constant barrage of powerful-looking attacks with elaborate animations that Luffy deals out quickly dilutes their visual impact down to nothing.

From time to time, more powerful enemies appear who require a bit more effort to defeat. You might need to evade some of their techniques, and rely on your own devastating special attacks to defeat them. These special attacks have even more elaborate animations, but they take no skill to perform. As long as your special attack meter has charges in it, you just hold down a button, and the attack takes care of itself. Watching Luffy's bizarre, stretchy attacks is fun for a short while, but they don't disguise how dull the underlying mechanics are.

You can use Luffy's Gum Gum Balloon ability to reflect cannonballs.

Frustratingly, challenge sometimes comes not from combat or other things you have direct control over, but from failure conditions that require you to keep other members of your crew in fighting shape. It's difficult to simultaneously protect allies who are in one spot and run all over the place completing mission objectives that are scattered across the map, and when clueless allies get themselves pummeled in your absence, you'll wish you could just issue commands telling them to keep themselves out of trouble.

Main Log mode occasionally puts you in control of some of these allies, and their special attacks differ significantly from Luffy's. Nico Robin can create arms that rise up out of the ground and pummel enemies, for instance, and Nami can summon lightning bolts and whirlwinds to aid her in battle. But this diversity of abilities doesn't bring a feeling of variety to the gameplay. Mashing buttons is still enough to deal with onslaughts of enemies, and even bosses don't require you to change up your approach.

When you're not fighting, you're often grappling and swinging around levels, using Luffy's rubbery limbs to reach areas that no ordinary pirate could. However, all this movement is anything but a pleasant change of pace from combat. You don't directly control Luffy as he does all of this fun-looking stuff, swinging through the air or grabbing onto a soaring cannonball that carries him over the water. Rather, you just respond to displayed button prompts and watch Luffy do all the rest. This makes you feel alienated from the action, and has you longing for the relative immediacy of battle. Other variations from the core combat also fail to inject any life into the game. Dull puzzles have you doing things like rotating statues, and one stage slows you down by making you carry an injured Nami around and find places to set her down before you can jump into the thick of it.

That looks enjoyable. Too bad you have so little control over it.

As you progress through Main Log, you unlock more characters you can use in Another Log mode, which puts the focus on characters other than Luffy. And online support lets you join forces with another player to complete chapters. But no matter how you play it, One Piece: Pirate Warriors is a tedious game; the energy of its characters and animations contrasts sharply with the tiresome gameplay. This 50-dollar, 11-gigabyte game isn't worth the cost or the significant amount of time it takes to download. If you're looking to spend some quality time with Luffy and his pirate crew, you're better off sticking to the pages of a manga or the scenes of an anime.

The Good
Wild attack animations
The Bad
Dull combat
Dry storytelling
Too many actions handled via button prompts
4
Poor
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4 comments
beerculesGTA
beerculesGTA

no way its a 4 i really enjoy this game so as my friends i dont say that its perfect but its really good

advocacy
advocacy

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is out.  I wonder how Gamespot will review it?

DarkSlimy
DarkSlimy

Wow no way this game deserves a 4! I just started to play and it's awesome so far. 4 is just WAY too low.

bgna8980
bgna8980

Carolyn Petit sucks ass at reviewing, nitpicking at stupid details like in Arkham city. Boss fights too easy? Then put the game on a harder difficulty!! This game is meant solely for FANS of the genre. It's not meant to tell a story to those unfamiliar with the series, how are they're supposed to compress almost 500 episodes into a game like this. Dragonballz games don't tell a story to those unfamiliar with the franchise, most people are just familiar with it that's why the understand and appreciate it, same goes for Pirate Warriors those who play it are bound to be fans, so do us a favor and stop reviewing games if you can't do them properly. 

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

oh look another PS3 exclusive game getting a poor review of Microspot what a surprise

also this was a game made for One Piece fans so for us it did it's job and did it damn well it's the best One Piece game i ever played plus i even let a friend who knew nothing of One Piece play it as he was a fan of the Dynasty Warriors games and he enjoyed it too 

again Microspot your bias against all consoles that are not Microsoft made show through again 

Tomaldinho10
Tomaldinho10

One of the worst games you have? who do you write these reviews for....i'm never coming here we clearly have differing opinions and agenda's for playing games......i would rate it 7.5 at least no more than an 8 decent buy for £25 One of the best games i have, considering my game collection this is One-piece i can say that keeps me very entertained.

chi-chi88
chi-chi88

i love the manga and the anime too, it was rare for me to have a game like this, then i saw this, ok, i have to play it, and see if some things that mentioned in this review is true.

narutomanfan
narutomanfan

this is a bad review. gamespot's only game that they really give a good score everytime is call of duty

ChikaraShref
ChikaraShref

How does she still have a job? Consistently writes bad reviews. One of the worst reviewers on any site i've ever seen.

swinehouse
swinehouse

This guy really seems to have missed the point of the game. Only OP fans will play this, so it doesn't really matter if it's not Skyrim. I for one bought this game knowing that it probably won't change my life. I just want to play through the story myself and smash shit out of shit with Gum Gum Powers.

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

My only criticism of this review is that it mentions One Piece: Pirate Warriors being a knockoff of Dynasty Warriors. That would be true if both games weren't made by Koei. It's not so much a knockoff more than it just being "Dynasty Warriors: One Piece Edition."

 

I still look forward to downloading this eventually though since NA hardly gets any One Piece games and the only one I have is Unlimited Adventure on Wii.

HKILLER88888
HKILLER88888

kay this is fan game unless you've seen the whole 500 and more episodes of  One Piece you would have NO IDEA what's going on.for example i'm not a One Piece Fan...haven't red the comics(in this case Manga)nor have seen any of the toons.so even me i would say"oh look how cheesy and bad this game is who would want to play this?"it's the same thing that happened to me when i played Tekken 5 i saw hehachi and Rofled on the floor for half an hour!but then i went back and played all the series and when i played Tekken 5 again it was awesome i only wanted to pick Hehachi!...so don't review something like this unless you know the whole story!

time9966
time9966

aren't we past this?   fanboys are going to like it, 'professional' reviewers probably won't.    what would help is to have an honest professional fanboy review as a comparision.  we've been down this road before.  see Dragonball, etc.  as exhibit A.

 

most licensed stuff is usually monotonous or poorly designed.  but the hardcore will buy it anyway.  licenseware is not out to reach the masses, but it should be engaging and entertaining to it's target.  that's what people want to know.  not that the reviewer is so superior because they rise above being 'sheep' to a particular interest.  the key is seeing those words in a good review  like:  'if you like x then you will find something to enjoy here'  or else 'even the diehards cannot justify getting this game'.   

tgwolf
tgwolf

It may be 'shallow and tedious' even with a healthy grain of salt but I would rather have this game than the many others that have somehow sequestered more praise and yet are sodden with mature-rated filth.

Rickystickyman
Rickystickyman

I supported Carolyn a little bit before, but lately her reviews seem to be incredibly... harsh and poorly written. At since this has been happening frequently... I'm curious why she doesn't seem to really like any games in general. If you constantly give games bad reviews then you shouldn't be reviewing games because you don't really enjoy games.

 

On a side note, I feel like this game is probably aimed a lot more for fans, sort of like Zoids: Battle Legends, or Naruto games, or any anime based game. It is fun to play because it feels like the show, but for someone who doesn't watch the show it seems stupid and unenjoyable. 

randante
randante

I disagree with the review as well! To me it's more like 7 out of 10! and fairly addictive!

Harrydapro
Harrydapro

Most anime/manga based games are games are rushed and usually button mashers anyway. 

Joido_19
Joido_19

I like One Piece and Dynasty Warriors were fun games for me. I completely content regardless if they gave it a 10 or a 3.

Mad_Hatter18181
Mad_Hatter18181

In all fairness this game was one of THE best one piece games I have ever played. honestly I am excited since to me this game seems like a damn perfect first try at making the world of one piece on the ps3. Was it rushed? hell yes. Was it good? damn right. Just think of how much better the next one is going to be. I mean games like Naruto UN and Fist of the north star didnt start of with all characters and details. Its all about testing the waters to see if people like the style. Mark my words this bitch is wrong and wouldnt know a top tier anime game if it was a jelly-filled doughnut 

Gundam4994
Gundam4994

the thing is although you gave it that score i still think your not looking at the whole picture i mean there has to be a reason why in japan it sold millions of copies plus no offense to you carolyn but i think your looking at it to domestically

bladesofchaos36
bladesofchaos36

Oh my, this review. sucks, the people who should be doing anime inspired video game reviews, are the one that actually have a passion for it and appreciate it, not some newb. it should have earned at least a 6. and this is coming from someone who actually played the game and other musou style games.

nesky
nesky

It's a review by Carolyn, nothing to see/read here folks.

b0sse
b0sse

Carolyn is a hater.

Uiltetwr
Uiltetwr

It seems to me no reviewer seems to apreciate games like dynasty warriors apart from people in asia :(

coolasj19
coolasj19

Did you just call One Piece an uninspired series without confirming to us whether you've watched it or not?

Heavenly_King
Heavenly_King

score: 4.0....*continue reading* by Carolyn Petit.   Now everything makes sense.

xaxbxab
xaxbxab

@bgna8980 Fine so you explained that story telling can be shitty cause its for the fans. Now you just have to explain why gameplay is shitty.

xaxbxab
xaxbxab

@swinehouseeven if fans will buy it anyway, she still has to say that the game is poor which it is.

mkdoomfan2
mkdoomfan2

 @ILuvGameSpot123 That was uncalled for. Look if you like the game, cool, but you don't have to insult anyone.

Bilal100
Bilal100

 @time9966 True,I have written a few reviews myself and I'm a huge One Piece fan so for all the unique OP elements in this game I am willing to give it a score of 6.5 but other than that it is in fact a shallow game that get's boring really quickly especially  if you already know the entire story and all of the moves.The game gives you little control over its characters when you actually do something fun,the combat in itself is bland and boring,you just have to push a button or two to pull off a gomu gomu no gatling gun!.If your a die hard OP fan or just a really rich gamer who also happens to enjoy anime then you may buy it but other than that I'm sorry to say that it just isn't worth 50$.

xolivierx
xolivierx

@Harrydapro lol totally. I remember buying FullMetal Alchemist on Ps2....I gave it to a friend after 3 days, and he brought it to the pawn shop after less than a week.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

 @bladesofchaos36 Games should be rated in comparison with other modern games, and shouldnt be exempted because of the brand. If you like One Piece, you'd overlook its problems anyway so why are you complaining?

arsenal1111
arsenal1111

 @Uiltetwr Don't, then, forget about the costumary moaning from said reviewers about the lack of Asian games being imported to the West! It's brilliant.

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @coolasj19 Nope, I did not call One Piece uninspired. Try reading those few sentences again. This is a very basic reading comprehension test.

bgna8980
bgna8980

@xaxbxab @bgna8980 Gameplay is not shit if you enjoy playing multiplayer the game is meant more so for fans as I've explained. Anyone who is not a fan would feel its a beat em up, and may feel its repetitive. Those who are fans of the series would love the feel of some of the returning cast, and just feels refreshing. This game is more for its online gameplay, its offline mode isn't as varied, but that does not justify a 4.0. 

bladesofchaos36
bladesofchaos36

I did and thats why it should have earned at least a 6,I never said it was the greatest musou of all time there fore a 6.5 or above would be to much. read dilintly befor ranting. have a nice day.

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

 @arsenal1111  @Uiltetwr if those asian games didn't have outdated gameplay mechanics and concepts that were PASSABLE during the ps2 era, then how can we appreciate them if we aren't obsessed with whatever content the game is based on? Some great games are imported from the Asian market, however those good games are not reskinned dynasty warrior clones...

bladesofchaos36
bladesofchaos36

 @wizardboyus as far as i know, that was not a comeback, learn how to read, it was a comment, im not here to make issues with people, dont get your panties in a bunch. and you too have a nice day. oh and gtfo

wizardboyus
wizardboyus

 @bladesofchaos36 pft what kind of comeback is that, why don't you read what HE said? one piece should not be exempted because of it's brand, people come here to see how fun a video game is, not how much it pleases fans of the respective series...

xaxbxab
xaxbxab

@carolynmichelle @senseless_dj @coolasj19 

Exactly!! It is a game, It should be judged as a game!!  Dont listen to them. They are called "fanboys" They will kill for any shit that has theirr beloved brand on the cover.

Nophoria88
Nophoria88

@carolynmichelle I'm sorry but a non one piece fan reviewing the game is a bit silly. Looking at meta critic and hearing you say the games worth "This 50-dollar, 11-gigabyte game isn't worth the cost or the significant amount of time it takes to download.", it honestly sounds like you dislike the series, seeing as you know of the series but do not watch it (indicating you do not like the source material) as yours is the second lowest. You say it's irrelevant, but you claim people who love the series could easily give it a glossed over score, what about people who might not even like the series the game is made from? It would be pretty easy to give it a low score when all the charm and effort put into the game is lost.. I understand that a game is a game, but why would fans of a series want to see a review from someone who could care less about One Piece? Not intended to be personal, just really don't agree with this.

 

I see no meta critic review drooling over this game (as you claimed), I'm sure some of them are fans, so that just sounds like an exaggerated example for the low score. 11/19 are 7+, I could very well be wrong, but I have a hard time seeing how you didn't have any preconceived notions that didn't affect the score as a result in any way. I'm not complaining about the score, however it's a bit insulting to see a non fan give a review out of one of One Piece largest outings.

senseless_dj
senseless_dj

 @carolynmichelle  @coolasj19 I appreciate your reply as I respect your opinion and professionalism. I have been with Gamespot since 2002 and I understand every bit of the review system. I have no issue with the game getting a 4 or 10. You are here to review a game not the realization of the source materials. What I asked you was a personal question and wasn't supposed to be related with this review. You are here at GS for years and I was just curious to know if you have watched the show or not. If you haven't, then its highly recommended. All the best.

flameon12346
flameon12346

 @carolynmichelle That was some thing that you wrote there. And to tell you the truth you got guts for explaining to all the people that don't understand. Respect. : )

 

carolynmichelle
carolynmichelle moderator staff

 @senseless_dj  @coolasj19 The question is irrelevant. I have some degree of familiarity with the source material, but it doesn't matter. We evaluate games as games. Watching a movie, reading a comic book or consuming whatever source material a game is based on isn't going to make any sensible reviewer look back on a game and say, "Now I see that those game mechanics that I thought were derivative and dull were actually really innovative and exciting!" Transformers fans might be more inclined to love Transformers: Fall of Cybertron than non-fans, for example, but when we review it, we consider it as much as possible as a game that might be approached by fans or non-fans of the source material who are looking for a good gaming experience. As stated in our review guidelines, "our reviews are not intended to validate or support the beliefs of hardcore fans." It's always easy to find people who love a license so much that they are inclined to give anything associated with it a high score. (Some Naruto fans (not all, but some), for instance, would give just about any Naruto game a high score simply because it was Naruto, without evaluating it as a game. Such reviews are basically worthless, and aren't what we do here at GameSpot.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors More Info

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  • First Released
    • PlayStation 3
    One Piece: Pirate Warriors is an action game where players control the Straw Hat crew to defeat surrounding pirates.
    7.7
    Average User RatingOut of 174 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate One Piece: Pirate Warriors
    Developed by:
    TECMO KOEI GAMES CO., LTD.
    Published by:
    Bandai Namco Games, Namco Bandai Games
    Genres:
    Action, Beat-'Em-Up
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence