One Piece: Pirate Warriors is the latest installment in the One Piece game franchise. It follows up on the success of the first game, but this time it adds a couple of new features and an original non cannon story. Does this installment pack the punch? Or does this pirate crew sink?
As stated above the story no longer follows the canon of the manga/anime. Instead it follows it's own original story that takes place two years after the Straw Hat Pirates enter the new world. For those not really familiar with the One Piece lore the story can loose you. However the story does a good job of staying true to One Piece universe. The story has a nice mixture of humor and serious tone themes which you would expect.
Those familiar with titles such as Fist of The North Star Ken's Rage, Saint Seiya and Dynasty Warriors will fit right at home with Pirate Warriors 2. However this installment of Pirate Warriors has a few adjustment than the previous game. Gone are the quicktime events that was in the previous installment instead the game focuses purely on battles. The game does a great job of giving a huge amounts of characters to play with. Each character has they own special set of skills, specials, abilities and moves. Luffy attacks will be different from Zoro's and vice versa. However even though attacks are different the overall experience is the same which is kind of a letdown. The main story mode follows this particular pattern in gameplay. Players have certain areas under attack and it's up to you to take over those sections, if an ally is in trouble you rush over to save the day. The enemies attack patterns usually don't change and they are easily overcome even on the hardest of difficulty. One thing about the difficulty is the harder the difficulty the more enemies and longer it takes to defeat the boss. I would suggest to play the game on the hardest difficulty it will make getting an S rank much sweeter. The game does offer a in depth upgrade system using points you obtain in each mission. You have the ability to improve on skills, abilities as well as level up your partners and support system. The game also includes a coin grid system which will give you an advantage in battle. Coins can be collected throughout the mission and be place in the grid before the battle to increase stats, help allies or more.
The graphics follow the same feel and look as the previous game. It contains some cel-shaded environments and the characters look great and does justice to the anime. The graphics won't wow you like other titles but it does what it's suppose to do and that's keeping true to the anime. As far as framerate goes I didn't have an problems with so many enemies at a time. There was no slowing down, or hiccups it played very smoothly.
The sound is in Japanese dub with English subtitles and I really enjoyed that experience. It made me feel like I was actually watching the Japanese version of the show. The voice acting is top notch with each actor playing they roles respectfully with pure accuracy. The music is okay some tracks are a hit or miss but it does stay true to the theme of the series.
Replay Value -
With tons of characters to play, things to unlock and your allies having they own chance to do story mode. You will be playing One Piece for a while. It has a lot to offer but however the repetitive gameplay might turn some gamers off.
Final Grade 7.5/10:
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is good but could've of been better. The upgrade system is great and the game does pick up after a few missions. The voice acting is awesome and the game is overall fun to play. If your a fan of the anime jump on the ship and join the crew.