One Piece Odyssey Review: Luffy and the pirates want to explore an uninhabited island. However, a huge storm swells them up, spit them out, and their shipwrecked on this island. The crew is scattered all over the place, and you’ll need to reunite so you can get off and continue sailing.
Throughout the game, you’ll encounter mysterious ruins and never-before-seen monsters. I always love a good mystery, so I’ll be really curious to see what’s in store as we explore more of this island.
Now, as far as I can tell, this is an original story. It’s not specifically tied to any arc in the manga or the anime, and in terms of where it takes place in the anime, it’s around the time skip around episode 517. I have to give a shout-out to Alex from Backlog Battle there, because I’m super unfamiliar with the anime, so I have no idea what that means. Although I do know there are characters that are in the Straw hat pirates in later episodes that aren’t here. So take that for what it’s worth.
One Piece Odyssey Review: In terms of voiceover, it will only be in Japanese, with no English voiceover. And in terms of the way they’re presenting the story, they’re doing it in three pretty distinct ways. One, they’re doing this kind of casual conversation as you walk around and explore, you’ll just hear little bits of dialogue from different characters to kind of flesh out the story.
Also, there are these more visual novel-style presentations where you’ll see character portraits with text, and then there are many more cinematic scenes that kind of reflect the anime. At least that’s what they’ve been saying in the trailers.
It’s a turn-based system where you can have up to four active party members, but the cool thing is you can swap out any of your party members in reserve at any given time on the fly without having to waste a turn. And so far, they’ve confirmed nine playable characters,
One Piece Odyssey Review: Now, more could come down the line whether it’s in the game itself or through DLC, but these are the ones that they’ve confirmed so far.
Now, one interesting wrinkle they’re adding to the combat system is a rock, paper, scissors-like aspect, but instead, it’s power, speed, and technique. Essentially, each character in each enemy has one of these three attributes, and depending on which one you have, you’ll be either strong against the enemy or weak against it.
So it’ll be really imperative to be constantly swapping out characters so you’re hitting enemies that you’re strong against and making sure you don’t have characters in the party that are weak against enemies you’re fighting.
Now, they’re also implementing two mechanics into combat that I’ve really never seen in an RPG before, and the first of those is a scramble area battle system.
Essentially, when you start the battle, it’s not like a typical JRPG where you have your party against their party just kind of back and forth. But instead, you have maybe one of your party members going against two of the enemies in one part of the battle arena and then maybe one on one in a different part of the arena.
And the idea behind this is that it’s trying to reflect the anime where each character kind of has to fend for themselves in battle, so you’ll be slowly whittling down and kind of condensing these mini-battles within a larger battle. And the battles aren’t random. You can see the enemies on the map, and once you hit them, they’ll swirl into these battle arenas.
One Piece Odyssey Review: The other unique mechanic is something called dramatic scenes. Randomly, you’ll have these combat challenges that will pop up, and if you can do them within the allotted time limit or just in general, you’ll get extra XP.
A couple of examples of these would be defeating a certain enemy with a certain character or a certain party member will have a debuff, and you need to save them before they get knocked out. I like this because it kind of keeps battles fresh and keeps you on your toes so it doesn’t get boring or repetitive.
There are also team-up attacks that you can acquire throughout the game with two or three different characters for Big supermoons. And if the battles are just a little too slow for you, you can speed them up with a sort of turbo mode mechanic.
Skills Leveling System
Now, in terms of leveling up, it’s kind of what you would expect in JRPG with, again, one little unique wrinkle. As you level up your characters, your stats will also increase as you’d expect.
But there are also these little puzzle grids. Essentially, each character has a grid with different spaces that you can slot in these little puzzle pieces. And each piece has either a stat-off or some kind of ability that you can equip. And you can equip as many depending on how big your grid is and if it can fit within the space. And the cool thing is, it’s not like a certain piece is unique to one character.
One Piece Odyssey Review: You can mix and match depending on however you want to build out your team. Now, throughout the world, there will be campsites, and at these campsites, you can have parties. And at these parties, you’ll eat food and hang out with your friends and well, throw a party. And once you do this, you’ll have a temporary XP boost for the next few battles. And Luffy also has a special ability to identify rare enemies that will give bonus XP.
And between all these different leveling-up mechanics, it seems like what they’re trying to do is cut out Tedious grinding. Now, I love grinding as much as the next JRPG fan, but for those that want to do it a little bit more efficiently, instead of just kind of beating your head against the wall battle after battle, I love that they have these different elements to make it go a little bit faster.
For one, you’ll be able to have any character be the party leader. Now, you can do this just to control your favorite character, but also each one has its own unique field action. For example, Luffy can stretch and get to new areas that you normally wouldn’t have access to. Usopp can shoot down items that you can use for later, and Zoro can break open tougher objects than usually other characters can.
And those are just a few examples. Each character has their own unique field action, and you only need to be clever when you use these because the dungeons seem like they’re full of these. It seems like you’re going to need to be constantly swapping out different characters to get through the dungeon successfully.
Me, this really reminds me of the Wild Arms series because in those games, each character had their own field action just like this, and you needed to use all of them to get through dungeons or just navigate the world.
One Piece Odyssey Review: So I really like this mechanic, and I’m curious to see how clever they can get with it throughout the dungeons. Also, in terms of saving, it’s not autosaving and you can’t just save anywhere. There will be designated save points, so make sure you save carefully.
There will also be some crafting elements. For one, Sanji can cook and create some food and give you different food buffs in battle. Usopp can build items to give character buffs and battles as well. And Robin can craft those grid pieces that you would equip on your characters, either one that you couldn’t find in the world or just ones that you want to create extras of. Now, if this all isn’t enough and you really just want to play it for yourself.
It’ll be released on January 12 for PC and January 13 for consoles. Not totally sure why they decided to split the release dates like that, but that’s what they’re doing.
In terms of platforms, it’ll be released for PC. PS4, PS5, Xbox Series S, and X, but weirdly enough, not Xbox One. And obviously known as Nintendo Switch.