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One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Let’s find out together, in this dedicated review, the strengths and weaknesses of One Piece Odyssey, the latest title dedicated to the Oda franchise developed by ILCA and published by Bandai Namco

We are aware that the tie-in market is not exactly a proponent of pearls, but we hope for it every time and, invariably, we are disappointed (or partially). In recent years it happened with Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot and One Piece World Seeker, three titles that are not exactly insufficient, but very disappointing because, in the end, all too derivative and that do not do honor and justice to the fans of the animated counterparts. Perhaps, however, this time we are really here: some progress has been made. And no, let’s not even mention the opprobrium dedicated to Made in Abyss.

After the disappointing and already mentioned World Seeker, Bandai Namco has decided to commission ILCA to develop a new title dedicated to One Piece. And so Odyssey was born, recently arrived on PC and current and last generation consoles, which is proposed in a totally different way from the half-thud of Ganbarion and, even more, from the musou of the Warriors series. One Piece Odyssey is a turn-based JRPG and, after playing it for several dozen hours, we will talk about it in depth in this review.

Here we go… Waford!

Luffy and the crew find themselves, in the first moments of One Piece Odyssey, in an unknown island and from whose center rises a gigantic and mysterious column of light. The Sunny is partially sunk, so they cannot leave again, but considering the captain’s curiosity (and the fact that, in the shipwreck, he lost his hat) and the adventurous spirit that characterizes the group, would still have been unlikely even with the ship intact. So let’s get to know the island of Waford, in a completely new narrative compared to the original series, but to which the author himself has also contributed.

Eiichiro Oda has, in fact, lent his hand for the design of the two original characters of One Piece Odyssey: Lim and Adio. The two meet Luffy and the others in the very first bars of the game, when the crew clashes with one of the protectors of the island. On this occasion, Lim literally “removes” the powers from all members of the group and encloses them in special cubes, which are then scattered around the world. Or it would be better to say… the worlds.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Reminiscence | One Piece Odyssey Review

The narrative device put in place with One Piece Odyssey is quite simple, but functional to captivate fans of the franchise. To recover the lost powers, Luffy will have to relive the deeds of the past of the whole crew in a sort of lucid reminiscence. Through Lim’s power they will therefore enter the “Worlds of Memory”, in which they will be able to recover more voluminous and useful cubes of power, reliving the memories of the past appropriately reworked in favor of the narrative. On the other hand, it is well known that memory is fallacious and memories can be inaccurate.

We will therefore retrace the exploits of the crew in Alabasta against Crocodile, or in Water Seven, for example, in an adventure that kept us busy for about forty hours. However, we have not recovered all the cubes, nor completed all the Bounties, tasks that would have probably still required a maximum of five or six hours. Various side quests are also scattered throughout the various worlds, who donate particularly useful objects and rewards to the crew, as well as the never banal money. In short, there are really many things to do, in addition to the main plot, which however is always the fulcrum of One Piece Odyssey.

Although we too appreciated the idea of ​​reliving iconic moments and re-encountering familiar faces (Ace above all), in the long run the expedient becomes rather boring and lacking in bite. Everything has an already-seen flavor (because, despite the changes, everything is really “already seen”) and we would have preferred, for a game like this, a completely original narrative and free from the franchise. On the other hand, One Piece lends itself very well to such operations, perhaps even more than the over-exploited Dragon Ball.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Turn-Based Battles: We’re Home | Ace (teardrop) | One Piece Odyssey Review

The beating heart of ILCA’s production is definitely the gameplay of One Piece Odyssey, which had convinced us since the first trailers. Abandoning the musou seen in the Warriors and the action-RPG of (low league, ed) World Seeker, the developers have married the idea of ​​creating a turn-based RPG with a good strategy component and slightly atypical. Rather than making the turns flow in a linear sense, therefore, perhaps based on the Speed ​​statistic of each pawn, Odyssey divides its battlefield into zones and places allies and enemies randomly at each clash in each zone.

Allies and matched enemies are forced to collide, before being able to switch to another area to reinforce their teammates. Everything is seasoned with the possibility of swap party members (four in total) at any point in the fight, both using those who are already on the pitch and those on the bench, without losing their turn. Furthermore, the developers have divided all allied or enemy pawns into three types of fighters (Strength, Technique and Speed), with a weakness / resistance system regulated by the Chinese morra.

Also present are altered state not elemental weaknesses, which further enrich and deepen an already convincing combat system. Our allies will be able to attack both with standard moves and with special abilities (which will be unlocked as the adventure progresses, recovering the cubes) which consume Technique Points. Finally, through the completion of special Memory cubes called Hysteriayou will be able to unlock particularly powerful special moves that are implemented by multiple Party members.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Easy, maybe a little too | One Piece Odyssey Review

On the other hand, however, One Piece Odyssey is an all too simple title to carry on. By paying the bare minimum of attention during the fights and taking full advantage of the skills of the various characters, it will be really difficult to find yourself in difficulty. Even in the fights with the most powerful bosses we have never met the defeat of the team and, indeed, we have often realized that we are too many levels above the enemies of the area we were exploring. This for two reasons: the first, obviously, was “because” of our desire to explore every single ravine, which inevitably led us to face a greater number of clashes.

The second is the possibility, given by the developers, to be assigned during the battles of the particular conditions which, if met, lead to a significant increase in the number of experience points obtained at the end of battle. From defeating an enemy in a specific number of rounds or with a specific character, to boosting the power of the enemy team over the course of rounds, to avoiding defeating particular party members – the possibilities are many and make every game even more challenging. clash.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Teamwork | One Piece Odyssey Review

You will therefore have understood that we really liked fighting in One Piece Odyssey. The same, sadly, we can’t say for exploration. A premise: we are on a completely different quality level compared to World Seeker, which was also unsatisfactory from this point of view. In Odyssey, for example, it is finally possible to use each member of the crew to explore the maps. And each has unique abilities that affect the environment.

For example, Luffy can stretch to collect objects from afar and use Ambition to find enemies that give you more experience points, Sanji and Nami can respectively find rare ingredients for the kitchen and large sums of money, Chopper can slip into narrow tunnels thanks to his stature and Franky rebuilding bridges to cross and so on, in short. Although they are all essential for the complete exploration of each map, however, the continuous alternation of characters and then return to the captain (who is inevitably the most useful, given his skills) continuously breaks the rhythm of the game, already fragmented by a long sequence of dialogues and cutscenes of questionable actual utility.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Come on… | One Piece Odyssey Review

We carried out our test for this One Piece Odyssey review on an Xbox Series S. We also inquired about the versions for purely next-gen consoles (Series X and PS5) and we know well that, in these cases, the game offers the classic two Quality and Performance modes, with the latter guaranteeing 1080p resolution and 60 granite frames. Unfortunately, we have our hearts in it to admit that on Series S, despite the low resolution of the game (and considering the fact that it is not a very expensive title in terms of hardware), One Piece Odyssey is quite stable… on 30fps. We really hoped for it, but nothing: the optimization was not so painstaking.

On the other hand, however, the game world is colorful, alive and pulsating as one would expect from a videogame transposition of the Oda franchise. The character models are also quite neat and well animated, although perhaps the CGI clashes a bit with the author’s style. The sound component is good, with a soundtrack that is not particularly inspired, but which manages to follow the narrative rhythms well, and the always excellent Japanese-language dubbing with the original voices of the anime. Some uncertainty in the Italian adaptation, but nothing that could actually affect the enjoyment of the narrative.

One Piece Odyssey review: the best tie-in in recent years?

Towards new adventures!

We conclude this review of One Piece Odyssey finally breathing a sigh of relief. The title of ILCA and Bandai Namco has partially made us believe in the world of tie-ins and turns out to be, net of some predictable defects and an unfortunately non-original narrative, a small light of hope at the end of the tunnel. We highly recommend it to all fans of the franchise, a little less to those who don’t know the world of One Piece at all. For our part, we sincerely hope that similar productions will be able to reach these levels in the future as well. And then, further and further: towards unknown oceans and islands!

One Piece Odyssey is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. Let us know if you have purchased it and what you think about it in the comments below, we will continue to keep you updated with all the videogame and tech-themed news, guides and reviews!