By – Matt Camp

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review He

Since the release of Dynasty Warriors 2 in 2000, the Dynasty Warriors gameplay format has proven hugely successful to the point that Koei Tecmo started joining forces with other franchises in 2007. As the title would suggest, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is the third such collaboration with the One Piece series and the first to release on the PC.

Although One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 was originally released on consoles, the controller support on PC is questionable. While a standard wired 360 controller for Windows does work, non-standard variants of the same controller and other third party ones do not operate as expected. Default controls are mapped to specific controller buttons as assigned by a number. For example, the standard attack is mapped to button 0; on a standard 360 controller this should be the X button.

Yet, this may be a completely different one for another controller. While most strange assignments can be corrected with some trial and error, specific button assignments cannot be manually mapped to the analogue sticks. This has resulted in an unfixable issue where camera controls are incorrectly assigned to bumper buttons on some controllers. Although Bandai Namco appear to have acknowledged this problem, a patch had still not been issued at the time of this review.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review 1

Even when playing with a standard 360 controller, there are minor problems with the controls. First, on screen prompts for navigating the menus only indicate the keys to press on the keyboard. Second, the tutorial screens and move reference lists only show a coloured icon for a particular button (a ranged attack is a yellow icon, for example). There is no quick way in-game to determine which key or button a specific move is mapped to. As I was playing with a controller, I found this confusing to start with. Ultimately, I grabbed pen and paper and wrote down a cheat-sheet reference chart to understand which move was assigned to a given button. However, controls become smooth and responsive once you have a comfortable layout and are used to them.

Attempting to play using the keyboard is not something I would recommend. There is no mouse support, so any alterations to the camera are done using the TFGH grouping of keys. Movement, as expected, uses WASD and attacks are bound to IJKL. This default setup is nowhere near as comfortable, or easy to use, as the bindings on a controller. Having to move a hand away from the movement or attack keys to use the camera results in a cumbersome experience, which I found distracted my from the on-screen action.

Problems with the controls aside, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 does offer up some enjoyable Dynasty Warriors style gaming. Each of the many playable characters has a wide variety of moves available to them. The mainstay of these are created by pressing combinations of the standard and ranged buttons. A simple one button special attack becomes available once the special gauge is filled by defeating foes. The moves themselves stay true to their characters, Luffy for example uses his ability to stretch like rubber to land ranged attacks, or to catapult enemies into the air. While Tashigi has the tendency to stumble and fall when launching certain moves. Likewise the unique moves bring a personal touch to each character. Luffy dons his famous straw hat, Tashigi removes her glasses (which also dims the screen at the same time). Japanese onomatopoeia also flashes across the screen to punctuate the action. These are small touches, but they add to the feel of the game.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review 1

A Kizuna system also comes into play in One Piece Pirate Warriors 3. By filling the respective gauge to level 2 and then using a charged attack, a crew member will appear and fight with you for a short time in the form of a Kizuna attack. If you let the gauge reach the maximum level for a crew member, you can activate a Kizuna Rush. This both makes the basic Kizuna attacks stronger and grants the opportunity to launch a special Kizuna attack. Calling up to four crew mates simultaneously, enemies can be devastated in truly large numbers. Activating any of the Kizuna attacks causes enemies to drop exclamation marks, which are used in part to level up your allies. Although it may seem that button mashing is a viable strategy when playing at the easier difficulty levels, each move does have its own specific timing. This is particularly noticeable when performing the special combos during a Kizuna Rush. The wide range of moves available may be overwhelming to start with, but they do offer plenty of opportunity to mix things up.

Three game modes are offered in One Piece Pirate Warriors 3. The first two, Legend Log and Free Log, focus on the main story content. However, Free Log removes the restrictions on which characters can be used while playing any given episode. The third, Dream Log, offers the player a different spin on the gameplay. The story based content consists of a selection of stages grouped into chapters. These follow Luffy’s quest to find the One Piece treasure and become the pirate king. Introductions to the levels are presented in a comic book format, which fits with One Piece’s manga origins. Endings often contain video inline with the animated series. The mixture between the two is an interesting way to present the content. There are some occasional oddities with the visuals though, such as shading on characters in animated scenes appearing a little too prominent.

Gameplay fits the classic Dynasty Warriors mold. Before starting a level, there is the option to check your chosen character’s move list for any new or recommended combination. It is also possible to spend Beli (the in-game currency) to level up your character to the highest level obtained so far through normal play. It’s a fast way to raise levels before using a new character. Individual stats, such as life and attack, are raised by collecting certain coins which are obtained both by defeating the strong enemies and in accordance with the number exclamation marks collected in battle. The drop rate for some coins is fairly low, resulting in a need to grind later in the game. The majority of combat involves dispatching masses of weaker foes that merely act as kill fodder. Racking up thousands of kills is both part and parcel of this style of game and highly satisfying.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review 5

The main challenge in any stage is found with the stronger pirate captains and main enemies. These are the only opponents that can be locked on to. By themselves, the captains rarely pose a risk, but they can offer a challenge when there are several attacking at once. Fighting can often become a juggling act. With the need to race around the battlefield in an attempt to capture areas, aid allies, or destroy certain structures. While a map is provided in the top-right corner, I did have some difficulty in using it to navigate as some paths are fairly small and it’s easy to miss them. Babysitting allies can become tedious, especially when they are spread out around the map.

Depending on the current lose conditions, reaching certain allies when they are in trouble becomes essential and can pull you away from your current objective. Like many other Dynasty Warriors titles, each battle has several Treasure events that can be unlocked by meeting certain conditions. A hint to these is available before starting, and there is no need to achieve all of them in the same session. Ranks are awarded on completion based on performance, with the overall rank being the lowest obtained. S ranks cannot be obtained when playing on Easy, but difficulty can be raised or lowered before battle.

The aim of Dream Log is to navigate through a series of islands while facing several foes, in order to reach a Grand Pirate on the final one. These powerful foes are only encountered in the Dream Log. Like the story campaign, defeating a main enemy may unlock them to be playable in the other modes. Actual battles in the Dream Log are a more challenging variant of those in the campaign episodes. They feature a larger number of enemies and can be shorter in length. Difficulty in the Dream Log mode is independent from Legend Log and Free Log. Here it is determined by the island being attempted.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review 2

In way of graphical settings, screen resolutions offered on my system range from 640×360 to 1920×1080. A full screen toggle is also provided. Frame rate can be locked at either 30 or 60 FPS, or left in a variable state. When set to 60, gameplay ran at a smooth 59 FPS. While there are quality settings for both textures and texture filtering, they do not appear to be functioning. Regardless of whether these were set to high or low, I saw absolutely no difference in the quality of graphics during play.

It is possible to toggle subtitles, but audio is only available in Japanese. There is no English dub. As an annoying reminder that this is a console port, whenever launching One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 there is a need to manually accept three different dialogs all concerning saving the game. Likewise, if you choose to suspend a battle, there are four dialogs to wade through. I feel this could have streamlined for a PC release.

Although the Playstation 4 version features online co-op, disappointingly this is not available in the PC version. For the PC, only two player offline co-op is available when playing either the Free Log or Dream Log modes. I can imagine that playing these modes online would have been very enjoyable. So its absence here feels like a missed opportunity.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review 3

Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?

The great thing about One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is that you don’t need to have read the One Piece manga or watched the anime to enjoy it.  Similarly, if you are a fan of One Piece and have never played a Dynasty Warriors game, this is the perfect opportunity to try one. However, given the problems with many controllers not working correctly and the graphical setting oddity, I cannot give this game my full recommendation.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Technical Summary:

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Review Sum

  • Time Played – 10 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – Some
  • DRM – Steam
  • System Specs – 3.50 GHz i7 3770K , 8GB RAM, 4GB GeForce GTX 960
  • Control Scheme – Keyboard, Controller – (360 Controller Recommended)
  • Game Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No
  • Saved Game Location – Documents\BNE\One Piece Pirate Warriors 3\SAVEDATA
468 ad