The words ‘One Piece‘ mean many things to anime fans, for some it means adventure, for others it means the thrill of the fight, for some it is the type of swimsuit they would like to see Nami or Robin wear. But regardless of what comes to mind when hearing those words, One Piece is undoubtedly a phenomenon. The series has millions of fans across the globe and with the immense success of last year’s One Piece: Pirate Warriors, it was only a matter of time that we would set sail once more.
While One Piece: Pirate Warriors was a reflective look back on this legendary series, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is a delightful romp that sets out to deliver dream match after dream match and situations that One Piece fans could only dream of. If the original Pirate Warriors was a trip down memory lane, Pirate Warriors 2 is a journey into dreams. It is wish fulfillment at its finest and it is damn fun for it. This is truly the game that One Piece fans dreams are made of.
The task ahead of Pirate Warriors 2 was not an easy one. It had to top the wildly fun original game, all the while staying true to what made that game so good.
What Tecmo Koei have done with Pirate Warriors 2 is quite simply genius, by focusing in on the best element of the original game, they have created a streamlined experience that is every bit as addictive as it is consistently fun. That element is none other than the game’s battle mechanics, which place you in chaotic playgrounds to unleash mayhem as your favourite One Piece characters.
While the original game had platforming elements that broke up the battles, Pirate Warriors 2 is all about the fight, doing away completely with the platforming and QTE portions of the original. Not only does Pirate Warriors 2 give you more playable characters than the first game it ups the ante by turning the combat up to 11.
Hundreds of enemies can appear on screen at times and you will find yourself encountering characters from the anime that will either work with you or against you. There is a sense of chaos to the game that is hard not to be swept up in. When you have a horde of 100 enemies clashing with your own army of pirates as well as your favourite One Piece characters, it is just about every One Piece fan’s dream.
The amount of playable characters is impressive in and of itself, each of whom has their own unique play-style. With the inclusion of ‘Haki’ attacks, the combat becomes deeper and more extravagant than ever before, with special abilities being able to decimate countless hordes at a time. It is all so very simple, yet so very much fun, it might as well be the trademark of the ‘Warriors’ games at this point.
The game is set out in several different modes, Pirate’s Log (main story), Crew Episodes (side stories), Online mode and Challenge mode. Each mode is wildly fun in its own right, but the real star of the show here is the Pirate’s Log mode. This is where you will unlock the majority of your characters and content as well as level them up and increase their stats. On top of that, the effects all carry over between modes, including online play. The main story is quite long weighing in at anywhere between 25-30 hours in length.
Online play is interesting that it allows you to play co-operatively with another player to take on missions and levels from the Pirate’s Log. You can even send out an SOS to other players online to help you through a particularly tough level. It is a nice touch that adds a sense of community to the game. Playing co-operatively, be it online or offline, can prove to be a lot of fun. The chaos on screen is certainly immense but it never feels overwhelming, even with a additional player on board. The benefits of playing together is that you can tackle several objectives at once as well as work together on patrolling for loot.
What makes this game well and truly superior to the original game however isn’t the fact that it is a more focused game, but the fact that it is a game that caters to a wider audience. If you have never played a One Piece game or seen the anime series, you will have no issues what so ever with enjoying the game. It is a game to be enjoyed by anyone.
Visuals and Audio
Colourful, fluid, appealing, captivating and fun. These are all words that describe the aesthetics of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2. Tecmo Koei have covered a broad spectrum artistically in their effort to recreate to rich and vibrant world of One Piece. Bursting with life and flavour at every corner, Pirate Warriors 2 is a delight to watch. The world is accurately portrayed and affectionately so. It is easy to be absorbed in the unforgettable world of One Piece and fall in love with its colouful cast of characters and the aesthetic design is definitely a big part of that.
The game’s soundtrack oozes style and captures the sense of adventure that One Piece embodies so very well. It is high octane, pulse pounding and exhilerating, a truly brilliant composition that adds greatly to the action on screen. Pirate Warriors 2 much like the first game also features Japanese language audio only, which isn’t any major problem if you don’t mind reading a few subtitles here and there. The voice cast is of course brilliant in their roles and bring each character to life in their own individual ways.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is the game that One Piece fans have always dreamed of. It improves on the original game in just about every single way, but what makes this game so very good is that it is a truly fun game that both caters to the hardcore One Piece fans as well as opening itself up to be enjoyed by those new to the series. That is the mark of a great game after all, one that can be enjoyed by not just some, but by all. This is one game not to miss out on. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 set sails for new horizons and strikes gold.