One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 First Impressions




I already had an idea that I was going to enjoy myself with Pirate Warriors 3 but after playing it my expectations have been blown out of the water. Yes it finally happened, One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is finally in my hands; after a couple days of playing the third entry in the series I got to say I am impressed. The way the story is told in Pirate Warriors 3 almost feels like it coming to life out of the manga and the gameplay feels about the same but with a bit more control over the characters you're controlling. Now let's go into detail why I enjoyed myself so much with Pirate Warriors 3.

Story

The story of One Piece is a story that has been around for over 15 years, just in case you are not familiar with One Piece I'll try to summarize the story. The story starts off with the execution of Gold Roger who was known as the king of the pirates bur before his death he revealed that all his treasure was for the taking at the end of the grand line/ You could almost say he left all his treasure in 'One Piece', this set off the great pirate age with every pirate looking for One Piece. The main character is Monkey D. Luffy who dreams of finding One Piece and becoming the king of the pirates like Gold Roger.

This dream was motivated by a pirate who came into his town, he was known as Red Hair Shanks; he was also part of Gold Roger's pirate crew when he was young. Luffy looked up to him as a role model and he formed a bond with him after saving his life multiple times. During Luffy's time with Shanks he accidentally ate a devil fruit that was in Shank's possession, this turned him into a rubber man. Shanks had to leave Luffy because he was a pirate and couldn't stay in one place for too long. Before Shanks left Luffy declared he would gather a crew together that would be better than Shank's crew. Shanks then gave Luffy his precious straw hat in hope for the young man's dream to come true. He promised that when he is a great pirate he would give him his hat back.

Many year later Luffy sets off as pirate when he is 17, his journey to gather up his pirate crew starts there. The story of One Piece goes through many story arcs of him getting one step closer to One Piece but I won't spoil any more story. If you're interested in One Piece then start reading the manga or watch the anime to get invested into the story of One Piece.

Graphics/Visuals

One Piece has always had a unique look so adapting it into 3D cell shaded art style always looks impressive to me. The Pirate Warriors' visual have always made me go 'wow this looks cool' and the third entry in the series goes beyond that. There are a lot more cut scenes from specific moments in One Piece that have been recreated in Pirate Warriors 3. The impact of the moments are the same to me if I was reading the manga or watching the anime; watching some moments in 3D looks beautiful to me in all honesty. Pirate Warriors 3 visually looks way more like the anime then any of the past titles, it feels like I'm playing the anime.

Gameplay


The gameplay is basically the same from what I can tell, it does feel different though. It honestly took me while to get use to the controls. This time around they added a new feature to the gamplay called 'Kizuna Drive' and it makes it easier to take out enemies. It's a power up for when you are a jam so your attacks are more powerful for a certain amount of time. It works in conjunction with an ally on the battlefield, the only way to fill the kizuna rush up is to defeat many enemies on the battlefield. While stacking up bodies at a certain level for the Kizuna Drive  every time you finish a combo an ally will appear briefly to add a bit more to your combo; like really they appear out of thin air even when they are on the other side of the map. Another bonus about Kizuna Drive you can end it at any time with a 'Kizuna Rush' with up to two allies. A Kizuna Rush is when you and your allies combine your attacks into one ultimate special; so enemies beware the triple attack coming your way.

Customization


One thing I enjoyed about Pirate Warriors 2 was the introduction of coins in the game, coins were a basic form of customization of any playable character. By attaching a coin to either attack, defense, health, and special attack it would increase depending on the coin; the thing is you were limited by how many coins you could equip. In Pirate Warriors 3 they have expanded on that concept, instead of just collecting one version of a character coin; you can now collect multiple versions of the same coin. To increase your stats you just insert a character coin into one of the five selected stats, when you reach a certain number for that stat it is automatically increased; usually each stat has 1 to 3 character coins to choose from to increase it. The stat increase is permanent as well so the more coins you get and input the stronger your character will be in battle.

Other Modes/Features

Other modes in the game include Free Log, Dream Log and Online. In Free Log you can play as any character in any One Piece story arc so if you're like 'Hey I wanna play as Jimbei in the Arlong arc' you are very welcome to do so. Dream Log drops into a randomized area, this mode let's you unlock certain items and character if you are someone who can't help but 100% the game. The Online mode let's you fight with people around the world, there is a ranking system in this mode.

Final Thoughts

 I'm really enjoying myself with One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, I know it's too soon to say but I think this may be my favorite entry in the series. It has added what I enjoyed about the first two entries with none of the negatives and added more on top of it. At the end of the day this is a warriors game and those type of games can not be perfect but this one to me is feeling pretty close to it. I'm having a lot of fun with  reliving One Piece again. I hope to share my in depth thought in my review of the game when I finish the game.

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