Let’s face it, it’s kind of a miracle they’re releasing a sequel to One Piece: Pirate Warriors. In fact, considering how well previous OP games have fared, it was a huge surprise even when the first game was announced. Well, the video game gods seem to be smiling upon One Piece fans, because the second game is on the way! I spent some time with it at E3, and here are my thoughts.
The bulk of the game’s story is not based on the anime or manga—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the last game covered so much ground there really wasn’t much left (at least in the anime) to make a new game. Plus, the new story they’ve come up with is actually quite clever: Luffy’s teammates have been turned evil, and it’s up to him and Nami to rescue them…by beating them up! You even get to team up with some former enemies during some levels! So the game allows for some fun match ups that wouldn’t be possible by strictly following the main story.
This sequel is geared for full co-op. You can play through the entire game with a buddy next to you on the couch, or online. And if you’re stuck on a particularly tough spot in the game, you can send a message to friends online to come and help you. All of this is a definite upgrade from the last game’s co-op mode.
Another new addition to the game is Luffy’s “Haki” abilities. With his Conqueror Haki, he freezes all foes within a specific radius and calls in crewmembers to unleash special attacks. His Armament Haki makes normal and ranged attacks stronger for a limted time. And his Observation Haki makes opponents' attacks slowdown so he can counter or dodge. But to unleash any of them, your Haki Meter must be charged. Luckily, it charges up automatically over time, and you can get special power-ups in chests to make it charge faster. And aside from Haki, Luffy and other characters have been given some brand new attacks not seen in the previous game.
The game features four difficulty modes—easy, normal, hard and ultra-hard. But the ultra-hard mode must be unlocked. The game also features 19 separate multi-part stages based on various locales from the story.
One major change to the sequel, and one that I’m happy about, is no more quick time events! I’ve never been that big of a fan of those anyway, so I’m not sad at all about their departure.
As for how it plays—it’s a blast! You get to run around giant battlefields, beating up endless waves of bad guys using a bunch of crazy powers and attacks! What’s not to like? In fact, in this sequel there are more enemies on the screen than ever. And with the Haki ability, the fights have reached a new level of chaos and intensity.
Unfortunately for English dub fans, the game is only available in Japanese with English subtitles. And unfortunately for collectors, it’s download only. But hey, like I said in the intro, it’s nothing short of a minor miracle we’re getting a sequel at all, so I’m not complaining.
The game is scheduled to come out on the PS3 in August or September.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 © 2013 NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
Developed by TECMO KOEI GAMES CO., LTD.
by Urian Brown