ReviewsReview: ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4

Review: ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4

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Manga and Anime have massive followings, and they divide people into love and hate camps. With vivid imagery, over the top stories, loud audio, and a ridiculous amount of over-sexualisation, you can see why opinions are split. ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 ticks every one of these boxes and more with its insanely fast-paced action.

Developed by Omega Force (Koei Temco) and published by BANDAI NAMCO. This is the 4th instalment in the Pirate Warriors Series and uses many of the assets and traditional approaches you expect. An Omega Force Musou game at its heart. You can expect wave after wave of unrelenting fighters who try to block your path. With vivid colours, striking lines, and a wonderful cartoon style, fans of the ONE PIECE series will love what’s on offer for them in this game.

ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 crams an awful lot in.

ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 attempts to cram in approximately one thousand chapters of information and storylines into around fifteen hours of gameplay. It’s an impossible task, but I applaud them for trying. What’s been produced is as close to faithful as you can expect when you squeeze in so much content.

You are in charge of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Pirates. His mission is to become the most infamous pirate in the world. He journeys to the East Blue Sea to find the titular treasure, and be forever known as the King of The Pirates. You venture across six main arcs; Albasta, Enies Lobby, the Paramount War, Dressrosa, Whole Cake Island, and a poorly executed Wano arc that acts as a finale. 

Each of the arcs comprises at least six missions, all with a variety of tasks. You have a choice of playable characters to select, though many only allow a specific selection to be made. The micro sections of the story build-up to sell the main portions of the ONE PIECE tale. It felt a little disjointed, but flowing from one section to next battling the marauding armies overcame this negative element.

Fly my beauty, fly!

Reused assets. 

For fans of the series, there are a lot of moments of Deja Vu. From particular arcs that have now gone into more detail in ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4, to the landscape and dated style. It mattered not that parts were recycled, as the new characters, storyline and foes made it feel like a whole new experience. 

Each playable character has their skillset and selection of attacks that were specific to them. With forty to unlock, it was always an exciting moment when you could try one for the first time. Alongside the ever-changing crew, you could level up each person. This added new attacks and skills and made your already overpowered heroes that bit more special. 

Fast-paced action, but not too challenging. 

The gameplay is split between a Dramatic Log (the main story) and the Treasure Log (random events with special rewards). No matter which you choose, you will face the same maddening fast-paced action. A HUD displays each mission goal, and the goalposts move repeatedly during each level. Whether you have to protect teammates, annihilate leaders, or steal land, it will make your head spin. Hundreds of troops descend upon you, and you must slap buttons to produce powerful combos. It’s mindless violence, but damn did it feel rewarding. 

Even after fifteen plus hours of slapping foes, I never tired of its monotony. Pulling off slick combos and watching my enemies fall was an enjoyable experience. This is before you account for the brilliant, albeit frustrating, leaping attacks. Fly through the air hacking down opponents, or use special attacks on the ground. It doesn’t matter which approach you take, you’ll be left smiling throughout. 

Sadly, the waves of foes offer little resistance, and other than the main bosses, you’ll find that the difficulty is lacking. Your largest challenge arises as you aim to max out each of the levels. Obtaining an S mark isn’t a simple task, and if you want a tougher experience, this is what you should aim for.

Fight under the Skull and Crossbones.

ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 is wonderful with friends. 

The treasure log is more than just a way to earn extra money and experience points. Each of the stages can be played in co-op mode, with some allowing for four players to game online. It’s a fantastic way to replay levels and see it from a whole new light. 

The ease of pummelling buttons to wipe out massive armies makes this a great laugh with your friends. I loved how this mode worked, and though I thought it wouldn’t be a success, I was glad to be proven wrong. 

Smooth gameplay and vivid imagery. 

Whenever I see the word Anime, I instantly jump to a conclusion about how it’ll look. ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 didn’t shock me with its style. I knew the lines would be clean, the characters OTT, and the backdrops awash with colour. The reused assets prevented it from being as polished as I hoped, but you don’t see it because of the hectic action. Where it excelled was its animation and the smoothness of the gameplay. These two key elements were done to perfection and made playing the game a pleasure. 

Alongside the predictable imagery, there weren’t too many shocks with the audio. An aggressive soundtrack gets the adrenaline pumping alongside the noise of buttons being mashed. Screeching noises from each hero and the slash of weapons make up the rest of this loud ensemble. Kudos to the developers for using the original Japanese cast to work on this project. This made the experience authentic, and though it wouldn’t have impacted the game, purists will love to see this element implemented.

Let nothing stand in your way.

So many combinations and special attacks, but so easy to play. 

One of the main selling points of this type of game is the crazy combinations of attacks you can try. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Aerial combat, ground strikes, and special attacks, can be used at will. There is no punishment for simply hitting the buttons in any order, either. I expected it to be a tough game to master, but you’ll have the fundamentals down in no time, and you’ll love learning the finer points of each character you select. 

The biggest downside has to be the relatively short story. At only fifteen hours, fans will crave more. However, with the aforementioned Treasure log and the ability to play with friends or family, there is plenty of replay value to be found. The achievement list isn’t too complex, and a little manipulation makes this an easy game to complete.

ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 will appease its hungry fan base. 

Whenever a series has such a big fan base, it always risks angering it. Yet I think ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 has done exceptionally well to stay faithful to its massive storyline. With the option to play with friends, forty playable characters, and the original Japanese actors, this is one game that ticks many boxes. It was hellish, fast-paced, and I loved it! You should buy your copy here! Will Monkey D. Luffy fulfil his potential and become the King of the Pirates? Join him on his quest and see. 

SUMMARY

ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 does a fantastic job of cramming 1000+ chapters into a 15-hour playthrough. Crazy fast-paced action, manic battles, and an array of attack combos make this a ONE PIECE fans dream title.

+ An excellent adaptation from the Anime series.
+ Original Japanese actors.
+ Easy to pick up controls.
+ 40 playable characters.
+ Plenty of replay value.
- The reuse of assets ages the graphics.

(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4 does a fantastic job of cramming 1000+ chapters into a 15-hour playthrough. Crazy fast-paced action, manic battles, and an array of attack combos make this a ONE PIECE fans dream title.<br/> <br/> + An excellent adaptation from the Anime series.<br/> + Original Japanese actors.<br/> + Easy to pick up controls.<br/> + 40 playable characters.<br/> + Plenty of replay value.<br/> - The reuse of assets ages the graphics.<br/> <br/> (Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>Review: ONE PIECE: Pirate Warriors 4