One Piece: Pirate Warriors Preview

The latest anime/Dynasty Warriors spin off is coming soon to the UK, but what can we expect?

From Tecmo Koei, who brought us the everlasting Dynasty Warriors franchise as well as the anime spin-offs; Gundam and Fist of the North Star, comes One Piece: Pirate Warriors. Based once again on the Dynasty Warriors gameplay model, One Piece: Pirate Warriors combines the classic manga/anime's style of action into a 3d action platformer. Coming exclusively to PS3 at some point in 2012, One Piece: Pirate Warriors marks the strongest entry the One Piece franchise has seen in the West. The game came out earlier this year in Japan and was hugely successful. Of course this means little over here, where One Piece is almost exclusive to the anime crowd and has seen little attention on the cartoon channels. However, it is certainly reassuring that those like me who love One Piece will be getting a quality title that will tick all the fan boxes. One Piece has always received a criminally low amount of interest in the West. Unlike Naruto (which is actually slightly less successful in Japan....slightly) which has seen relatively mainstream coverage over the years, One Piece has seen few of its games released and no DVD coverage. It confounds me because One Piece is far more western orientated than Naruto, being about pirates and all. People who like the Pirates of the Caribbean films would likely get a kick out of the crazy world Oda Eiichiro has created as it is fully of wonderful and wacky characters and super powers. For those new to the franchise, One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and his pirate crew as he journeys the world in search of One Piece, a legendary treasure left by the famous pirate king, Gol D. Roger. Luffy ate a devil's fruit, one of many magical fruits that give the consumer a strange power in return for their ability to swim. Luffy ate the Gomu Gomu (rubber) fruit and became a rubberman. This means he has Mr Fantastic esq powers (though funnier and infinitely cooler in action) where he can stretch his limbs, or inflate his body like a balloon. On his journey he meets a ton of crazy characters with a whole host of powers. Unlike Marvel, the powers in One Piece are often more funny than anything else, though Oda always finds a way to make even the stupidest powers (such as controlling hormones, thus changing people's gender) into epic action scenes. One Piece: Pirate Warriors is probably the best looking game adaptation of the franchise to date, featuring some stunning 3d character models and animations. The game has actually avoided a cell shaded style, and opted for a cleaner look that actually reflects the original art much more closely. Fans will also be delighted that it seems the Japanese voice work will be left intact as no details of a dub have been announced. Dubs suck so that is great news. Sadly it doesn't feature the TV shows sound track, which is a major bummer. Still, the original cast of actors will still make it feel authentic. In all this is an exciting release for anime fans and One Piece fans alike. The continued moderate success of these games will hopefully inspire more Japanese developers to think about their fans in the west and continue to release the top titles.


A video editor by trade and a lover of movies, games and manga.