Hello Folks, and welcome to Honey’s Anime! We are here to present our experience at the One Piece Odyssey preview at an invited event, hosted by Bandai Namco. This is in promotion for the game, One Piece Odyssey, releasing in January 2023, and let us tell you…they went all out! We’ll be covering the game preview in this article but before we get into the game and our experience with it, let’s update you all on One Piece Odyssey, in case you aren’t caught up.
What’s One Piece Odyssey About?
One Piece Odyssey is being developed by ILCA, Inc. and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. One Piece Odyssey was originally scheduled for Dec. 13, 2022, but has been pushed back a bit to ensure the game is complete and ready for us all. The new release date for One Piece Odyssey is Jan. 12, 2023, a month later. One Piece Odyssey will be available for the PlayStation 4 / 5, Xbox X / S, and Windows PC—sorry, no announcement for the Nintendo Switch as of now, but we can hope it will be ported soon after initial release.
One Piece Odyssey is to be the first role-playing game from the franchise with a mix of open-world and turn-based gameplay. One Piece Odyssey will be a side story from the main series but there will be some crossover situations between some characters and events experienced in One Piece Odyssey that will most likely be canon later on in the franchise. In One Piece Odyssey, you will be able to take on the role of any Straw Hat member while playing the game.
One Piece Odyssey tells a story of the Straw Hats sailing away until they are suddenly sucked into an ominous storm where they are thrown around and rattled to their core. They are then thrown from the storm and land in the waters near an unknown mysterious island that they later find out is called Waford. The Always Sunny is damaged and sinking, and Brooks, Nami, and Zoro have been separated from the rest of the crew during the crash from the storm… Oh, and most importantly, Luffy lost his hat… Shanks’ hat which was gifted to Luffy, nonetheless… Now, the Straw Hats have to find each other and figure out how to fix the Sunny and get off of this mysterious island.
A Fresh Look
One Piece Odyssey is presented to us with a new look. This look adds some additional cell shading and glows to the characters and surroundings that help pop-out colors and imagery within the game. From the characters to the monsters and landscape, everything will look beautiful, clean, and fresh compared to the traditional art style of the previous games. In fact, we love this new art style so much, we want it to stay forever! Being that this is a new original story to the One Piece Franchise, there is a lot to explore and delve into. The movements of the characters and the NPCs are smooth and fluid with, quite frankly, no frames dropped or that we experienced. There was one glitched part that had a character jump from one spot to another close by but that was it. Everything else was solid! The design of Waford island as well as the memory fragments (stone-looking cubes) that you’ll see in the game are very nice and unique but no mystery to the design of One Piece, as it only adds to the originality of the fantastical world that is One Piece.
Memory fragments, you say? Well, the memory fragments are part of the story as one of the new characters, Lim, has the ability to steal and lock memories in cubes and scatter them across the island, making it hard to find and collect them all. Obviously, this is your mission (amongst many, many others): to find the cubes and regain your memories of how to restore and use your powers again—because they were stolen and rendered you useless. When you find the memory fragments, you can equip them into your skill tree and upgrade your character's abilities.
As an assumption on our part, we believe that you will also find out the back story of the new characters, Lim and Adio, as well as Robin. Again, this game is probably going to be canon for the most part.
Character Mechanics and New Faces
One Piece Odyssey allows you to switch between characters before and during battles. For the former, when traversing through deserted and populated areas in the game, you can switch between members of the Straw Hats in order to acquire and gain access to certain items and areas on the map. While one character can experience and acquire certain things, another character can accomplish that which the others can’t. This allows for more engagement while playing One Piece Odyssey which most RPGs of its kind can be dull, boring, and repetitive after a short while. This is something that is familiar in a lot of RPGs but Bandai Namco wanted to change that for the better. As most RPGs do become stale after a while and provide even less incentive for the replay value which is a huge thing.
In addition to the crew members of the Straw Hats, players will get to meet new characters added into the franchise and there will even be new monsters to experience and defeat…or befriend? You never know. Luffy is an interesting pirate, to say the least. The new characters we’ll meet are Adio and Lim, two stranded individuals who mysteriously found themselves on the same equally mysterious island as Luffy and the Straw Hats but have been there long before the crew has. Lim, a young girl with the power to steal memories from beings, and Adio, a tough and adventurous individual with quick learning survival skills (only from what we experienced).
Each character has its own unique attributes and abilities to further your progress in the game for maximum enjoyment of the gameplay mechanics. With each character's unique abilities and attributes, comes their own creation mechanics within the game. For example, Robin has “Robin’s Mystery Craft” where you are able to craft accessories for characters that can be absorbed into them and come with upgrades and perks to enhance character abilities that you can assign to your character. In addition, Usopp has “Usopp Factory” where you can craft Trick Balls with unique attributes to fight against foes.
There is also an ability upgrade function to add new and better attributes to your characters that allow them to learn new/more abilities and strengthen them too. You definitely get the full RPG experience in One Piece Odyssey, and then some.
One Piece Odyssey also has two new maps for us to enjoy and traverse in this open-world experience. Players will be able to explore lands other than Waford, like the Water Seven region and also the Alabasta Kingdom, a well-known region in the world of One Piece.
Waford is still a complete mystery to us as we didn’t really get to experience too much but we did get to battle a lot while there, allowing us to familiarize ourselves with combat mechanics. We also got to experience some of the new monsters in One Piece Odyssey and their designs are up to par with the One Piece weirdness of the wildlife and so forth. It was great!
The Alabasta Kingdom is a nice exploration area for gathering information and items for your quests. You can also sign up for bounties to search and capture wanted individuals from the franchise. You are able to interact with items and NPCs in the game and each has its own unique story, dialogue, and voice. As far as what we experienced, we didn’t run into a single repeat or rehashed NPC in the game, and that is amazing! We feel this approach is one that is thought out, planned, and executed with great effort and it shows.
We didn’t get to experience the Water Seven region but from what we are told and have seen thus far, it will be connected to the One Piece storyline, it’s just ,we don’t know how much of it is canon. We’ll be seeing appearances from characters from the Water 7 arc returning like Kaku. Assuming the storylines are canon, we expect Robin’s story will unfold further as she is the most mysterious member of the Straw Hats since she still suffers from memory loss, but we’ll see. This is speculation on our part so take it with a grain of sand. If it ends up being true, then you heard it here, first, on Honey’s Anime!
Open-World and Battle Mechanics
The gameplay mechanics are something to talk about, in a good way. One Piece Odyssey, as we mentioned earlier, is a turn-based strategy game that takes the traditional play-style we all know and love and pushes it a step further. One Piece Odyssey has added a few features that make it a very nice and engaging game to experience.
One spectrum of the gameplay mechanics is experienced during the open-world traversing from area to area or region to region. During this time, you can explore and pick up items for your travels by interacting traditionally with them: walking up and pressing the action button, or you can use your character’s abilities to acquire items in tight and high spaces or within other items that need to be destroyed in order to obtain the item. You can jump and sprint in most areas while others don’t allow for jumping, and foes that want to pick a fight with you will charge you in an effort to begin a battle. You can run away from them if you have the chance or accept their challenge by letting them approach you. In doing so, you have now enacted the other spectrum of the gameplay mechanics.
On this spectrum, you will be switched into the turn-based strategy portion of the gameplay, which has the traditional options of play but with the added option to switch between characters during battle, allowing you to target specific foes for maximum damage dealt and points earned in the process. Each character has a slew of abilities to use during battle as well and many of them are fan-favorite moves from the franchise.
Some more additional features to the gameplay mechanics are the enemy meters during battle. These new meters will show in real-time if a foe is weak or not to a specific move from the characters. You have a “Weak” text display that shows if the foe is weak to your next attack upon them. Other meters will show if a specific attack is stronger than another, and vice versa, by switching between them before confirming your attack so make sure to choose wisely.
The cinematics that come with special moves are nothing short of spectacular, as you are taken back to when you first experienced these same moves but from the anime or manga series. We’re talking moves like Luffy’s Gatling Gun or Sanji’s Diable Jambe, to name a small few. With these special moves, certain ones have the ability to take out more than one foe at a time by covering a large area or concentrating on a particular area where a group of foes is located.
Now, foes also have their special abilities, too. While we can’t name them, you will get to experience them for sure as some are simple but others can take you out almost immediately. With the familiar and unfortunate fainting in RPGs, you also have paralysis, burn, bleeding, and more, which obviously inhibit a character from taking part in the action. There is an order system to show whose turn it is during the battle for both friend and foe. This is where the function allowing you to switch between characters during battle will come in handy. You can plan ahead and switch out your character after figuring out the enemies' level stats, strengths, and weaknesses. The really cool thing about the battle mechanics is that if a foe sees or senses that your stats are higher or leagues above them, they won’t even pick a fight with you because you are superior. An apex predator of such! No battle will engage, period.
While we never got the chance to play Water Seven or experience Alabasta Kingdom fully, we did enjoy the time we had with One Piece Odyssey. Our overall experience was great, and ILCA, Inc. and Bandai Namco Entertainment have really taken their time to develop a well-thought-out and immersive game for us to play. They wanted this title to be for everyone to enjoy by taking the leap to work on a turn-based strategy game, making it more engaging, and is a breath of fresh air to the One Piece franchise. Engaged, we were, and we can’t wait to play more of this title when it releases on January 13, 2023. This has genuinely been one of the best RPGs we’ve experienced in a while besides Xenoblade Chronicles 3. While One Piece is in a different tone and approach, it is doing amazing.
A playable demo for One Piece Odyssey will release on Jan 10, 2023, so make sure to look out for that if you want to try out the game. Regardless, Jan 13, 2023, is when One Piece Odyssey will release so be ready!
We want to thank ILCA, Inc. and Bandai Entertainment for allowing us to experience this wonderful title. We recommend One Piece Odyssey to you all and hope you enjoy it as much as we did and we only got about 2 hours worth of play. Are you going to get this game? Do you have any questions? Sound off in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to help and or show the same love for One Piece as you! ^_^