The sea … An infinite mass of water, with thousands of secrets hidden on its horizon. Who does not dream of getting on a boat and discovering them all? Paradise islands, lost treasures … giant sea beasts, zombies, magical powers, a talking reindeer (or is it a raccoon?), Robots, perverted skeletons, swordsmen with no sense of orientation … No, I’m not mixing series, but I speak of ONE PIECE, one of the most popular manga / anime of recent years … 23 years to be exact. More than two decades ago, Luffy began his journey in the Japanese magazine Shonen Jump to conquer the Grand Line and find the greatest treasure in the world (and the one that gives its name to this franchise). Anyone would say that, after so long, they would have found it. However, the Straw Hat Pirates still have many adventures to live, and the most fervent proof of this is their new game, One Piece Pirate Warriors 4.

This new installment marks the continuation of the series co-developed between Bandai Namco and Koei Tecmo, in which the second takes his popular series Warriors / Musou and mixes it with the universe of Eiichiro Oda to create a game in which to unleash all the action that characterizes anime. At NextN we have had the opportunity to play the game long and hard, and it has become clear to us that there is no better time than this to become pirates and sail the seas.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – I will be the King of Pirates!

As we have said before, the Straw Hat Pirates have had many adventures during all these years, and One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 allows you to relive the great battles of this series. Both the sequences and the battles themselves recreate with quite similarity events and even some special scenes, from the intense fight between Luffy and Usopp to the battles of Marineford. And they even add the scenario of the Country of Wano, where the manga is currently being developed, but in this case the plot is invented to be able to close it. He Dramatic Diary, one of the modes available in this game, summarizes all the information to better understand the history of ONE PIECE and, although broadly speaking, it is a mode that gives enough play (between 15 and 20 hours of play), brings controversy for fans of the series.

On the one hand, the precision in details causes each narrative arc in the series to be divided into various battles to show most of the events. If we take Alabasta as an example (arc in which One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 begins, shortly after entering the Grand Line), the missions are divided between the arrival on the island, the capture and rescue of Luffy, suppressing the island’s rebellion and the final showdown against Crocodile, which could be considered a well-detailed summary of the plot. Unfortunately, this precision in detail takes its toll on another aspect: the breadth of content. It could be understood that they eliminated the plot before this point because perhaps it was no longer so necessary, but we are very frustrated to see that there are several later narrative arcs that are not present in the game. For reasons that we cannot understand, they decided not to include some plots, leaving them only as a summary or simply with a mere mention. For example, after Alabasta he had to touch the arc of the Skypiea island of heaven, but they summarize it for you in “they had to go to an island in the sky, they find a way to go, they live adventures, they get treasures and they return”. In that sense, we would have liked to see even if it were an interlude mission for those islands that they have not decided to include. There’s no need to worry about the final arches as they’ve included everything from Dressrosa to the present day.

Another aspect that also affects is the mention or appearance of certain characters. It is true that, being a game that tries to cover so much narrative content, it is not necessary that everything be to the letter, and we assure you that any player or fan will be satisfied with the general content. But those people who know the series well can notice those moments when something “squeaks” because they decide delete certain events or secondary characters and adapt the plot so that the set flows better. And when it comes to these kinds of games that are mostly fan-oriented, these changes are weird and hard to understand.

Twenty thousand leagues of intense fighting

Leaving aside the theme of the story, we find a very complete title. One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 is not limited to being just another musou or a continuation that repeats mechanics, but adds many new items that provide a fresh and novel experience. We still have to face a large number of basic enemies and main characters, sweeping where we are going, and completing the multiple objectives that are indicated on the map. But combat system You receive changes that may seem small, but improve the experience. The most basic of all: jump. The mere fact of being able to jump leads to a new repertoire of air movements that, added to the ground attacks, allow us to create all kinds of combinations. And it is as simple as pressing the jump button during a combo to lift us (our character and enemies) in the air to continue attacking (and with accelerations we can lengthen the combo much more).

Another significant innovation is the new operation of the special movesAs each character can now learn many different special moves. Out of all of them, we equip 4 before combat, giving the opportunity to customize our combat style or use our favorite attacks. It also means having different types of movements, some of them being counterattack or “Bursts of life force”, What comes to be the classic temporary empowerment of all Warriors. In addition, each special move has its own energy bar that fills up as we fight, so we can use these devastating attacks more frequently. Special mention to the Bursts since, for some characters, it involves the transformation into a different way with a different repertoire of movements (for example, Luffy has a normal Burst and another to activate the Second March).

This is directly related to the progress maps, which comes to be the usual system of Warriors games to improve our characters. As we fight and complete levels, we get all kinds of coins and money that later allows us improve features of our character and learn new movements and passive abilities through an island map (each island represents an upgrade). A peculiarity of this system is that there is a first map that affects and improves all the characters at the same time, and then each character has two maps of their own (one available at the beginning and the other that is unlocked when the crew level increases). In this game you don’t have to worry about leveling up each character, but you do have to improve the parameters of these maps, which in turn adds replayability since many coins are needed (and some very specific ones) to be able to unlock everything.

However, there are also other great innovations that improve combat, albeit indirectly. We say goodbye to classic linear maps with fortresses to conquer. Now, the maps they are much more varied, colorful and unique (and with destructible buildings), reaching maps with large unevennesses or directly with several floors. In this way, the entire territory is divided into zones that we can conquer (in the same way as in other games), but since there are no bases, the action does not focus on specific locations, but rather adapt to circumstances. In addition, the objectives of the battles focus more on facing enemies than on capturing territories, giving greater importance to the action. On the other hand, we have the new giant enemies, with more powerful and extensive attacks and a much stronger defense that, at first, make things very difficult. But if you improve your character a lot, it is not a big problem in the long run.

See also

Don’t you want fighting? Well take two cups

If there is something in which One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 has really surprised us, it is so much in the graphic quality as well as performance. We have already mentioned before how well the parts of the story are recreated, but the animations and sets show great work by Koei Tecmo. It is true that many minor characters (soldiers and captains) are “recycled” from the previous game, but the maps and animations show that the power of the Nintendo Switch is made good use of. And the truth is that the fluidity of the fighting It is notable. If you have played Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors, you may have noticed some drop in frames. But in all the time we have dedicated to this title, we have noticed that the FPS have remained constant regardless of the characters on the screen. Regarding the musical sectionWe found many well-known melodies from the series, adapted to that “rocker” style that is usually used for the Warriors. A good selection of pieces to enjoy when we fight.

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. Apart from the aforementioned problems at the story level, we can not help feeling that the game does not have a wide variety of modes, since it only has 3 different game modes: The Dramatic Diary (story mode); the Diario Libre, which consists of repeating the missions of the story but with any character we want; and the Diario de Tesoros, which doesn’t show much. This third mode is painted as something to enjoy apart from the story, but it only consists of one additional combat list predesigned distributed in three ranges of difficulty. Of course, it has many different battles and is used to get specific coins or to unlock certain characters, but it does not add anything that differentiates it from the other modes.

And here we come to the usual problem in this type of games: the repeatability. Warriors-style games focus on fighting, fighting, and fighting, and One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 is no different in that regard. That is why, despite the long history and the immense combat list of the Diario de Tesoros, the only thing you do is to give mamporros left and right. Of course, fans of these games enjoy that element, but it is an aspect that can throw back those who do not know these series. There are only two elements that add a little more variety. On the one hand, the new option of online game that allows you to face any combat in any way with other players through the Internet (and the times that we have tried it worked quite well). On the other hand, more than 40 characters available, all of them completely different from each other. But the best thing of all (and something for which we take off the straw hat) is that the aspects of a character also affects its abilities. That is, Luffy with the pre-New World aspect has specific movements and can only use specific special movements, while Luffy New World style has another repertoire of movements (for example, classic Luffy cannot use the Fourth Gear) , so you have two characters for the price of one.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 – All aboard the Thousand Sunny

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 It arrives at Nintendo Switch with a delivery far superior to its predecessor in some respects, but not without bringing with it some controversy. A story mode that skips some chapters, but those present in the game narrate them with great care, and a variety of modes that we know little about. But the other components of the game only have praises, because we have an improved and profiled combat system, much more elaborate maps that offer more freedom and dynamism, and a pretty good graphic and musical section. It may not reach the level of the legendary treasure of Gold Roger, but it is a good delivery with which to enter the fantastic world of ONE PIECE.

We have analyzed One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 thanks to a digital code provided by Bandai Namco. Version analyzed: 1.0.1

The battle to decide the Pirate King

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 is proof that Koei Tecmo can make each Warriors game unique, and in this it achieves it with new combat mechanics and greater customization. But it has paid the price by offering a story mode that skips some chapters and little variety in the options to play. Even so, it is a delivery the sea of ​​exciting.

PROS

The narrative arcs present are very detailed …

New combat mechanics reinvent the game’s formula.

The maps are impressive and unique.

CONS

… but skips some chapters of the story.

Few game modes, and they are all essentially the same.

It can be repetitive if you don’t like fighting.