One Piece: Unlimited World Red (PlayStation 3)

The quest for the legendary pirate treasure continues.

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Namco Bandai PlayStation 3
  • Namco Bandai PlayStation 3
  • Namco Bandai PlayStation 3
  • Namco Bandai PlayStation 3

Pros

  • Colourful presentation.
  • RPG elements add variety.
  • Long and engaging story mode.

Cons

  • Parrying over-reliance can be repetitive.
  • Unsatisfying item questing.
  • No English voiceovers.

Bottom Line

One Piece: Unlimited World Red adds a bit more depth to a series mostly known as a brawler. The game does not stray too far from its anime roots and fighting heritage, so enjoyment will ultimately depend if you are a One Piece fan or not.

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As One Piece continues its reign as one of the most popular pop culture properties in Japan, another game has come out on PlayStation 3. Instead of being a sequel to last year’s One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, the latest addition returns the franchise to the Ultimate sub-series last represented by 2009’s One Piece: Unlimited Cruise. This change has resulted in more RPG elements being infused into the action adventure property.

X marks the spot

Unlimited World Red brings together characters both new and old from the ever growing One Piece universe. Monkey D. Luffy, the series’ main protagonist, aims to find the legendary treasure known as One Piece and become the King of the Pirates in the process. During his quest, Luffy encounters both friends and enemies he either adds to his crew or faces off in battle.

The game is an action-based title in a similar vein to One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, though the introduction of quests makes the experience more RPG-esque than before. The story mode consists of quests with goals, typically requiring you to demonstrate your fighting skills in battle. The fights get progressively tougher as the game progresses, though the difficulty never gets too excessive.

Like the past One Piece games, the world and characters of Unlimited World Red are rendered with cel-shaded polygon graphics for an appealing animation-like effect. The music and sound effects come straight out of the long running TV series, something fans are bound to appreciate. However, instead of providing dual audio option, Unlimited World Red only comes with Japanese voiceovers and English subtitles.

One for the fans

The prior Pirate Warriors games have their roots in the Dynasty Warriors titles by Tecmo Koei, which pits the player against wave after wave of enemies on a battlefield. Unlimited World Red scales back the chaos and introduces a parry system that lets players defend strategically during fights. The parry is limited to a single button, so the mechanic has a tendency to become a bit repetitive after a while.

Besides the fighting, a lot of time will be spent scouring the world for ingredients used in crafting items. These are then used to boost character stats for battle, though they can not be used for unlocking additional moves. This limitation means there is little motivation to invest time in tracking down items in the game world.

The appeal of Unlimited World Red will depend on how much of a One Piece fan you are. If you played the past One Piece games, such as the pair of Pirate Warriors titles, Unlimited World Red adds more variety and challenge than before. Gamers not as heavily invested in the characters and setting will initially be drawn in by the colourful presentation and the action-packed gameplay, but may come to view it as a repetitive beat-em-up title.

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