One Piece Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition Review
For the uninitiated, One Piece Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition is an HD port with DLC based on the PS3 classic title released a number of years ago. The game has also been previously available on the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo WiiU. For those who have played through this title in the past, it is much the same, aside from a few graphical changes and a bunch of quests added in. With so many great PS4 titles on the horizon, it’s hard to say this is a must play, but for those who have never had the pleasure, I highly recommend it!
From the main menu, players are given two main options: to play through the main story or to engage in some wild combat in the Battle Arena. If you are playing for the first time, you’d be silly not to jump into the former. The early pacing of One Piece is really great, introducing you to all the main characters, setting up the story, and setting you loose in Trans Town to explore and learn more of the basics.
Things are introduced gradually, and again, the pacing here is to be commended. Nothing drags on too long, but nothing is hastily done either, meaning most players will have a good grasp of the games numerous systems by the time things really get going. While many other Japanese RPG titles falter in this regard, One Piece does a good job of balancing the opening for old players and new players alike.
Trans Town will serve as the hub world for all your activities in One Piece Unlimited World Red, with each sub area that you explored broken down into episodes, that will bring you places from the classic anime. The transition from the hub world to other areas of the game is fairly seamless, and while I personally hate ‘hub worlds’ like this, for some reason it does work here. My reason for not completely hating Trans Town is that it is expandable as you complete your adventure, by investing in new shops, restaurants and more. It adds and extra element to the game that is often missing from JRPG’s!
The core of One Piece is the combat, which is fairly rewarding, both in terms of excitement from the gameplay, but also the rewards for completing the battles. Your team will always consist of Straw Hat and two friends, with an entire roster of 9 characters to choose from. Outside of combat, the game is still chalked full of things to do. As you upgrade Trans Town, you will open up new gameplay elements, or enhance various activities already available. Upgrading the factory will give you a better fishing poll and bug net, and getting the inn built and upgraded will provide you additional side quests to complete, should you want to take a break from the main story, or to earn some great rewards.
The story overall is forgettable, and the main draw for playing One Piece Unlimited World Red for myself was to explore various environments and locations present in the anime. Unfortunately, much of the dialogue is sub par, and even when you have your showdown with The Red Count, the story doesn’t give you that feeling of excitement. For many, the story is secondary to the activities and exploring the world, which was the case for myself. For that reason, it wasn’t a major drawback here for my own experience, but if a really great story is the driving force for you, this probably isn’t the title you want to invest in.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with One Piece Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition, fully understanding that not everyone else will. All of the added DLC – despite the fact that most of it is just costumes for the characters – does add value for those that might have never experienced that part of the adventure before. The score on this review is reflective of my own experience, but if you’ve experienced this once before, you probably don’t need to experience it again, at least not now.