One Piece Odyssey Review – Fuzzy Memories

“You know how fuzzy memories can be.” It’s a comfortable and hand-curved line delivered by new character Lim, warning the Straw Hat Pirates of the adventures ahead in some of One Piece’s most popular story arcs. Likewise, One Piece Odyssey can be a fuzzy experience. It oscillates between exciting and boring. The Promise of Discovering “What if…?” Scenarios are enticing to longtime fans, but rarely make sense. And as a potential entry point for new fans, One Piece Odyssey falters as most of the context and characters are removed in the core story’s flashbacks. While I’m at odds over my time with One Piece Odyssey, it’s a testament to the series’ RPG excursion that overall I like the adventure despite a few glaring holes.

Completely original content, One Piece Odyssey starts out slow but builds a good fascination every time I return to Waford Island. There you’ll find the resilient outlaw Monkey D. Luffy and his notorious crew. She quickly finds trouble when a stoic girl named Lim uses her powers to strip Luffy and his friends of their strength and abilities, confining them in mystical cubes scattered across the island. Along with her caretaker, an explorer named Adio, Lim helps restore the Straw Hats’ power. To do this, they must delve into a world of memories in order to regain what was lost.

These early hours not only introduce turn-based combat, but also exploration. Most members of the Straw Hat crew can be changed as you traverse the world, each with unique and valuable abilities that naturally fit the character. As a rubber man, Luffy can stretch out his arms to cling to areas in the environment inaccessible to other characters, or grab sparkling trinkets in the distance. Likewise, Chopper’s small frame allows passage in tight spaces where only it can fit. Crafting systems, like cooking healing items with Sanji and forging accessories with Robin, are delightful touches that meaningfully expand characters’ ship roles into gameplay. Combined with the authentic dialogue between the crew, One Piece Odyssey beautifully represents who these characters are.

With a mix of sketched and realistic textures, One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda’s style carries over to the character models and world in spectacular fashion. Areas like Alabasta and Water Seven are well realized, along with the creatures and funky looking characters that inhabit them. The crew’s signature attacks, like Zoro’s sword techniques or Chopper’s transforming Devil Fruit powers, are murderous in motion. The anime’s Japanese VO cast also adds a welcome level of authenticity, making Odyssey feel like another anime chapter. While the addition of an English VO or the anime’s score and theme music would have been desirable, what’s there works well.

Attention to detail is evident in Odyssey’s turn-based combat, which like Luffy offers a wealth of flexibility. Maybe too much. The combat feels great and breaks the crew up into multiple micro-battles that usually get them fighting their enemies before helping elsewhere unless ranged or AOE skills are in place. The process of taking out enemies and then consolidating full power to eliminate the surviving enemies is satisfying, as is completing bonus objectives that reward extra experience. What helps make fights a bit too easy is the option to swap any character’s position at any time without penalty, as long as they haven’t attacked. Swapping Nami and Brook’s places to be tied up in different zones feels like cheating. The combat system has a lot of potential but not enough restraint to really make it special.

While the initial adventures in Memoria drag on, the second half scales up significantly as the action and missions in Memoria and Waford build to a climax. Much of the content Odyssey revisits is underwhelming and lacks context to the events at hand, save for a few lore dumps in the game’s menus. Still, critical moments have struck me in the last few hours, thanks to fun hypothetical situations involving characters that don’t appear in the canon story. I wish more of these moments were spread across One Piece Odyssey to make better use of the wonderful settings and characters.

I have reservations about the experience as a whole – but I can’t help but smile when I think about this Straw Hats adventure. It nails the core cast of characters, the Memoria areas are fun to revisit, and the revelations surrounding Waford, Lim, and Adio are ultimately satisfying. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend this voyage to anyone new to One Piece, but seasoned pirates will find a worthy adventure on the horizon. One Piece Odyssey Review – Fuzzy Memories

Fry Electronics Team

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