One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition (PlayStation 4) Review

By Drew Hurley 03.09.2017

Review for One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition on PlayStation 4

Bandai Namco is a godsend to the otaku outside of Japan, bringing title after title of all the greatest series here to the West, and it's undoubtable that many of the titles from One Piece, to Gundam, to Accel World vs. Sword Art would never make it to English audiences without them. This latest delivery brings a remaster from Eiichiro Oda's legendary series, One Piece. Originally released in 2013 on Nintendo 3DS, PS Vita, PS3, and Wii U, Unlimited World Red felt quite unlike any of the other One Piece games that had come before, and now it's back once again, with a shiny graphical overhaul and some extra features on top.

Unlimited World Red introduces a totally original story that includes characters designed by series creator Eiichiro Oda himself, opening on Luffy and crew trekking across the oceans with a new little character in tow. This addition is a Tanuki named Pato, and he is very much at the heart of the story. Pato is out searching for his master, and the Straw Hats are doing their best to reunite the cute little raccoon with his beloved friend. Small issue: Pato's master is Patrick "Red" Redfield, one of the most feared criminals in the world. This is a man who had recently escaped from Impel Down after the great escape of Luffy, and has even more recently made short work of the most powerful members of the marines by using his ability to create clones of some of the most powerful admirals.

Screenshot for One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition on PlayStation 4

While original stories often pale in comparison to the adaptations of the real story, with the numerous One Piece titles recently adapting the same story arcs over and over again, it's something of a breath of fresh air to play through a new tale, especially when this story is so well done. Red ate a legendary Zoan fruit, the Bat Bat fruit, resulting in a vampiric character entering Oda's grand story. To maximise the amount of fan service (not that type - though the ladies have plenty of skimpy outfits), Red has an ability to create copies of anyone, giving him the opportunity to battle against tons of iconic enemies from the series history.

The gameplay is a strange mix of an adventuring beat 'em up and crafting RPG. Unlimited World Red is centred on a new hub area known as Trans Town, which seems to be missing all of the major amenities anyone would come to expect. It's down to the player to take requests from the locals to build everything from a library to a pharmacy by gathering up materials across a series of stages that will be well known to series fans. This will include running across the floors of clouds to battle against Enel, the conflicting lands of fire and ice in Punk Hazard, and plenty more. Stages are stuffed to bursting with trash mobs and destructible scenery elements that all provide materials for the crafting, such as vines from the jungle and rocks from mountains. That's not to mention little critters who can be caught with a net and fish that can be hooked up.

Screenshot for One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition on PlayStation 4

This collecting and crafting makes up a huge part of the game, but, of course, of equal importance is the combat. Before heading out to one of the stages, a team of three Straw Hats can be formed, each with their own special abilities and field skills to interact with aspects of the environment. Regardless of the character, the combat is based off a simple combo system, using quick and strong attacks mapped to Square and Triangle, along with a dodge and a jump on the other face buttons. It's a simple system and one that is easy to mash through and easily overcome most of the content, with the same sort of mindless fun of the Pirate Warrior titles. Each character feels individual, though, and has their own special abilities that fit them well. Fans will find themselves wanting to try out all of the nine members and explore their unique powers.

The story itself will take only a few hours to complete if sped through, but there's plenty of revisiting stages required to complete all of the buildings in town. Then there are numerous extra side activities to give this game a considerable lifespan. For example, within one of the buildings is a series of special quests to undertake. These quests have special win conditions such as taking on a set amount of enemies or using specific party members, with a time limit ticking away each time. They range from the simple, like defeating any 50 enemies in five minutes using only Luffy, to the hard as nails boss battles against Blackbeard and Whitebeard…at the same time.

Screenshot for One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition on PlayStation 4

There are even special boss quests to undertake where characters other than the Straw Hats can be used, which are unlocked in the Coliseum. This area is accessible via the main menu, separate to the main story, and is the same arena as Doflamingo's from the Dresrossa arc. Gameplay in the Coliseum is made up of matches against hordes of enemies or numerous familiar faces in one-on-one duels and boss rushes. There's something of a story here, too, but the real focus of it is completing different challenges, rewarding in new characters to play as, along with some nice surprises for the full game.

The Deluxe Edition upgrade looks sufficiently impressive over the original, with a full 1080p presentation that is paired with a smooth 60fps. All of the Japanese cast members of the anime are in attendance, too, for a fully voiced story. Combining each of these elements together results in a gorgeous and vibrant cel-shaded affair that does justice to the style of the franchise. The presentation does suffer from one issue that plagues it throughout, however: the camera. It's positively obnoxious at times, especially in town where it can catch on pieces of scenery and result in Luffy having a fit on the screen as he tries to get unstuck.

Screenshot for One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

A thoroughly enjoyable little romp that hardcore One Piece fans need to pick up. It's even worth double-dipping for those who originally bought it back on a handheld during its original launch. There's an enjoyable story to experience that feels like it belongs as part of the One Piece canon, a simple but fun combat system, addictive collection elements, and the fantastic Coliseum, which give plenty of replayability to the game.

Developer

Ganbarion

Publisher

Bandai Namco

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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