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One Piece Unlimited World Red

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, WiiU
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Release Date: Aug. 25, 2017

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PS4 Review - 'One Piece Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition'

by Michael Keener on Oct. 25, 2017 @ 1:30 a.m. PDT

One Piece Unlimited World Red is an action-adventure RPG where players live the complete Pirate adventure thanks to fun-filled escapades, action-packed battles and powerful allies in a whole new never-before-seen scenario.

Buy One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition

After finding success in the Japanese market on the Nintendo 3DS in 2013, One Piece: Unlimited World Red made its way over to other areas of the globe as well as other consoles, such as the PS3 and PS Vita. Due to the title's success, publisher Bandai Namco has decided to bring One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition to the PS4 and PC, and this definitive version includes over 50 DLCs, updated graphics, and improved performance. It features an original story and some original characters, all of which were designed and written by "One Piece" franchise creator Eiichiro Oda.

Unlimited World Red begins with a cut scene that shows a few of the major antagonists as they bombard and burn a battleship. They explain the history of how a strong pirate known as "Red Count" Redfield was released two years ago. The scene ends with a small mystery that will be answered later, and then it shifts to the reason everyone wants to play Unlimited World Red: the Straw Hat Pirates. As the gang approaches the colorful "Island of Promises," you're introduced to the lovely characters. Not long after arrival on the island, all of Luffy's friends are kidnapped for an unknown reason. You'll spend your time taking on quests from those who inhabit the island and hub city as you try to unfold the mystery and save them. There's fighting, kidnapping, looting, minigames and more. Players will find a story that lasts roughly a dozen hours, enough plot points to stay interesting, and more than enough combat.

The fighting mechanics and gameplay are straightforward. Players essentially have to remember three buttons to win a battle: one for strong attacks, one for quick attacks, and one for impromptu dodge and block actions. This would theoretically get repetitive and boring after some time, but alternating the order of the attacks in a chain allow generates different moves. Each playable character has his/her own moves, but protagonist Luffy is the best since he can stretch his limbs and fill up his core body like a balloon.

As he swings his arms around for haymakers, they stretch out a little further to deliver furious smacks to opponents. Combo his moves enough, and his arms will plant to the sides and slingshot him a short distance to knocks enemies on their butts. The impromptu dodge actions are easy to do, and they'll sometimes have him deflecting attacks instead by filling up like the balloon. There are several fun moves he does, and it doesn't take more than a few encounters with enemies to learn how to execute each one. It's the reason this title avoids feeling like a brainless button-mashing brawler.

One issue that often came up is how difficult it can be to traverse the world. I don't like games that flood the user interface with unnecessary garbage, but Unlimited World Red was perhaps too empty. The lack of an on-screen minimap means you're forced to pause when you need an update. This isn't helped by some areas looking pretty symmetrical in a 360-degree spin. Objectives sometimes need to provide more guidance, so players don't spend precious time wandering around in confusion.

Multiplayer automatically improves a video game. Unlimited World Red features local co-op but not online co-op. Players who want to test their combat skills can take on the Battle Coliseum mode, which is split up into four sub-modes.  Battle Royale is a free-for-all for two to four fighters, Boss Rush allows consecutive boss battles, Chaos mode pits players against numerous weak enemies at once, and Duel Competition is a one-vs.-one mode. Fans of the franchise know the main cast of characters and have a good understanding of what to expect.

Battle Coliseum is a fun addition that helps extend the title's replayability, but I couldn't pry myself away from the main story, side-quests and minigames. Players can battle monsters like dragons and T-Rex, catch bugs, go fishing, and there's even a minigame where you run on a pier as Luffy tries to catch falling foods. It doesn't matter what you play because everything is fun. The included DLC features a few quests but mostly consists of costumes and equipment.

I was extremely surprised to hear that the game was originally launched on the Nintendo 3DS because you'd never know based on how well it runs on the PS4. This port has received serious love and attention, and it looks like it was developed specifically for the PS4 and PC. The graphics are crisp, colorful and detailed, and the game runs at a silky-smooth 60fps at 1080p, with few technical issues beyond an annoying camera.

Unlimited World Red falls in the category of titles that didn't receive an English dub for the voice acting, which is fine. The Japanese voice acting is full of emotion, whether it's anger, sarcasm, or friendly banter between the characters. The game doesn't cut any corners, as you can find voice work in full-blown cut scenes as well as the segments that look like a visual novel.

One Piece: Unlimited World Red Deluxe Edition is a great choice for anyone who's a fan of the anime, show or genre. It offers an original story from the creator of the "One Piece" universe, and it features smooth combat, a gorgeous world that has clearly received a lot of development attention, a ton of DLC, and it's wallet-friendly to boot. My only nitpicks have to do with the camera being too close to the character, which interrupted the fluidity of traversing the world, and there were a few slow points in the story due to a lack of clarity in missions. If you're looking for a fun and lighthearted adventure, you can't go wrong with this title.

Score: 8.5/10

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