Preview One Piece Odyssey: Faithful to the work of Eiichiro Oda? First impressions at Japan Expo!
On the occasion of the Japan Expo, we were able to try a demo specially designed for the event of One Piece Odyssey, the next title dedicated to the adventures of Luffy and his gang. We give you our first impressions of this new game which takes place in the universe of Eiichiro Oda!
- The atmosphere of the manga transcribed into a video game?
- Luffy and his crew try their hand at turn-based?!
While it is one of the most popular manga on the planet, One Piece has never been the subject of as many video games as its congeners. If Dragon Ball or Naruto were entitled to an incalculable number of titles, Luffy and friends ended up getting few video game adaptations in comparisoneven if there were some good surprises in the lot like the One Piece Unlimited Cruise series or One Piece: Gigant Battle.
To compensate for this injustice, ILCA has therefore decided to develop a new title based on Eiichiro Oda’s manga, but which surprised many by its nature, since it is a role-playing game with turn-based combat. Until then, the studio was known for having taken care of the remakes of Pokémon Sparkling Diamond / Shining Pearl, but had also helped in the development of Dragon Quest XI, NieR Automata, Ace Combat 7 or even Code Vein. At the Japan Expo, we were able to play for about twenty minutes a version specially created for the occasion of the title in order to discover its game systems.
The atmosphere of the manga transcribed into a video game?
For those who don’t know, One Piece Odyssey is a title that does not adapt the story of the manga, but instead offers an original scenario. On this occasion, Eiichiro Oda has created two new characters (Lim and Adio), which we unfortunately were not able to meet during our game session. Nor can we tell you much about the story since this trial version served primarily as a tutorial. Here, the objective was to rescue Nami who was in the grip of a giant gorilla. To achieve this, we use in particular Luffy’s elastic powers which allow him to throw his arm far ahead to catch a branch, and thus get closer and closer to the navigator of the crew.
But before talking about the gameplay, we wanted to take a look at the graphics, which surprised us in a good way. As usual with games based on manga or anime, we end up with a cel-shading which gives a drawn aspect to the whole. Thus, Eiichiro Oda’s style lends itself quite well to this technique used in video games, and the result here is quite convincing.. Looking more closely, we see that the textures have a penciled effect that really works well, both on the characters and on the elements of the decor, which gives a fairly convincing rendering overall. Well, obviously, we shouldn’t look in detail either since we quickly realize that the display distance has some limits, but as far as the character is concerned, everything is quite pleasing to the eye.
Luffy and his crew try their hand at turn-based?!
But of course, it is above all the gameplay that is at the center of this trial version. So, as we said earlier, One Piece Odyssey is a game that features turn-based combat in which four members of the Mugiwaras are deployed on the field. Fortunately, it is possible to change characters easily because the title is based on a rock-paper-scissors system, each enemy having a weak element against another. To overcome your opponents, we obviously have a really practical basic attack since the latter generates PT (Technical Points). It is with this resource that we trigger the special attacks straight from the manga which benefit from particularly dynamic animations which transmit the power of the blows well.
Beyond its fairly classic game mechanics, One Piece Odyssey’s clashes are also based on a zone system. At times, your characters may be separated and have to fight in distant spaces. To join the others and come to their aid, it will therefore be necessary to get to the end of the enemies in front as quickly as possible. Luckily, some techniques can affect a different area than where the character is, adding an extra layer of depth to combat. Thus, as it stands, the title offers effective role-playing mechanics that remind us that ILCA has worked on the Dragon Quest series in the past. From these solid foundations, we hope that the final game will bring many subtleties to make the title relevant in the long term. However, it must be recognized that because of the short duration of this session, we had a little trouble familiarizing ourselves with the game interface which may require a little adaptation to understand all the information displayed.
After discovering the basics of its combat system, One Piece Odyssey seems set to succeed in offering both a good role-playing game and a good adventure in the universe of Eiichiro Oda. With its cel-shaded graphics with a successful penciled look, the title manages to transcribe the style of the mangaka well enough to feel immersed. On the combat side, resting on classic but solid bases, the ILCA game offers an interesting zone system which has something to gain in complexity in the final game, at least, we hope. In any case, we can’t wait to get our hands on the final version, which is still scheduled for 2022 at the moment.