In one piece : Pirate Warriors 4 arrives at the Nintendo Switch to crush hordes of monotonous enemies and more possessed by them pirates, villains and giants. As a fervent One Piece fan who has seen the anime series twice, I like to be the first to dive into the world of the islands and the colourful characters. So I was intrigued by the idea of playing the latest opus in the Pirates Warriors series.
Before you go too far in this review, know that there are some spoilers for those who did not understand the current arch, Vano Kuni, in the anime.
In this entry, players take control of Luffy, the man destined to become the Pirate King, as he causes chaos in Wano, the territory of Emperor Kaido. A short fight with Luffy and Kaido makes Luffy fly away while he watches the very first arch of the anime.
Luckily I didn’t have to play through the East Blue Ark (I got tired of it in the last Pirate Warriors race), but was sent to Alabasta. The storyteller explains the One Piece story so far, with about 100 episodes explained in about 2 minutes. If you’re looking for a game that tells a one-part story that touches every great story, this is not the game.
The game assumes that the player has already read the manga or seen the anime, and this game does not replace either. Instead he plays like a hitalbum, centered on big arches like Alabasta, Anis Lobby and Dressrosa. He also allows an original story to develop in the Wano-Kuni-arc, which is still unfinished in the manga.
Pictures in Drama Log or Plot mode are terrible. All the weight and emotion of the anime disappears when the characters just stand and talk in clickable dialog boxes. It should be noted that at least all Japanese anime actors are present to give their respective characters a voice, so if you close your eyes, you might think you’re watching a poorly understood episode of the series.
Although the storyline has been painful for me, I know it’s not the main reason people buy this game. Pirate Warriors 4 is a musou game that is played like any other Dynasty Warriors game with a different layer of paint. This genre consists of playing your favorite character and feel like an unstoppable machine of destruction, defeating countless waves of enemies.
A piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is no different. In fact, it plays almost exactly like Pirates Warriors 3, which I’ve also played on the Swap, although it’s a little nicer and has more playable characters. Among the new characters are giants like Big Mama and Kaido, who, as the word giant indicates, are literally giants. These characters rise above the enemies and make the player feel like a god.
Yet the familiar formula of Musou’s games is as repetitive as the last entry. However, the light platforms and puzzles of Pirates Warrior 3 seem to have been removed from this entrance, leaving behind hordes of non-threatening enemies. It’s good for short bursts of passage through hordes of enemy marines and pirates, but it gets boring fast.
Pirate Warriors 4 does a good job by showing each character’s colourful fighting techniques, such as Luffy’s rubber-based moves and transformations. Playing 4th Gear’s Luffy Snakeman was really good and as powerful as he appears in the anime. The game looks better than its predecessor, but this is a Warriors game, so do not expect top quality graphics. It borrows a lot of previous games, which is not bad, but all character models look fresh.
While playing in portable mode, I noticed that the visual quality makes a big leap forward. There have also been some decreases in the frame rate. It was not unplayable, but it is certainly more beautiful and plays much better in the docked mode. Unfortunately, the loading times were simply terrible, both in the dock and during disassembly.
The music is also nothing special, it looks at its best like normal video game music. I wish they had used some of the great titles from the anime series to create a more authentic One Piece game, but perhaps that’s too much to ask of a Warriors game. On the other hand, Dragon Quest Heroes and Hyrule Warriors managed to remix familiar music, so maybe the budget wasn’t that big here.
A piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a worthy addition to the Pirate Warriors series that breathes new life into the Musou genre. The wheel is not reinvented here, but at least the fight is fun in 20 minutes, until you realize that it is better to watch the anime.
Unique piece : Pirate Warriors 4 Overview
- Graphs – 6/10
- Sound – 6/10
- Gameplay – 7/10
- Late call – 6/10
Final thoughts: WARNINGS
A piece: Pirate Warriors 4 allows you to realize your wildest dream of crushing enemies like God Usopp, but the action gets longer after a while, and after a while you realize you’d rather watch the anime a third time.
Tony’s been playing since he could walk. Pokémon Blue Version helped him learn to read. His greatest merit is not only that he played the entire Kingdom Hearts series, but also that he understood it.
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