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One Piece: Unlimited World Red Review

One Piece 1

One Piece has been around for over 15 years and is one of the most popular Animes from Japan. One Piece: Unlimited World Red is a digital only Wii U release with a high cost of admission. The combat is sometimes repetitive but the presentation is ripped right from the Anime. Let’s see how it stacks up.

I’m going to be the Pirate King!

The Straw Hat crew stumbles upon the cute and lovable raccoon named Pato. Pato directs the Straw Hats to a placed called Trans Town which is located on a small island in the New World. Shortly after docking, Luffy, captain of the Straw Hats, wakes up unconscious without his crew. He learns that Pato’s boss, Red, kidnapped his crew and Luffy sets off to find them. Eventually Luffy gathers his crew and learns that Red is seeking a Devil Fruit somewhere located on the island. Luffy learns that Red wants to be the next king of the pirates and that doesn’t jive well with him. Naturally, the Straw Hat crew must defeat Red, but Red has a surprise in store for the Straw Hat crew. He is able to create people and places from the crew’s memories and hearts turning them into their nightmares.

One Piece 2

One Piece: Unlimited World Red’s story feels like a filler arc from the anime. Filler arcs are not canonical with the main story of One Piece and are usually throwaway. It is no different here. The story never really kept me engaged enough to keep pressing on. It is the different places and boss battles that kept me pushing threw to the end. At the end of the game there is a charming revelation that warms the heart just like the Anime. One last thing I want to point out is the translation didn’t always match the One Piece style of writing which makes it lose some of its charm and character along the way.

Gomu Gomu No Red Hawk!

One Piece: Unlimited World Red is split up into two different modes. There is the main story mode and the Coliseum mode. Story mode has you battle through 10 different stages and then a final showdown with Red. These stages bring you to a variety of different locations from the Anime, all the way from Luffy’s hometown to the great pirate war at Marineford. Before starting any stage Trans Town is your central hub. Here you will be able to configure your party, upgrade items, and expand the town with many different shops. This may sound like a good idea but after I made the pharmacy which enabled me to craft healing items I stopped caring about building other shops as I felt they were unnecessary.

All of the items needed to upgrade these things are found adventuring in the different stages. Here’s the problem with that. You’re going to have to spend your time grinding stage after stage to get the exact items you need. If you explore every inch of each stage you are going to bring back a good haul. Doing this will ease some of the grind. Adventuring through each stage you’re going to be fighting a lot of enemies.

One Piece 3

The combat in One Piece: Unlimited World Red can be fun at times but is often repetitive. Each character has a basic attack, strong attack, and super moves. Using different button combinations will change up your attacks. Then once you fill up some meter you are able to use a super move. These super moves are devastating attacks that can easily take out single strong enemies or whole group of weaker ones. During the story mode you can select anyone of the Straw Hat Pirates to fight with. Each character plays radically different and changes the pace of combat. The more range centric characters slowed the game’s combat to a crawl while the more up close fighters made the combat fast and furious and ultimately a better experience. After the end of each stage you will fight a boss. This is where the problems with combat starts to rear its head.

Bosses act like just giant sponges and follow certain patterns. Basically, every boss fight boiled down to running away spamming the normal attack button and hitting the dodge prompt whenever available. Near the end of the game some of the bosses get downright frustrating. These adversaries start making unpredictable patterns and sometimes do super moves that seem barely escapable and if they land do well over half your life bar. However, in the Coliseum mode rules change slightly and that’s where I found the most enjoyment out of the game.

One Piece 4

In the Coliseum you fight in different modes to raise your rank. These modes are duel, scramble battles, and battle royals. Duels are one-on-one fights to whoever’s life get down to zero. In scramble battles you fight hordes of enemies until the last one is defeated. My favorite of these modes is battle royal where you fight a horde of enemies along with characters you battle in one-on-one duels.

In the Coliseum you are able to unlock characters that aren’t available in the main story. If you ever wanted to play your favorite One Piece character most of them are in here. These extra characters are quite unique too. Crocodile fights with waves of sand and the colossal Whitebeard can take of many foes with his earthquake power. Moving farther up the rank ladder in the Coliseum unlocks special quests you can do in the main game. This Coliseum mode is easily the highlight of the game for me. It could have been better if there was an online option that offered Co-op and versus which would have added countless hours to my game clock.

Graphics & Audio

Everything about this game’s ascetics just scream One Piece. It looks like the Anime has jumped off the screen and into the game. Colors are really vibrant and the attention to detail is incredible. The animations that Luffy and crew display are great and have a lot of character. Since Luffy is made of rubber you see his limbs squash and stretch with ease.

One Piece 5

When you are in a location from the show the surroundings are created perfectly. Bosses have their signature attacks that are flashy and fill up the whole screen. On top of all of this the original Japanese voice over is here and ties up everything nicely.

Wii U Features

Unfortunately One Piece: Unlimited World Red lack any kind of special Wii U features. Yes you do get off TV play but that’s it. There’s not a mini map on the gamepad which would have been super useful since I kept having to open up the main menu to look at the map over and over again. You are able to transfer your progress from Wii U to 3DS and vice versa. Overall the game is lacking in the Wii U department.

Conclusion

In the end One Piece: Unlimited World Red is a step in the right direction for the series but still has its faults. Though its gameplay can be repetitive at times there is fun to be had in the Coliseum mode and the games graphics are drop dead gorgeous. However, the price of admission is way too high for this digital only release. I would wait to set sail until the title drops in price.

Pros

+ Excellent presentation that stays close to the Anime
+ Tons of hours of game time

Cons

– Weak story mode that feels like a filler arc
– Lack of Wii U specific features
– High price of admission

Score: 7/10

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  • greengecko007

    Not my kind of game, but it at least looks like it’s good fan service to One Piece fans. Good review too, though I’m disappointed to see “Lack of Wii U specific features” as a negative again… This isn’t a Wii U exclusive, or even a Nintendo exclusive. Hard to expect developers to tailor Wii U exclusive features when it will most likely account for the least amount of sales.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      On the other hand, it’s hard to convince people to buy the Wii U version when they have other consoles in their house if there aren’t any Wii U specific features worth mentioning. That’s a two way street.

      • greengecko007

        I’m not sure I agree. Having Wii U exclusive features on multiplatform games has not shown to yield better sales on the Wii U. Just look at Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Rayman Legends, Deus Ex, etc. Sure, there’s no incentive to go out and buy a Wii U for this game if you could play it on another console, but for people that already have other multiple consoles like you say, there’s equally no incentive to get on 3DS, PS3, or Vita. For owners of multiple consoles, it’s just about buying the game on which ever system you prefer.

        • YogiGRB

          uhm deus ex had very nice implication of the gamepad, so did Assassin’s Creed 3 (4 not that much but ok), no call of duty fan here but using your wii-mote plus nunchuck as a mouse like on pc (even in off-screen mode) is very nicely done.
          ow and yes …. i’m a multiplatform owner (all consoles, each generation except for XB-one because it’s not out in holland yet)
          and for the rest, …… yeah your correct

          • greengecko007

            I listed those games as examples of multiplatform games that had Wii U exclusive features, but still failed to sell well. Like I said, this is a good review of the game, but I don’t agree with the Wii U version being on par with the others as a negative… If every reviewer critiqued Wii U games this way, I fear we would drive off what little third party support the Wii U has.

          • Rinslowe

            “Like I said, this is a good review of the game, but I don’t agree with
            the Wii U version being on par with the others as a negative…”

            Totally agree. Not that for eg; unique gamepad integration wouldn’t be welcome – if done properly. But it shouldn’t be forced in any case.

          • http://Website.com/ Shane Michaels

            Nah, it works. I asked a friend of mine if he was getting Lego Marvel, and he said he would probably get it on Xbox One. I recommended he should get it on Wii U, and when he asked why, I told him about the ability for one player to play on the TV, and the other on the Game-pad, and that motivated him to get that version. So it works out.

          • YogiGRB

            yup, and that’s why i agreed with you because I too find that it shouldn’t be forced to have the gamepad options (to me personally always welcomed) but still adding ALL the features to a game

          • greengecko007

            Of course, gamepad integration is always welcome, but I really feel that only Nintendo has an obligation to deliver on that. Also, I slightly misunderstood your original reply to me. Sorry about that.

        • Rinslowe

          In truth that’s pretty much right. I think most Wii U owners even those with multiple systems like myself would just be satisfied if the game is a decent port. Includes all the features and DLC as other versions and performs according to the hardware in terms of framerate and resolution. But expecting developers to use Wii U specific features “just” because they’re there puts unnecessary expectation on the studio’s, to change their product for the hardware. Which is not always a good decision from a creative standpoint.
          If the game was ground up for Wii U, then it would be a different story in my opinion.

  • Petri

    This is rather simple game, but still it has been quite fun.

  • http://gameknights-uk.blogspot.co.uk/ abe

    I have this game in the UK it comes on a disc

    • Petri

      Same here, I also got a Chopper keychain with the game.

  • Jon Turner

    This is a game I’m enjoying immensely. I hope this leads to better support from Namco. I actually think Namco took the safe route by making it digital only, but at least it launched ontime and doesn’t lack any features. Neither does it suffer from any graphical hiccups. That and it’s still getting DLC, so kudos for that.

    • iamserious

      How much hard drive space does this game require?

      • lonewolf88

        8 gigs I believe

        • iamserious

          Ok thanks

  • D.M.T

    Why is the Wii U version digital only when the others are both digital and retail? People who don’t own a Wii U and aren’t on gaming sites everyday won’t know that this game exists on the Wii U.

    Anyway, I’m not a One Piece fan but i’m willing to buy this game once it becomes cheap.

    • http://gameknights-uk.blogspot.co.uk/ abe

      It seems only robe in the US, EU has it on disc

  • janco tianno

    Anyway, I was happy to see a Nice 3rd Party game on Wii U, with some kind of release for North America, without excuses that “it won’t sell well for Wii U”.

    I think this is gonna be more usual than it seems. Great games with digital only release.

  • NormaGFranco

    This isn’t a Wii U exclusive, or even a Nintendo exclusive. Hard to expect developers to tailor Wii U exclusive features when it will most likely account for the least amount of sales. http://s6x.it/uyof

    • Phoenix Maybe

      So you copy what someone else says and then put a link to…a GoPro? Something has to be done with these spammers.

      • Petri

        Sometimes they copy a piece of article and slap a link behind it.
        Bots most probably.

  • FutureFox

    Not once in this article does it mention the cost.

    • Phoenix Maybe

      $49.99

  • Adrian

    I spent a while trying to figure out what the “price of admission” was. Turns out you just meant “price”. Poor usage of that phrase.

    • Phoenix Maybe

      It’s a metaphor. I can see how it can be confusing if you haven’t seen it on the eshop or something prior to reading this.

      • Adrian

        I’ve heard cost of admission being used when talking about an unexpected, but serious cost. Such as, “turns out the cost of admission for this campsite was one arm.” (in the case that an arm was lost during camping). But using the phrase as an actual replacement for just the plain monetary value….nope!

        • Petri

          I remember that phrase being used when handing a blindfold for a car ride with gangsters.

  • Phoenix Maybe

    Since this was a full retail release for PS3 I guess Namco thought that a retail price for a digital game would fit.
    I was putting off on this game until I watch a decent amount of the anime (I’m on episode 53 now), but at least now I know what to expect from the game. Thanks for the review!

    • http://www.bagofgames.com/author/jennero/ Jennero Rossi

      There isn’t much spoilers if you were to play the game at that episode. I would wait until you get to part two unless you don’t want techniques and story locations spoiled for you.

      • Phoenix Maybe

        Alright thanks!

  • steveb944

    No wonder their trailer was bad. I’ll be skipping this.

  • Jason

    I would have bought this game if it wasn’t digital only. It took me an hour to install a small update to Wii Sports Club. Imagine how long it would take to download a 15GB game.

    • http://www.bagofgames.com/author/jennero/ Jennero Rossi

      It took me a good 3 to 4 hours to download it and I am on pretty fast internet.

  • fireheartis1

    Wow where have I been? I didn’t even know that his game came out yet. I’m not a huge One Piece fan, but the Wii game was actually pretty fun, so I’m going to give this game a try.