Quick Note: For fans of One Piece, there isn't a better adaptation of the tone and feel of the characters and the world. The combat can get stale outside of boss fights, but between the all new story, the ability to play your favorite pirates, and the extra content there's plenty of game here. Never heard of One Piece? You probably should stay away.
Anime translations to games don't always work out the way fans want them to. You would think that taking the impossible battle sequences or outlandish powers and bringing them to a medium where players can interact with them would be simple, but often times the transition leaves behind something special, making the game feel like it's glossed with the anime inspired coat of paint, but missing the heart of the source material. One Piece: Unlimited World Red is the opposite: as an adaptation of the anime/manga, it feels and looks amazing; as a game, it leaves me wishing there was just a little bit more there.
|Pato and Redfield fit right into One Piece's bizarre cast of characters.|
|The whole crew joins Luffy on this journey, and each one shows off their trademark fighting styles.|
|Luffy's combat abilities look amazing, despite the fact that the combat is not very deep.|
The combat is just short of a musou, or Dynasty Warrirors style game. Each character has two attacks (fast and strong hits) that can be combined to create attacks with the visual flourish of the manga/anime. Each character also uses these attacks to charge a special meter to fuel one of four special attacks (three per character and one group attack). The special attacks are strong and really make you feel like you are these powerful characters, but there isn't much strategy required for the general enemies. Often times, spamming attacks to build a special and simply blow them away is easy and grows boring over time.
|Lucci is one of the many foes that return from the manga/anime.|
Beating levels nets you Strong Words, which are specific pieces of equipment that boost stats for characters, money to spend in town, and items that will help Luffy and crew build items or expand the town.
|Spider-Luffy!!! Oh I can dream...|
|Climbing to get to Doflamingo is entertaining, for a while...|
I mentioned the trouble of moving anime to video games, and ultimately, One Piece: Unlimited World Red falls victim to a lot of the same issues as other games do. It is a fantastic One Piece game, but it's not a very good game in general. The feeling of being able to utilize your favorite pirate's unique abilities and taking on the iconic characters from the source material is a lot of fun, but if you are not involved in One Piece outside of this game, it's probably better to move on to something else.
6.5 out of 10