Video Games For Weebs: One Piece: World Seeker

Welcome to the first edition of a new article I’m going to put out every so often “Video Games For Weebs”. Many of us anime folk also like to play video games, I like to play some although my time to play is very limited. I thought I would share a game here and there that I have personally enjoyed, perhaps an anime related game, maybe an RPG or a Japanese game (You might see a lot of Nintendo, I’m a huge fan). It won’t always be new games, sometimes I play old games and I might write about them, sometimes I play phone games even.

I was super hyped when I first heard about One Piece World Seeker, the only other OP game I have played was Burning Blood which was pretty cool but not the greatest. I was excited more than anything that I would get to be Luffy, my hero, flying through the air, whomping people on the heads, etc.

I’m going to start by being very straight with you:

  1. This game has some weird gameplay flaws and
  2. I enjoyed the hell out of it!

I think that’s only because of how much I love One Piece that I can start off by saying those two things.

In all honesty though, this game has a ton of great ideas in it, I just feel like none of it was implemented to the fullest. I still enjoyed the game a ton, it took me about 40 hours to play through the main story but I also did every side quest that came along and gathered materials, gum gum rocketed around, etc. Now I’m going back, completing some Karma and challenge missions and finding all the treasure chests. Then I hear we are getting DLC!

Ughh it sounds so cool when I talk about it like this but I gotta be real about the different aspects here:

The Island is huge and full of places to explore…
  • The World: The world in World Seeker is actually one of it’s best aspects. It’s a huge, beautiful Island with plenty of places to explore. There’s a mountain, a mine, a huge city with skyscrapers, plus some towns and villages scattered throughout, and a hefty amount of other places to explore. It’s so nice to rocket around as Luffy, Gum Gum UFO up to a ledge and just look out over the vast landscape. There are missions to obtain, treasure chests to open, and rare materials to gather. It sometimes feels a little isolated and not very alive, but I really enjoyed the setting.
  • The Story: Another place that World Seeker shines is its story, which was penned by Ei-san himself! I enjoyed it all the way through, the new characters were fleshed out and great additions to the cast of One Piece. This game could easily fit into the One Piece story as a non canon arc or movie.
  • Gameplay: Here’s where we start to get a little scrappy. World Seeker is an action-adventure RPG. Most of the game will have you going on missions, doing different things like finding people, gathering materials, beating enemies, etc. There are Story missions and Side Missions, and even Challenge Missions for after you beat the game. Some quests are really fun, but there are a couple (Like find Zolo or find Buggy) that really got on my nerves because of the vague mission details. The game also has a karma system which allows you to fulfill objectives for different NPCs to raise karma with them, which was pretty neat, but there isn’t much point to it.
  • Skill Trees and RPG Aspects: Yes, World Seeker has a pretty large skill tree. You gain Skill Points from completing missions or defeating enemies and can use them on your skill tree. Pretty much, Luffy has 2 main fighting styles: Observation Haki focuses on swift movements and attacks and Armament Haki focuses on slow, strong and huge hits. I tried messing around with armament haki, but with the combat system being so rough around the edges, it really just wasn’t useful and I put my points mainly into Observation Haki. There are also sets of the skill tree that improve parameters like Health and Focus and that make transportation easier by extending your Gum Gum UFO or Rocket. They did a decent job here, but I think it could have been fleshed out better.
The combat system offers some choices, but has many flaws…
  • Combat System: As I said above, the combat system basically allows you to take one of two stances and fight that way. The swap between stances is too combo breaking, so you can’t really swap between them successfully, so I stuck with Observation Haki. You do have a set of special attacks you can use, but honestly most battles defer to running up to an enemy and pressing square over and over. There’s no real way to cancel an attack so if you get hit by a bullet, you have to sit there and take every bullet until the enemy reloads. That got extremely annoying but I dealt with it.
  • Materials and Crafting: Another system that I was excited to mess with but felt as if it was left halfway done. You can pick up all kinds of materials throughout the island and use them later in the game to craft equipment and outfits. It’s definitely worth doing, the bonuses are nice and some of the outfits are really cool, especially for One Piece fans. But I still got the feeling like there should be more to it. I crafted pretty much 3 or 4 main items that I used for the entire game..
  • Stealth Mode?: A really annoying hindrance of the game is that the ability to sneak up on enemies does allow you to execute a sneak attack instant kill. The problem is that Luffy has no means to stealth (no crouch or anything), and some missions even require you to be stealthy. That only happened a handful of times, but I wish we could have at least gotten a crouch button.

So even for all of that, I really, really liked the game. I dealt with the vague missions, and the sometimes wonky combat, and had a pretty fun experience in World Seeker. If anything it left me wanting more, and gives me hopes that maybe Namco Bandai will learn what was missing to complete this game and maybe give us a sequel that really delivers.

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