The only way to start this review is by saying that I have never played a One Piece game before or watched the show, so this is an entirely new experience for me.
As I booted the game up the originality in the art style was immediate as is the story.
You play as Luffy, the leader of a group of pirates known as the Straw Hats, you start off by arriving on an island by boat in search of a place to stay. From there things get slightly weird as part of your crew is kidnapped and you must set out to find them. Before you rush out to look for your friends you find out that the Inn Keeper needs your help with building a better town and so you promise to help. This is literally the opening and from there the story gets even more engaging.
Luffy has these amazing abilities, as do all the characters. Luffy has really stretchy limbs which can be used to make visibly insane combos during the intense combat sequences. The game plays like an RPG crossed with a Hack n Slash game. You have levels to progress through, a neat item system as well as a party system and there are an array of things to besides the initial story quest.
You can expand your town, build on it to improve the facilities available. You do need specific items to do it, but these can be found in the various places you visit. You can go fishing or bug catching too! Exploring is a must as there are treasure chests dotted about everywhere. I personally just enjoyed seeing each level, the art style really is gorgeous and compelling, the game looks great.
The audio is also fantastic, featuring the original voicing which I am seriously starting to love with these types of games. Obviously the text is in English and reading it may not spark joy for some, but I enjoyed reading none the less as these text sequences were nice and short, straight to the point.
One Piece: Unlimited World Red did something that these types of games rarely do, that is it kept me entertained. Not once did I end up in an unconscious state as One Piece: Unlimited World Red is sharp, witty, satisfying and fun. The story is grand just like the gorgeous visuals, the characters are relatable and funny plus you never truly know what is going to happen next.
Sure the game does have a preset, smash through enemies until you get to the boss battle, then destroy him/ her. But the game has this preset spaced out well and once engrossed in the story you forget that you are doing a somewhat repetitive notion.
The game is also played out in episodes which I believe is done to relate to its show. There is a multi-player component too, which lets up to 1 more person help with the fishing and bug catching on PS3 this is increased to 3 more on the PS VITA. Unfortunately, I have not been able to try these out during the review also the Vita version was unavailable. Just to note there is no online integration here, which is a shame.
Along with all of the entertainment the story mode provides, included in the PS3 version is a coliseum mode in which you have probably guessed, you play through a fighting tournament. To be honest, it was a solid extra but I am certainly more fond of the story mode.
One piece unlimited red is a great game for the fans as well as a great game for players new to the series like myself. It offers an interesting story, brilliant art and an overall polish that many games simply don't have. I certainly recommend picking it up as soon as you can!