One Piece Odyssey – Hands-On Preview and First Impressions


As the manga sails toward its 25th anniversary, One Piece fans will have a big new role-playing game One Piece Odyssey from Bandai Namco to sink their teeth into. It is not the first time for the popular franchise to be adapted into video games, with the last one being 2020’s One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, but a turn-based RPG is definitely a surprise when One Piece Odyssey first came into sight early this year.

At a recent media event held by Bandai Namco in Hong Kong, QooApp has the opportunity to have a hands-on preview of One Piece Odyssey. Though it was a short demo that lasts around 10 – 15 minutes, it does show the basic game mechanics and what it has to offer when the Straw Hat Crew finally made it into the next-gen consoles.

*The screenshots and videoes of this preview are captured from the Traditional Chinese version.

A Thrilling New Adventure of the Straw Hats

One Piece Odyssey goes after a completely new journey of Monkey D. Luffy and his Straw Hat Crew members as they are swallowed by a huge storm at sea during their voyage. They end up on Waford, a mysterious island full of nature amidst the storm with scattered crew members, and a broken Thousand Sunny… The crew thus sets out on a “waku waku” adventure filled with wonders of a raging nature, powerful enemies, and strange encounters with island locals.

The demo started as soon as Luffy and his counterparts find that Nami is captured by a gigantic Gorilla, a situation that is no stranger to the series’ fans. While on the quest to save Nami from this intimating (or not) monster, the player will manipulate Luffy to discover the island and take down the weird creatures/animals along the way.

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The fully-fledged and up-to-date 3D graphics of the Straw Hat Crews give you the chills as if they were captured right from a movie. The vivid natural environment and colorful creatures are icing to the cake, giving you the excitement to discover a brand-new island that won’t be featured in the original series. The map that is available in the demo is limited, but would it be awesome if you could explore this vast world and find treasure all on your own?

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One of the features of the game is that you can use the unique skills of the Straw Hat Crew to explore the island, something that you won’t be able to experience in the previous One Piece games. And during the demo play, we can see that you can use Luffy’s Gomu Gomu no Mi ability to swing to higher grounds and across cliffs with simple controls. However, the spot that allows you to use this ability is finite, so don’t expect you could swing anywhere you want like those open-world games that the world is crazy about.

While all members of Straw Hat Pirates have their special quirks, it may be a feature that differentiates it from the other video games of the franchise. Personally, I would love to see how this game adapts to Brook’s unique physique. Who knows, maybe you can jump over mountains and run on water at speed while venturing into the unknown?

JRPG is Certainly A Good Try

First and foremost, One Piece Odyssey is a JRPG with turn-based combat that finds similarities to the genre’s iconic titles, such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. While you walk around the island, monsters appear suddenly, and interacting with them may potentially begin the fight. Players can also switch between all members of the Straw Hat crew to join battles, including Luffy, Zoro, Nami, Usopp, Sanji, Chopper Robin, Frankie, and Brook. 

Turning One Piece’s fast-paced actions into turn-based, strategic combat may not be the best idea. But the game shows efforts by encompassing all the signature attacks of the Straw Hat crew into the fights, making every character have at least 7 ~ 8 skills to select from. For instance, you will be able to unleash Luffy’s signature attacks, such as Gum-Gum Pistol, Gomu Gomu no Gatling, Second Gear, etc.

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As JRPG’s mainstay, the elemental affinities can also be found in One Piece Odyssey. Particular skills of the Straw Hats will have elemental advantages on certain enemies, so it’s up to you whether to take that advantages while taking cost (TP) distribution and enemies’ turn orders under consideration. The demo is too short to showcase the strategic parts offered by One Piece Odyssey. Most of the time, one skill is more than enough to defeat the enemy in one punch.

Battles also have a “Dramatic Scene” element that allows a random situation to influence the fight. And in this demo, Usopp was stunted by an enemy and is unable to fight. The player would have to defeat all enemies before they seriously hurt him. This sudden situation gives variation to the monotonous turn-based gameplay, but whether the system elevates the gaming experience really depends on how many patterns they put in the game’s achieve.

I personally prefer action-packed game mechanics as it is the best way to experience the exhilarating fights that the series is well-known for. But considering the number of action games that the franchise is already having in the past years, it may be a good attempt to widen the player base with rather strategy-focused gameplay.


One Piece Odyssey is a Promising Entry of the Year

One Piece Odyssey looks to be one of the most faithful games to the series yet, with series creator Eiichiro Oda playing a major part in the game’s direction. Although the story may not have been written by Oda, the fact that the original characters and monsters were created by the great artist himself should help the feeling of immersion in the game.


Yes, the game is still a Japanese RPG genre, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. While gamers like the genre widely because of its strategic style of gameplay, it is still too early to judge whether One Piece Odyssey is able to check that box. But one thing that we can certainly expect is the original story and characters that the Straw Hat Crews will encounter on this new island. There’re still lots of mysteries in regards to the island of Waford, and if a well-plotted story is a key to making a JRPG successful, One Piece Odyssey should definitely strive for this goal.

One Piece Odyssey is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S in 2022.


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