One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 Review
PS3 | PS Vita
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 Box Art
System: PS Vita, PS3*
Dev: Tecmo Koei
Pub: Namco Bandai
Release: September 3, 2013
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Violence, Blood, Suggestive Themes, Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Crude Humor, Use of Tobacco

Various RPG-style systems extend the play value of Pirate Warriors 2. Opening red treasure chests during the level nets the player treasure, which can be used to level up characters or purchase music and images for the game's gallery, or collectible coins, which are used for character customization. Coins play double duty in that regard. They can be grouped together in a character's pockets in order to enhance strength, defense, and life. They are also used to fill out various Bingo cards that the player earns along the way, giving the characters special passive skills every time they get a Bingo. Secret coins, which are earned by meeting mysterious objectives on every level, are particularly powerful.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 Screenshot

Where Pirate Warriors 2 cuts some corners is in the aesthetic department. Nobody is going to mistake the plastic-looking character models for their anime counterparts, and the environmental textures are often muddy and generic looking. There are, at least, a variety of environments on which to battle, though the battlefield setup is always a series of corridors and rooms, even outdoors. The best part of the graphic design is the special-effects work, which has created fantastically flashy combination attacks for every character. The worst part of the graphic design is the needless sexualization of the female characters. Swimming gear is certainly appropriate for the setting, but the breast-only jiggle physics and the fact that the camera pans over the scantily clad women in a way that it doesn't pan over the Speedo-wearing Frankie just caused me to roll my eyes and sigh.

Whether due to financial constraints or licensing issues, publisher Namco Bandai didn't spring for an English voice cast. All the spoken dialogue is in Japanese and subtitled, which doesn't bother me but will probably annoy some players, especially those who know and love Funimation's One Piece English voice cast. The music and sound effects are as one would expect for a game of this type, not spectacular, but they do their job of punctuating the action. I'm always amused by animated shows in which the characters yell out the names of their attacks, but fortunately, the game doesn't overdo that tendency, saving most call-outs for the occasional special attacks.

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One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 was created with an unusual attention to gameplay quality for a licensed game. It may not be a masterpiece, but it's simple fun that is especially good for short play sessions with a friend. Collecting coins, playing with different characters, and seeking out secrets in the various levels gives it some extra depth and a good deal of replay value. Overall, Tecmo Koei has done a great job of removing tedium from the game's systems and keeping the action at the forefront of the game. If you're looking for a game that isn't too challenging and is fun to play with a friend, this is a good choice, even if you're not a huge Once Piece fan. If you are a fan and don't mind that this isn't a canon story, it's a great way to step into the shoes of your favorite characters.

By
Becky Cunningham
Contributing Writer
Date: September 6, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.3
Graphics
They won't win any awards, but the graphics are colorful, and the special effects are nicely done.
3.9
Control
Combination moves are easy to pull off, and the diverse cast is fun to play, but there's a lot of button-mashing.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
There's no English voice track, but the Japanese voices sound fine, and the music and sound are workmanlike.
3.5
Play Value
Collecting characters and replaying levels for secret coins add extra value to the game.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 is the breathtaking sequel to One Piece: Pirate Warriors, a big action/adventure game in which you will take down hordes of pirates in the beloved world of One Piece. Immerse yourself by playing in the New World with your favorite characters and their latest techniques and costumes!
  • After training for 2 years and gaining new skills, the evolved Straw Hat Crew gathers in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2. Nami, Usopp, Robin, Chopper, Franky and Brook, who did not appear in the previous game with their New World outfits, have acquired new ultimate attacks, new actions, and are now appearing with their New World costumes!
  • Popular characters and stages that were not included in the prequel make their appearance in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, which now exceeds the game volume of the prequel.
  • Activate the new Style Action when the Style Gauge is full! Every character can use one of the styles to have effects such as stronger attacks, easier continuous attacks, dodges, etc.

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