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One Piece Odyssey review: It’s One Piece Dragon Quest!

Video games based on Japanese anime tend to be fan service at best and a cash grab at worst. Unless it’s a fighting game or an Omega Force musou game with characters from Dragon Ball, Naruto, Demon Slayer, or other Shonen Jump animes (or if you want to go really back, the Initial D Arcade Stage racing game in arcades), there aren’t many examples of anime games that are critically successful. As a matter of fact, out of the dozens of One Piece video games on console and mobile platforms, not one has averaged higher than an 80 on Metacritic. One Piece Odyssey seeks to change all that, with Bandai Namco opting to have developer ILCA create a full-fledged JRPG out of the long-running franchise. And while it stumbles a bit trying to mimic Square Enix’s Dragon Quest series, One Piece Odyssey comes surprisingly close to the real deal.

As a primer for those who don’t know a lot about the series, One Piece started as a manga series in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine all the way back in July 1997. Written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, the manga was turned into an anime in 1999 that is still running today and currently has over 1,000 episodes. Even today, the series appears in Top 10 lists for the most popular anime of the year. But at this point, I assume many people, anime fans included, take one quick look at that episode count and reasonably conclude that the ship has sailed on getting into the series. Fortunately, Oda understands this, and has tailored a story that new players can follow and that longtime fans will appreciate.

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