Monthly Musou – One Piece Pirate Warriors 3
I’m a big fan of expanding my gaming horizons. In the past year, I’ve really gotten into a genre that, in the past, I’ve really only dabbled in. In Japan, the genre is known as Musou. In the West, it’s more commonly known as the Warriors-styled games, after the Dynasty Warriors series that started them all. While they originally started as a spin-off of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms RPG series, and typically (loosely) followed the timeline of the ancient Chinese stories, they began to branch out with Samurai Warriors and then went all sorts of directions. Gundam, Zelda, even Dragon Quest recently had a release in the genre. I got into them with Hyrule Warriors, being a huge Zelda fan. Now, I’m eating these games up, and I hope to be able to share as many of these experiences with you, the reader, as I can.
Which brings us to the topic of this piece; I recently played through One Piece Pirate Warriors 3. This game starts at the beginning of the One Piece saga and goes through the end of the most recent arc. I know little about the source material, but earlier this year I stumbled upon an import copy of Pirate Warriors 2 for Vita and loved the gameplay, so I dove into this one.
Gameplay is your typical Musou. The game throws a crap ton of enemies at you, and it’s your job to wade through them like a wanton force of destruction. Luckily, the game gives you many ways to do this. Various combinations of the square and triangle buttons allow you to chain together a lot of different combos. As you level up, more combos become available. It’s a really fun system, made even more fun by the Kizuna Rush. This allows you to team up with other characters and perform a sort of ultimate attack.
The peon enemies are just there for laughs though. They aren’t really a threat. The challenge lies in seeing how many you can take out with a single combo or Kizuna Rush. The game has a lot of things you can unlock by doing things like this. There are a ton of unlockable characters and several of them have their own challenges to complete. Each character plays completely different, so even though the game is fairly repetitive, it never seems to grow too old.
The RPG elements from previous Musou games are here as well. You can level up characters by beating foes, and when you beat a boss character you will collect certain coins that can be used to further upgrade stats such as Attack, Defense, Health, Kizuna, etc. It adds a lot to what would otherwise be a fairly standard beat em up.
Also included is a Dream Log, which is basically a bunch of made up scenarios that allow you to play as, and team up, with all the other characters. It’s a big challenge mode, with each island you visit getting progressively more difficult. This is a good way to level characters you don’t normally play as, as well as unlocking challenges.
Pirate Warriors 3 confirms that I’ve made the right move in getting into these games. I’ve since picked up a few more and I hope to share my thoughts on each in this column. Next month I’ll be looking at Hyrule Warriors, the game that got me here in the first place. Any suggestions or any games you’d like to see me cover? Hit me up in the comments.