One Piece: Unlimited World Red is an adventure game aimed for the anime fans, but instead of simply retelling the anime the title comes with its own story. The filler story, while not as strong as the main plot, holds itself up pretty well especially since it was supervised by One Piece author Eiichiro Oda.
The story starts off with word that Patrick Redfield (also known as Red) has escaped Impel Down Level 6, which is basically prison but the higher the level, the higher the security, and has been destroying multiple Marine Battleships by creating clones of Smoker and Kuzan.
After that it skips to the Straw Hat crew, where they are currently sailing to a new island with the help of a Raccoon in a pink hoodie. Once they reach the island, each member is picked off one by one and that where the actual adventure picks up.
The controls are very simple, which is both a good and bad thing. Simplistic combos make it so that the game is easy to pick up for newcomers but combat gets stale pretty quick. However, some characters like Sanji and Chopper have moves that can be chained into long combos (such as the ones I made up myself) but even then they could have fleshed it out much more than they did. It doesn’t make the game boring enough to drop the 3DS entirely, but it does bring down the fun factor a bit.
Fans will be mainly sailing through familiar places like Alabasta and Drum Island, and you’ll be wandering around the game’s town HUB often to build new areas from the items you collected during your adventure. The game also allows you to fish and catch bugs that you can sell to make some money.
Unlimited World RED has a power up system where you can equip quotes to your crew and press “R” to activate the quote; your crew members will respond back and gain a boost in their special meter, attack, defense or another stat.
There’s also a Coliseum Mode where you fight hordes of enemies to get to the top, which was honestly the worst part of the game for me. This mode will have you grinding you way to the top with three ranks to go through: Rank C being the lowest and Rank A being the highest.
In order to reach Rank A you must fight multiple enemies and bosses which will take you around thirty to forty minutes to complete. Once you hit the top, a cutscene will initiate and right after that you will fight a boss and lose no matter what. to make matters worse, your rank drops all the way down and have to start over. Once I realized I had to grind to rank back up again I was frustrated and I had to stop playing the game for a period of time until I felt I had the patience to rank up again.
The visuals in this game are stunning and probably the best I have seen in a 3DS anime game. Of course compared to the PS3, Wii U and PS Vita versions you’ll see the difference, but for a 3DS game it holds up pretty well.
Music deserves just as much praise. I spent plenty of hours on the game and I’ve been loving the soundtrack, with the town HUB being my favorite because of how warm and welcoming it is. You can also unlock a venue where you can listen to the music available after getting certain required items.
Overall this game is a must have for fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy how easy it is to jump in and play. I would advise newcomers to keep up with the anime in order to get the full experience but since the game has an original story, it isn’t much of a requirement. Aside from the Coliseum Mode, this has to be one of the greatest One Piece games I’ve played yet.