One Piece Unlimited World Red
starts off with the disappearance of Luffyís friends. Even to those unfamiliar with the anime, Luffyís pretty easy to recognize as the kid with the straw hat. As you progress through the game, you track down the people responsible for your friendsí disappearance. And as you find your friends, you find there are even more threats, and even deception within your group. In the rather charming manner of the series, even betrayal seems kind of funny. It does help that the betrayal is committed by a cute raccoon named Pato. Though you donít have to be familiar with the series to play this game, it does help, as Luffy and his friends encounter a lot of old friends and foes throughout the game. For example, when someone declares that they want to take revenge on you, well, you usually want to know what you did to earn vengeance in the first place.
I will admit I am not a fan of the anime One Piece, but I can pick up on some of its appeal. The characters are each wildly different in style. One is a gigantic man/machine hybrid named Franky. Chopper is a shapeshifting, uh, moose? Brook is a straight up fabulous skeleton. Nami is a minimally clothed woman who has power over the weather. And then you have the stretchy-limbed Luffy who really likes straw hats. Still, though they may look different, they each seem to embody some sort of anime trope. That may be a draw as well. Characters like these can start to feel like old friends. They can start to feel predictable, and therefore comfortable.
One Piece: UWR is your pretty standard RPG, though it does have some unconventional names for skills at least. You can build up your characters by equipping them with Strong Words to increase their stats and help out with certain difficult enemies. Youíll also get things called Lost Words, which really didnít need such a similar label. Lost Words are basically keys to unlock areas, so essentially they could really just be called keys. And you could call Strong Words by their 3 different labels: item, skill and custom. Thatíd cut down on 90% of the confusion early in the game, but eh, who am I to say what you do with your game. If Final Fantasy can get away with the same thing, I suppose every RPG has an excuse to make their interface as obscure as possible.
Each character has special skills and attacks that come in handy in certain fights. They also come in handy for breaking up the monotony. Nico, for example, attacks with weird hand-based attacks. Seriously, she just sends a bunch of hands through the ground at the enemies. Chopper is also a crazy character to use. He takes several bizarre shapes, at one point simply becoming a giant puffball. Then thereís Sanji, who seems to be the martial artist and cook of the crew. He actually has the ability to cook during a fight, which is hilarious.
Thereís a bit of a building element to the game as well. You can expand the island town with different buildings like a pharmacy, factory, and a restaurant. Building these extra buildings will open up access to lots of different things including new weapons, better restorative items, and additional fun side items. You can also expand into new land, opening up new quests. Expanding and building them requires special items, however, so youíll have to do a lot of additional side quests to get the town up to its full potential.
For a pure battle challenge, you can try your hand at the Battle Coliseum as well. This feels like sort of a long side quest, as you battle your way up to fight the ridiculously dressed and named Donquixote Doflamingo.
Some additional features include the option to transfer save data from your 3DS to your Wii U game. Thereís also split-screen co-op that allows a second player to take control of another character. You can also enlist help with some of the gameís mini-games like bug-catching and fishing. Itís unusual to have this kind of co-op available for an RPG, and a nice feature to bring in a friend. Apparently you can bring in up to 4, but I don't have enough controllers to test this, alas. Thereís a lot of downloadable content as well such as standalone quests and special quests for materials if youíre having trouble building that last shop or factory. You can, uh, buy swimsuits for the female characters as well - I mean, if you thought they were wearing too much already. You can buy a swimsuit for Chopper, the shapeshifting, moose-whatever-guy too. If youíre into that, that is.