One Piece is an anime about larger than life characters. From the Straw Hat Pirates to Admiral Akainu, there isn’t a shortage of interesting characters. This seems like the perfect formula for a Musou game, watching as devastating attacks fill the screen. One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 starts off with all the Straw Hat pirates except Luffy and Nami inhaling a strange black mist that causes them to turn on each other. While a terribly a weak plot line, it sets the stage for the ultimate fan service game. Characters from all factions seem to be playable including some that are canonically dead. Many interactions that never occur in the manga or anime are treated as normal, leading to a surreal sense of wonder as you get to see how the story unfolds.

Controlling the large cast of characters is simple yet intuitive. Everyone plays exactly the same and while that makes trying out the entire cast easier, there’s only a slight motivation to use anyone but your favorites. Using a character that is recommended for the level usually will give you a bonus at the end and thankfully if you decide to try to shake things up you can quickly level up any of your new crew members so you can start the plundering. Though at first the game’s story felt sporadic since people and places were coming back from utter destruction, it became evident that this was the way to have fan favorites like Portgas D. Ace and Whitebeard make startling comebacks. If the fight becomes too difficult you can pick to Request Rescue, which invites other players to come help you out. It was interesting to see what other people would do in my game but I found local multiplayer to be far more effective if you wanted to actually beat the stage.

While there is a ton of pirates to help you pillage your way to your dreams, many of them are extremely weaker than others. This is a problem in most games based on a long-running manga, though it is far more noticeable when there is such a diverse cast of characters. Even characters that are meant to use tricks to gain the advantage just weren’t as effective as using barbaric brute force. That isn’t to say it wasn’t fun playing as them, as not only did it heighten the challenge but they felt more unique. It helps that you can have a second character as a Crew Member which is more of a psudeo-super attack more than anything else. At the very least this second character isn’t controlled by the A.I, which i found to be particularly awful. Allies would constantly get stuck on corners or fight small enemies even when the mission dictated otherwise, making some of the quests feel more like babysitting than anything else.

After playing this game it almost feels like One Piece was meant for the Mosou genre. The basic elements were already there like larger than life characters and warring factions. Every attack felt satisfying because something simple like a punch or kick is epic and powerful instead of dull and ordinary. This sense of power is what makes Mosou games so satisfying as sometimes you want to just sit down and kill things in the most exaggerated way possible.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 Trailer

One Piece Pirate Warriors Gameplay

One Piece Pirate Warriors Boss Battles