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E3 2012: One Piece: Pirate Warriors (Hands-on)

Posted by: Matt at 6/9/2012 9:00 PM
Namco Bandai had an unexpected surprise out on the floor this past E3. The Dynasty Warriors inspired take on the One Piece anime franchise. Titled, One Piece: Pirate Warriors, players can choose from a number of characters. From the iconic Luffy to the loveable Chopper, the crew of the Straw Hat Pirates all make the transition to this cel-shaded brawler, and they do so quite faithfully as this game looks fantastic. After a short demo, I got my hands on the latest spin-off from the Dynasty Warriors franchise, and was quite impressed with how well it fit with the One Piece universe.

The demo only consisted of stages with Luffy (after the time skip) taking on the marines who have plenty of expendable units, as I was mopping the floor with all of the fodder thrown at me. Units fall with a few quick combo attacks that occur by alternating between the normal and strong attack buttons. There's also a dash that can be used to get out of a crowd, though it's better suited to augment attacks to allow Luffy to plow through enemies. After defeating enough units, I was confronted by Sentomaru who had a Pacifista for me to fight. The Pacifista served as a challenging enemy, a mid-boss who was able to fire beams from his mouth that did a great deal of damage. His entourage of Marine fodder was easily felled, allowing me to fill up a special meter to fire off massive punches. 

After dealing enough damage I was able to initiate a special end sequence, filled with on screen quick time events that let me dodge attacks and finish off the Pacifista. With that my short time with the demo came to an end. But it's easy to see that this game is going to be a ton of fun when it is released on PSN later this summer, unfortunately only as a digital release. But I don't intend to let that be a deterrent, what I played was a lot of fun and felt like a great representation of the One Piece universe.