In the story of One Piece Odyssey, Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates find themselves in a huge storm at sea and shipwreck on the mysterious island known as Waford. One Piece Odyssey is a brand-new turn-based RPG featuring new characters and monster designs produced by Eiichiro Oda, the author of One Piece.
At our recent preview event One Piece Odyssey producer Katsuaki Tsuzuki framed the main theme of the game as a “Story of bonds, spun by memories”. It was also important to the developer team to create an “RPG that allows players to explore and adventure in the world of One Piece”.
Today, we’re excited to share ways that players will be able to strengthen bonds in the game and harness each characters’ unique skills as they immerse themselves in the One Piece world Tsuzuki and the rest of the team have created.
(Be warned, pirates, minor story spoilers ahead!)
To start, we’ll cover the battle systems in the game and how the unbreakable bonds forged in battle are essential to beat your enemies.
Tsuzuki: “In action games, it is necessary to focus and understand how to control a single character in each battle, to get that sense of satisfaction. However, One Piece as an IP has plenty of fascinating characters already in the “Straw Hat Crew”, so for our players to enjoy the unique charms of each and every one of them, we adopted a turn-based command battle as the battle system of our choice.”
Generally, RPG turn-based games have players set up all characters and locked in before executing the turn. However, One Piece Odyssey takes a different approach.
Tsuzuki: “We adapted a rock-paper-scissors element as its basic tactics, while also randomly positioning the characters into multiple areas. This is so that players can switch between various registered characters—and challenge them to make full use of each character’s unique abilities and skills to defeat the enemies at hand. This system provides a variety of situations they will face each time, which brings a fresh perspective on the combats they’ll endure along the way.”
In most combat encounters, the Straw Hats will scramble into different combat areas with the enemies, and up to four crew members will engage the enemy while the rest remain in reserve. Straw hats can be called in from reserve and may reposition freely as long as they have an action remaining. At times, the positioning of enemies may be challenging for your line up if more support-oriented crew members are rushed and surrounded by elite marines. Since you’ll have the ability to switch between characters on your roster, you’ll be empowered to consider combat positioning, effectiveness type, Bond Arts, and potential secondary objectives in any combat encounter.
The Straw Hat crew and enemy NPCs are categorized into effectiveness types: Power, Speed, and Technique. Where Power is more effective against Speed type enemies and less effective against Technique type enemies.
Luffy is the captain of the Straw Hats and is a Power type. As powerful as Luffy is, he has a harder time against Technique type foes. Nami, the navigator of the Straw Hats, is a Speed type and strong against Technique type foes. Call upon her lightning skills and help Luffy out when he’s in a pinch!
With up to nine Straw Hats with four in direct combat, there is a lot to experience.
Bond Arts & Memory Links
Now, the crew is already strong as everyone possesses their own strengths. However, this is a story of bonds and so we encourage all players to unlock the full potential of the game with Bond Arts!
Bond Arts are among the strongest attacks that the Straw Hats can perform. Earlier on in the story, the Straw Hats will dive into the world known as Memoria, a world of memories woven together with the memories of the Straw Hat crew, to recover their lost power. In order to unlock Bond Arts, players must discover these lost side quests known as Memory Links, found within Memoria, and re-live the story of bonds that certain Straw Hats share. After completing these Memory Links, the Bond Art will be unlocked and free to use throughout the game as long as the Straw Hats have the required bond level.
Bond Arts require a certain amount of bond level to activate and the bond level can be charged by fighting together. To initiate a Bond Art attack, all Straw Hats involved in the Bond Art must be in the engaging party, have a high enough bond level, and the initiating Straw Hat must also have an action.
The sheer strength of these attacks makes it worthwhile to seek out these Memory Links and to play with various line ups of the Straw Hats to keep bond levels charged.
Tsuzuki: “Bond Arts is one of the example of the benefits in utilizing different characters and items, where you will have an option of a stronger attack to defeat your enemies. Therefore we encourage you to try Memory Links to strengthen your party.”
This wouldn’t be One Piece if there wasn’t a little drama. We’ve worked it into the game as an additional way to level up your team.
Over the course of the game, the Dramatic Scene system will randomly provide mid-battle objectives and offer increased experience, currency, and loot if the objective is achieved. For example, sometimes an enemy must be defeated by a specific Straw Hat; even if the crew member is weak against the effectiveness type. This can sometimes make the battle more difficult, but the reward is worth it!
Other ways to enhance your team
Outside of battles, the game continues to encourage players to increase camaraderie.
Tsuzuki: “During your adventure, you’ll find places where you can camp and have a ‘party’. By having this ‘party’, you will receive an EXP bonus for the next 10 battles you encounter. “
All the extra additional loot the Straw Hats earn from overcoming the dramatic scene challenges are key components to cooking, crafting Trick Balls, and enhancing equipment. By utilizing the strengths of the bonds of the Straw Hats, they are able to build momentum of strength to overcome greater challenges, like boss fights, by converting these rewards into items that greatly impact the tide of battle.
Camping & crafting
As any great adventure would have it, the Straw Hats will spend time resting, carousing, and crafting when they camp. While camping, the player will have a chance to figure out how to best spend their resources through cooking, crafting Trick Balls, and utilizing Nico Robins Mystery Craft.
Sanji is the chef of the crew and can create scrumptious meals to eat in battle. Never forget to get some take out from Sanji’s Kitchen before any tough battle as the meals are better than any random apple you may find. Check out Sanji’s Bronze Bat Soup as it will heal all allies and also grant a 10% bonus to DEF and GUTS.
Usopp, the sniper of the Straw Hats, creates Trick Balls. These Trick Balls can provide large buffs for the party or large debuffs for the enemy. Bosses are strong in One Piece Odyssey. Like the original works, bosses will test the Straw Hats and player will need to work with Usopp to create Trick Balls that lower an enemy’s defense or make them more susceptible to status ailments.
Nico Robin, the archaeologist of the Straw Hats, is the curator of the player’s equipment. Each Straw Hat has a grid and players can freely fill the grid to enhance the crew by acquiring blocks of cubes with various abilities and stats which players can find throughout the game. Later in the game, as the story progresses, Nico Robin may become one of the most popular crew mates to spend time with as she can craft equipment together to enhance its effects and allow the player to freely express the Straw Hats through versatile customization.
All members of the crew are deeply valued and an important core to the game and the odyssey with the player. Build your own memories with the Straw Hats through depth and strategic elements of battle.
One Piece Odyssey is coming to PS5 and PS4 on January 13, 2023. Pre-order today and embark on a grand odyssey with Luffy and the Straw Hats.