One Piece is a highly popular Japanese game series, based on both an anime and manga of the same name. The series has spawned many titles based around different storylines, and Unlimited World Red is the latest of these. The series has a large fanbase, however, does the latest entry live up to some of the best games in the collection?

One Piece has always been known for mixing crazy action with colourful, vivid environments and as a result, has captured the interest of many gamers. Unlimited World Red sticks to this successful formula, creating an accessible and enjoyable game. Those who are familiar with the series and the anime/manga will enjoy the game even more, as it is packed with references to earlier events. However, even those new to the series will be treated to plenty of enjoyable gameplay, so, don’t worry if you haven’t played any previous titles!

Most of the story levels are linear – involving the protagonist, Luffy, taking down an abundance of enemy gangs before finally reaching a bos – yet fun. Many of the villains in the game have returned from previous events in the One Piece world, which is nice touch for loyal fans of the series. Luffy’s classic comrades (Straw Hat crew) also make a return in this game, however, many of them will not be with him for certain parts of the game.

This brings us to the story behind Unlimited World Red: a rescue mission. Upon arriving in Transtown, the central hub of the game, Luffy’s crew goes missing. The game follows Luffy as he travels from place to place to find and rescue his allies from the enemies seeking to take down the crew. This story, while well used, is still a very enjoyable one, as it is made vivid and fun due the hilarious and charming characters involved in the game.

Each playable character in the game features their own distinct range of attacks. As you battle through the levels in arenas of enemies, you will be tasked with strategically using the abilities of each character in tandem to inflict the greatest damage upon your foes. The combat system is fun and often crazy, but faces minor problems. Despite this, the regular addition of new characters and hence, attacks, means the game sustains itself throughout the 20/25 hour story without becoming boring.

Throughout the game, you play in a party of three characters (for the most part) and can switch control between them at will (like LEGO games). However, to survive some of the more complicated sequences of attacks, you will be required to position your party strategically and plan your attacks. In addition, many of the bosses can be rather difficult to defeat, with trial and error being required to discover their weaknesses.

Battle Coliseum mode is a great addition to the game, which takes the battle system of the story mode and removes any reliance on leveling up and completing other RPG objectives which are present in the story. This mode also features a number of exclusive characters, allowing you to play through increasingly difficult battles without any other objectives. This is a fun mode to play if you are looking for something outside the main story.

Unfortunately, the game doesn’t perform well in the graphical department. Unlimited World Red was initially a 3DS title and it is clear the game has been ported to consoles, as the textures appear rough and the lighting isn’t fantastic. The vivid level and character design does a good job of making up for some of this, but overall, the game disappoints in visual presentation.

Despite this, One Piece: Unlimited World Red is a great new entry into a series adored by many fans. The developers have worked hard to create an authentic One Piece experience and have succeeded. Other than the issue with the graphics, this is an excellent One Piece release!