One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 Preview

Gomu Gomu Gomu!

Since the inception of Dynasty Warriors, many games have borrowed its formula with varied levels of success. From Gundam suits to heroes of time, players love the idea of being that guy or gal that can jump into a room and wipe out literally hundreds of baddies with a few well-timed weapon swipes.

Depending on the title, those weapons could range from swords to magic spells to lasers, depending on the title. Now gigantic fists the size of mutilated ham hocks can be included on that list with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3.

Straw Hat Luffy, the protagonist of the One Piece saga of manga and anime, and his band of pirates return to Luffy's home island to find that it's been overrun by the Fishmen, strange, bipedal merfolk who have a bone to pick with Luffy. The game will begin with the canon storyline from East Blue, Grand Line, and New World.

Bandai Namco has kept this version of Pirate Warriors a little less brainless by the inclusion of missions. In my playthrough I took Luffy and his companions into the fray, where, during the obliteration of over two-thousand Fishmen, our goal was to defeat several Captains scattered throughout the map. The graphics were colorful and looked lifted from the anime itself, and control was quite intuitive. I was able to jump straight into gameplay without lengthy tutorials or loading times.

Fans of the One Piece series will love the fanservice in the one-off comments and chatter between the Straw Hat Pirates, but those unfamiliar with the series will quickly learn the ties between characters with smart writing and attention to detail. Another important is the Kizuna Rush, which allows you to summon another character to find alongside your main character for combination attacks.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 should be on every anime fan's wishlist, and with its inclusion on Steam as well as PlayStation 3 and 4, more anime fans can literally do just that. While already out in Japan, it's slated for release on August 25, 2015.