For fans of Eiichiro Oda, this action adventure is heaven-sent. For those of us who have absolutely no idea who Eiichiro Oda is, well, welcome to a wonderful introduction to the whacked-out world of One Piece on the PS3, Vita, Wii U and 3DS.
A gorgeous-looking third-person JRPG-lite, you play Monkey D. Luffy, a young member of the Straw Hat Pirates who befriends Pato, a racoon with the power to create anything thats been drawn on a, err, leaf. Trouble is that said racoon drags you off to the Forgotten Island where everyone is kidnapped by The Red Count; save for you of course and the leaf-loving Pato who together must rescue your chums and thwart the nefarious plans of the Count.
While that story might sound like something scribbled out by a seven-year-old whos eaten way too many bags of Habiro, the game is actually based on the acclaimed manga series the best-selling in history in fact by the lauded writer and illustrator Eiichiro Oda. Oh, and the anime spin-off has aired 600 episodes to date too.
Then there are the videogames there have been over 30 so far. With such a prolific history then, youd think that perhaps Luffs exploits might have become a little jaded but One Piece Unlimited World Red shows that Odas mentalism is still as fresh and fruity as its ever been.
Operating out of the game worlds hub Trans Town, youll fight, explore and craft (plus indulge in a host of mini-games and fights in the the battle arena) on your quest to thwart the dastardly Count. Veterans can expect to meet a cast of familiar and fresh faces on their travels who either join your team or who are hellbent on destroying it a giant talking squirrel, a monster made from jam, a chemical weapons-wielding clown and so, so many more.
Keeping this insane imagination in check is a combat system that features a two-button approach to smite your foe with. That might sound a little too simple but in practise, proves to be rewarding as you flick between characters, tag-teaming takedowns and amassing combos.
It all perfectly reflects the source material too simple, engrossing and totally bonkers. Better still, enjoy the co-op mode on PS3 where a second player can leap in, or indulge in four-player action on the 3DS and Vita.
For One Piece lovers then, One Piece Unlimited World Red is fan service of the highest order but noobs neednt feel overwhelmed so well-defined is each and every character and the gameplay itself so easy to pick up that youll soon uncover why Eiichiro Oda has become so beloved by fans the world over.