One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 may have released last March in Japan, but North America and Europe are about to see the game's release at the end of August. Pirate Warriors may look like a Dynasty Warriors clone right off the bat, but the two actually do differ from each more than you might think. The game will also have a brand new (all be it non cannon) story featuring many locations that were left out of the first game.
The demo that I was able to play took place in the first part of the game in the sky island known as Skypiea. Pirate Warriors 2 takes place after the two year time skip so Monkey D. Luffy's crew has not only expanded, but become extremely powerful. Although there will be many new characters to play as in the full game, this demo let us play as Luffy and Trafalgar Law.
Luffy plays just like he did in the first Pirate Warriors, but has a few new moves featuring off his gum-gum powers. Be sure to see a lot of stretched out punches, kicks, and even bodies while taking down countless enemies. Law is a much slower character than Luffy, but can really lay on the damage with his unique op-op fruit powers. This allows him to surgically cut his enemies with an unreal level of accuracy.
Both characters are fun to play and learn different combo attacks, but Luffy without a doubt steals the show as someone is just more fun to pick up and play as. Law attacks are slow and can be difficult to control your first time playing as him. Hopefully the rest of the brand new charters in this sequel will continue to feature interesting new fighting styles.
While the gameplay is primarily unchanged from the first game, Pirate Warriors 2 has two new gameplay systems. The crew strike option has now been replaced with a new partner system. This lets you build up a special meter to call out an ally of your choice and play as them for a set period of time unleashing large attacks on your enemies. There is also a new Haki system which can be used to power up your attacks, knock out your enemies, or lead into more devastating combos.
Taking down hundreds of enemies in Skypiea with both characters was fun and let me get a good feel for all of the new systems. Sadly the demo only lasted about 15-20 minutes, so it is hard to say if the game will be able to keep that addicting nature from the first game in this sequel. The final stages boss was Enel and was more than good looking enough to make up for the underwhelming length of the demo.
The presentation not only in cutscenes, but gameplay still are at that anime level of quality that makes you wish you could experience every episode/chapter of One Piece that way. If you have never played Pirate Warriors before, it is a very similar engine to the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm series.
Some fans may be disappointed that One Piece: Pirate Warriors isn't getting the full localisation treatment as it comes to North America and Europe, but this is one of those situations where we should be happy about what we get and not throw a fit. The original Japanese voice actors do a great job and the subtitles never take to much away from the actual story or game. If you are excited or even just a little interested in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 you shouldn't worry about this sequel changing anything you loved from the first game.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 will release only on PS3 in Europe on August 30th and sometime this August in North America. The game will release only on PSN in North America and on both disc and digitally in Europe.