One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 Review: Dreaming, Don’t Give It Up Musou

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is the latest entry in the Musuo series based on the most popular anime and manga of all time. The game definitely isn’t for people who are unfamiliar with the franchise, but the developers have improved upon almost every aspect of the formula of the series with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, leading to the best entry in the series yet.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 uses the same gameplay as the Dynasty Warriors series, but transplanted into the world of One Piece. The story of One Piece is filled with frantic battles and heated chases, as Luffy and his crew battle against armies of marines or enemy pirates, so the franchise is a perfect fit for this style of gameplay. The general goal of each level is to take control over areas of the map by wading through weaker foes and taking down elite units & bosses.

The story of One Piece follows Monkey D. Luffy on his journey to becoming the Pirate King. We won’t go into depth regarding the story of One Piece, because the game certainly doesn’t. Unlike One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 which went through the story of One Piece from the beginning of the series until the Dressrosa arc, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 only gives snapshots of the story. The game starts during the Alabasta arc and skips over large parts of the story (except in short cut-scenes). In this regard, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is definitely meant for longtime fans of the series who are caught up with the story.

The abbreviated storytelling does pay off in terms of the level design. In One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3, many of the stages were identical in terms of what the player needed to do in order to finish them. In One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, the map design is more dynamic and open, while the stage mechanics and objectives are varied enough to keep the story mode interesting throughout the playthrough. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 might not cover all of the stories of One Piece, but it does let players experience the most exciting parts of it.

The only major issue with the story mode is the lack of co-op play. There are separate co-op stages in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, but these usually involve regular boss battles & map control levels. There is only a handful of levels that only require a single player, so there is no reason why co-op couldn’t have been included in the story mode.

Sailing Into The Grand Line

The levels in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 are much better designed than in its predecessor, but it wouldn’t matter if the gameplay hadn’t been altered to match. Fortunately, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 has added new elements to the combat & exploration that have vastly improved the experience. It’s now possible to smash buildings with special attacks, and while this doesn’t significantly alter the gameplay (there are plot-relevant barriers that can’t be broken) it does make the levels feel more dynamic and combat more exciting when you punch enemies through stone walls.

The biggest new addition to One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is jumping and aerial combat. All of the player characters can now leap in huge bounds and perform attacks and special moves in the air. Some of the characters even tailor their moveset around fighting in the air, such as Sanji’s skywalk form. The ability to jump adds a level of verticality to the stages that makes them a lot more fun to explore and it’s now easier to traverse stages when the player is in a hurry. The ability to juggle enemies or escape from combat in the air adds a lot to the fluidity of combat and makes it easier to evade attacks. The only issue with the jumping mechanic is that the camera sometimes has trouble keeping up when the player is zipping around the stage.

The combat mechanics have also been improved in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4. The characteristics and movesets of each character have been altered in order to make them feel more diverse, with everyone falling into a power/speed/technique type that determines their combat style and abilities. All characters now have skill boards with abilities that are unlocked by spending cash, so players can choose to specialize in certain areas or just focus on one character to the detriment of others if they have a favorite.

Two other changes to the game include the addition of giant characters and the armor gauge. The world of One Piece has its share of massive humans and giant monsters, some of which are now playable in the game. These giant foes pack a punch and players will have to switch up their tactics in order to avoid damage and take these behemoths down, as a full-on aggressive approach is a recipe for disaster. The armor gauge is a separate mechanic that protects enemies from damage until it’s depleted. Once the player breaks down the armor gauge, the enemy will be stunned and susceptible to damage, so the player needs to save their special moves for these moments of weakness. These giant battles are a perfect fit for the One Piece world and their addition is one of the best parts of the game.

War In The New World

When the player enters battle in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, the game maintains its frame rate and only a few of the special moves caused any kind of slowdown, but even these were brief. The same cannot be said of the main menu. We played One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 on the PlayStation 4, and there were significant load times on the menus outside of battle, to the point where they became a distraction. Fortunately, the player won’t spend too long on these menus in comparison to the rest of the gameplay, but it’s still frustrating.

A lot of games based on anime/manga properties are slapdash affairs that rely on the strength of their license to sell copies. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is not that kind of game. This is a title that is intended for One Piece fans and it offers one of the most fun trips to the world of pirates so far. There are a few design and technical niggles that stop the game from being a must-have experience and those not familiar with the franchise should play One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3 first (or, you know, read the manga/watch the anime) in order to catch up, but the One Piece fans of the world can’t go wrong with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4.

A PlayStation 4 copy of One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 was provided to TheGamer for this review. One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

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These Uncharted 4 Photo Mode Shots Are Pure Art

Game photography is quickly becoming its own genre within gaming, with more and more games adding camera features. Talented players have been finding new ways to experiment with the medium, leading to some outstanding pieces of art and a new form of photography.

Twitter user @LUCKYless11 has taken some exemplary shots within Uncharted 4, using the photo mode included in-game to produce a form of virtual photography. These images feel almost realistic in nature, completely candid and relaxed, like a photograph taken from someone’s real home and not a video game.

Even Neil Drunkmann, Vice President of Naughty Dog, has praised these shots on twitter.

Originally, players would make similar kinds of shots by just taking screenshots in-game, but now games are more commonly including photo or camera modes for players to experiment and share their experiences online. This has led to an increased number of people becoming interested in virtual photography or ‘gametographers’.

This is added by the level of quality games are achieving these days, with graphics becoming almost realistic in nature. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn, Red Dead Redemption 2, Days Gone, Assassins Creed Odyssey, and Uncharted 4 all have stunning environments and atmospheres that can be captured by these aspiring gametographers.

As this new form of media continues to develop, we are sure to see even more of these kinds of extraordinary artworks popping up.

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Just Cause 4, Rage 2, And All Other Avalanche Games Are Discounted Right Now On Steam

Avalanche Studios is running a huge sale on all their titles on Steam, with games up to 90% off. Avalanche is best known for the Just Cause series, published by Square Enix, as well as Rage 2 from early last year.

This sale is a part of the studio’s announcement to rebrand as Avalanche Studios Group, a studio comprising three developer companies: Avalanche Studios, Expansive Worlds, and Systemic Reaction. The sale also includes titles from Expansive Worlds and Systemic Reaction, known for games like theHunter: Call of the Wild and Generation Zero respectively.

A teaser trailer for an all new game was also released with this announcement.

We will cover this new title in more detail once we have more information.

The following Avalanche Studio Group games are on sale:

  • Generation Zero – $14.99

  • Just Cause 3 – $2.99

  • Just Cause 3 XXL – $4.19

  • Just Cause 4 Complete Edition – $20.97

  • Mad Max – $3.99

  • RAGE 2 – $17.99

  • theHunter: Call of the Wild – $5.99

  • theHunter: Call of the Wild –2019 edition – $14.59

The sale includes all the DLC content for these titles.

This is the best opportunity to grab some of the Avalanche Studio Group games for cheap, as the next major steam sale isn’t until Summer.

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NASCAR Heat 4 to host $10,000 All-Star Race

NASCAR Heat 4 is putting $10,000 on the line for a special event at the ‘virtual’ Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend.

This Saturday, you could have the opportunity to take part in a unique All-Star-style event at Homestead-Miami Speedway and be in the running to win $10,000. All are welcomed to enter and see if you’re fast enough to make the cut.

Qualifications in order to set the grid begin today (Wednesday) for both Playstation 4 and Xbox One players and will be open until Friday. Sign-up HERE.

The race is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET. Saturday, March 21st, and will be broadcasted live on the NASCAR Heat channels. Additionally, there will be some special guest racers that will take part in the event (to be revealed at a later date).

Tonight, be sure to tune-in to the eNASCAR Heat Pro League pre-season event at Chicagoland Speedway. Watch live at 8 p.m. ET. HERE. This will be the first opportunity for the drivers to show how they perform under pressure, with the eyes of the teams watching closely to see who they might want to draft for the second season of the Pro League. 

Related video

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Streets Of Rage 4 — New Gameplay Today

It’s been 26 years since we last saw Axel, Blaze, and the rest of the Streets of Rage crew beating up seedy city-dwellers, but 2020 marks the return of the classic brawler franchise. Join Leo Vader, Ben Reeves, Matt Miller, and me as we play Streets of Rage 4 and delight in the chaotic mayhem of its four-player co-op. 

If you’re craving a classic brawler, rejoice because you don’t have long to wait. Streets of Rage 4 releases on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 this Spring.

Tune into New Gameplay Today to see the latest hands-on previews of upcoming titles, as well as first looks at brand new games and popular titles receiving expanded content.

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Zombie Army 4: Dead War Review – Rewriting And Repeating History

In a last-ditch effort to avoid losing World War II, Hitler has enacted a plan that turned all his followers into flesh-eating zombies. Now, it’s up to you and up to three friends to shoot, slash, and blast your way through seemingly endless droves of the undead. The premise of Zombie Army 4 may be absurd, but it’s a consistently fun, albeit repetitive, adventure across an alternate-history version of 1940s Europe.

Pushing through hordes of zombies across the European front is a gruesome and vicious affair. From standard brain-eaters that mindlessly wobble your way to upgraded undead with flamethrowers and sniper rifles, you never know what’s standing between you and the next safe room. Firefights seem manageable enough at first, but often devolve into adrenaline-fueled messes. I can’t tell you the number of encounters I had where I was performing crowd control with lower-level zombies, only to have a minigun-wielding monster come around the corner and ruin everything.

Movement in tight spaces is clunky, and getting stuck on furniture and walls is infuriatingly easy when you’re in panic mode. Thankfully, you can often get yourself out of tricky situations with a supercharged melee attack or by whipping out your shotgun. Zombie Army 4’s gunplay compensates for the temperamental movement mechanics, delivering smooth and satisfying shooting buoyed by an upgradable arsenal of weapons. I loved slapping supernatural attachments on my weaponry; I moved down the upgrade tree to give my shotgun an electric attachment that arcs damage between enemies. I also got a sniper-rifle upgrade that provides a small health boost with each headshot.

That health boost upgrade is crucial, as you can only hold one medkit at a time, and outside of safe rooms, they’re hard to come by. Zombie Army 4’s encounters are great at getting you to make mistakes in the panic. I loved the rush that came every time zombies started pouring in from directions I didn’t expect, and the area I planned on defending to my death was rendered useless. Those moments, where you must think and react on the fly, are where Zombie Army 4 shines brightest.

Unfortunately, the encounters frequently repeat themselves and become predictable in the process. While the enemy types differ, I lost count of the number of times I needed to kill every zombie in an area to open a seal, eliminate zombies within a certain radius to sate a Blood Fountain, or defend a mechanism from an encroaching horde. Because of this, I began establishing certain strategies that could be generally applied to each encounter type, removing the thrilling wildcard element and making fights feel more routine.

If you don’t want to deal with the campaign’s standardized encounters, you can get the action delivered to you over the course of 12 intense waves through Horde mode. I love how the maps open new areas and relocate your supplies so you can’t just dig into one spot. However, my favorite part of Horde is how it drives you to get creative with environmental traps, different kinds of explosives, and your ammo supply. I don’t anticipate spending a ton of time in Horde trying to top my previous high score, but it’s a fun diversion from the meat of the game.

While the campaign suffers from a lack of variety, the shooting mechanics are solid. Zombie Army 4’s action is fun and over-the-top, but slaughtering the undead shouldn’t feel this routine.

Zombie Army 4: Dead War is action-packed and fun, but the experience is too often hindered by relying on familiar conventions.

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This Cool Fallout 4 Mod Turns Boston Into Silent Hill

Return to the fog-drenched town of Silent Hill in Fallout 4. Designed and released by Mangaclub, the newly updated Whispering Hills 2 Definitive Edition mod brings a whole long setlist of horrific additions to the RPG, from gruesome foes to VR capabilities. It may not be the welcome sign all Silent Hill fans have been longing to once more bear witness to, yet it’s as close to a modern reimagining as they will get and will keep them well-occupied in the hopeful anticipation for Konami’s rumored resurrection of the franchise.

For it being a mere mod in Fallout 4 (of all games to choose from), Whispering Hill 2 is still just as frightening as its source material. With a tall and lengthy monstrosity known as Siren Head roaming about the fog-filled world, in addition to newly-added Lying Figures, which spit acid at players when striding too close, the overhaul mod is packed not only with immense detail but likewise with its own sense of character and originality. It may still be a Silent Hill recreation, yet it’s also got its own rather eerie and enigmatic voice, which itself can be heard quite well in the form of odd sounds that perpetuate the terror-ridden atmosphere.

No longer is this the same old Commonwealth. This is the town of Silent Hill made into the guise of Boston, and no one will be able to tell the difference. Though it may have been on the modder’s market for quite some time already, the patched update of 2.51, which was released relatively recently, invites a variety of much-needed upgrades to an already eerie mod with avid potential. For starters, Siren Head was reworked in some capacity, most likely in an effort to make it far creepier than it already is, plus VRFix support was added, allowing players to once again use virtual reality capabilities. Additionally, a special guest makes an appearance in the mod, though players will have to venture bravely into the dark recesses of its Asylum floor in order to spot the hidden easter egg.

With a third Silent Hill movie in the works, in addition to a potential Silent Hill remake and franchise revival, the Whispering Hills 2 mod represents the perfect time to lose oneself in the fog of that displaced town. Though looked down upon not nearly as bad as Fallout 76, Fallout 4 was (and still somewhat is) embroiled with its own form of fan ill-will and disliking. Luckily for it, Mangaclub’s creation not only adds layers of horror, survival, and stealth to Bethesda’s RPG shooter, but likewise rangles in a whole franchise’s worth of extra players who very well may never have even touched a single Fallout title in their lives.

At player’s own risk, revisit a place well-known and beloved by horror fanatics everywhere, if not to scream in utter fear at a barreling Siren Head, then merely to bask in the fog-laden aura that is Silent Hill, a town of terror personified.

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Gen.G mid laner Bdd donates $4,000 to help fight the coronavirus

Arguably the best mid laner in the LCK right now, Gwak “Bdd” Bo-seong, has donated 5 million KWR (that’s $4,126 USD) to aid in the battle against the coronavirus.

Bdd tweeted a picture of the receipt he received after his large donation, explaining that “in order to meaningfully spend my upcoming birthday and the 4th anniversary of my debut, I decided to help those fighting and aiding in the containment of the coronavirus by donating to the cause.”

He said he was “saddened” that he would be able “to hear the fans sing me the birthday song” because the LCK is playing behind closed doors. Gen.G’s chief operating officer, Arnold Hur, replied to Bdd’s tweet, promising that the organization will match 100 percent of the donation with one of their own.

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Roblox Is Now Valued At $4 Billion

Roblox, an online gaming platform most popular with Gen Z, has raised $150 million in Series G funding, the Wall Street Journal has reported. This comes as Roblox Corporation announced a new milestone of 115 million monthly users, a dramatic increase from the 100 million it gained when it surpassed Minecraft’s player base last August.

While older gamers might not have paid much attention to the cutely stylized gaming hangout, Roblox has seen huge growth in the last few years with younger audiences.

Only last year it was valued at $2.5 billion, with Roblox claiming that half of all American children between the ages of 9 and 12 used its platform. Last year it broke into the top five most watched games on YouTube.

Roblox functions like an online hangout space, like Habbo Hotel once was, where players can interact with their friends, play different games, and customize their avatars to be the coolest kid on the virtual block.

The real siren’s call for investors is Robux, the virtual currency that powers Roblox’s in-game marketplace. Roblox operates as a platform for developers as well as players, allowing them to create and sell games, items and even development assets within Roblox. It’s a big enough online economy that even the IRS has taken note.

Roblox’s updates continue to tap into the way young people play games–offering cross-platform support that allows its players to switch easily between mobile and PC play, for example.

Investors seem to have faith that the company’s massive growth won’t be slowing down any time soon, and that its latest $150 million in funding will only further that growth.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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Overwatch League Week 4 Power Rankings

The Overwatch League’s 2020 campaign is three weeks in and despite the Coronavirus preventing some teams not being able to play their matches, things are starting to take shape. With teams shaking things up through their first few matches, let’s take a look at where the teams stack up as we head into week four of the Overwatch League.

1. San Francisco Shock (1-0)

The San Francisco Shock only have one match under their belts so far but they are the defending champions and arguably the most dynamic team in the entire league. They should occupy the top spot for the time being and barring an uncharacteristic meltdown, be a premier team for all of 2020.

2. Philadelphia Fusion (4-0)

The Philadelphia Fusion have been extremely strong coming out of the gates. They secured some key pickups in the offseason and many named them as one of the top teams in the league. Somehow they have exceeded already strong expectations and look to be a serious title contender with their electric teamplay and insane individual skill.

3. Vancouver Titans (2-0)

The Vancouver Titans were the most exciting team to watch during the opening weekend as they flexed on a number of comps, including dive, to great success. Their 2019 season fell short to the Shock in the Grand Finals, but a few roster changes might turn out to be a great shakeup. There is no reason to think the Titans won’t be good this year, and they should find themselves in the 1-5 range all season.

4. New York Excelsior (3-1)

The NYXL got bodied by the Philadelphia Fusion in their only loss of the season so far. They frequently looked out of position, and the new aggressive playstyle is seemingly taking some time to adjust to. Still, this team is full of talent and has so much potential to be one of the best teams in the league. If they can get used to their new strategies, New York should be fine.

5. Los Angeles Gladiators (0-1)

Despite only playing one match (and losing), the Los Angeles Gladiators showed a lot of promise against the Vancouver Titans, who should be considered one of the best teams in the league. The Gladiators have been consistently above average as a team through the first two seasons and if the first match was anything to write home about, they look to be even better for their 2020 journey.

6. Toronto Defiant (1-1)

The Toronto Defiant smacked around the Paris Eternal to kick off the season and then took the Philadelphia Fusion to five matches this past weekend in Washington D.C. They have already exceeded expectations and look to be a solid team with a lot of potential. They might have a chance late in the season if they can continue to build off a solid enough start so far.

7. Paris Eternal (2-1)

The Paris Eternal actually look good despite their hopeful star DPS player not being eligible to play until later in the season due to being under 18. They look to be scary once their full roster is able to play together. If the Eternal can weather the storm looking good like they do, they should be a great team when they reach full potential.

8. Los Angeles Valiant (1-1)

The Valiant took it to the Dallas Fuel in a hostile crowd to kick off their season. They also played the Vancouver Titans relatively close, despite the 3-0 scoreline. They have a lot of young talent that is looking to prove themselves on the stage. It’s unclear how well they will do in the long-run, but they might be better than many were expecting.

9. London Spitfire (1-2)

The London Spitfire showed a lot of heart after completing the reverse sweep against the Washington Justice in Washington D.C. They are essentially a rookie roster and this type of win might be the turning point for a young team with some great talent. The Spitfire should continue to improve as the season progresses.

10. Washington Justice (1-3)

It’s a shame that the Justice have had a shaky start to their 2020 season, which includes going 0-2 in front of their home crowd. They choked against the London Spitfire to close out the weekend after allowing a reverse sweep. They have some incredibly strong talent but haven’t exactly clicked as a unit yet. Time will tell if the Justice have what it takes to be a good team or if they will falter like they did in 2019.

11. Florida Mayhem (1-1)

The Florida Mayhem stomped the Houston Outlaws 3-0 to start their season. They were stomped 3-0 by the Fusion soon after, marking them as a team that is genuinely hard to figure out, especially considering the vast difference in talent their two opponents have been. The Mayhem have been essentially the worst team through the first two seasons of the league, but should definitely be better in 2020. The only question is, how much better?

12. Dallas Fuel (0-2)

The Dallas Fuel started off their season at home but still walked away with two defeats. They lost to a largely unproven Los Angeles Valiant team in heartbreaking fashion before having to face the defending champs to close out the opening weekend. They have some big stars on the team, but it doesn’t seem like enough as Dallas looked a little lost on what they wanted to accomplish with some of their comps.

13. Boston Uprising (1-1)

The Boston Uprising aren’t good. That’s a fact, but they won the hearts of many in their epic 3-2 victory over the Houston Outlaws that went to a staggering seven maps (two draws). They showed some promise, but the Uprising are more than likely to the sit towards the bottom of the rankings for the majority of the season.

14. Houston Outlaws (0-4)

The poor Houston Outlaws. It’s looking extremely rough for Houston in the early goings of the new season. Despite adding some strong talent in the offseason, the Outlaws look lost on stage in their 0-4 start, with three of those games coming with a 3-0 scoreline. It’s hard to place the blame on the coaching staff or the lack of talent, but it seems like a mixture of both. It is looking like it might be a long season for the Outlaws.

The Chengdu Hunters, Hangzhou Spark, Atlanta Reign, Guangzhou Charge, Shanghai Dragons and Seoul Dynasty have not played matches yet.

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