Anime and video games are a match made in heaven, with many successful interactions over the years. Dragon Ball Z is one of the premier examples of the Shonen style and has had massive success in numerous gaming genres. The games range from RPGs to classic fighting games, but the most recent game combined the two.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot allowed players to control their heroes as they flew around huge maps, hunted for food, and battled against numerous foes. The game followed the main story but added small extras that expanded the story and allowed players some new experiences. However, there is another popular shonen series that could follow a similar format to great success.
One Piece is the story of Monkey D. Luffy and his crew's search for the One Piece, a mythical treasure that makes the finder into the 'King of the Pirates.' The story takes place in a fantasy world filled with pirates, corrupt governments, and mythical fruits that confer strange powers on the eater. The strength of the series comes from its characters and the world they reside in, not to mention the spectacular fights. There have been numerous games for the series, but they often fail to catch the true spirit of the story and instead focus primarily on the action.
One of the story's main themes is the sense of adventure and the freedom that comes with living on the sea. A game that follows a similar design to Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot would allow the player to explore the numerous different islands seen in the anime and manga. These islands are all different, and that variety would help keep players interested while also allowing fans to explore something familiar at the same time. There was a game that allowed some exploration of a new island called One Piece: Worldseeker, but the game only allowed players to control Luffy.
While Luffy is the main character and is the focal point for much of the story, he is surrounded by his crew; their strength is his strength. Each member of the Strawhat crew has abilities and skills that allow them to fight. The game should allow players to control each member of the crew when they want to or when the story requires it, which is an aspect that Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot did exceptionally. The game allowed players to control each member of the Z-fighters and improve them throughout the story. When the game ended, they could control whatever character they wanted to complete the end game content.
The design of One Piece's world also allows for non-canon content to be added to the plot relatively easily. The world in One Piece is populated entirely by islands that range in size from small to massive. New islands could be added for the players to explore, each with their own stories and quests. This would allow for some surprises for the players familiar with the story and fit with the anime's narrative design when it introduces filler arcs. However, for this style of design to work, it would require the developers to find interesting ways for players to travel. This is where the ship would fit into the design and would be the perfect method for travel between islands. The ship could be a place for the player to build bonds between the characters, feed Luffy huge quantities of meat and bring in the option of ship-to-ship combat.
Combat is another aspect that the game would have to perfect, especially when it comes to the crew's numerous special abilities and opponents. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot did this by having each character use similar basic attacks and then have access to multiple special abilities that could be used with simple button inputs. These special moves could be improved and then swapped out where necessary. One Piece could follow a similar style, with basic normal attacks, but then each character would have access to special named attacks that utilize their skills. This would be similar to the one used in One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4, which changed the design used in previous games in the series.
One Piece is one of the staples of modern manga and anime and it should use games to explore as much of its world as possible. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot gave fans an example of how manga content could be utilized and what modern consoles could do with the worlds they love. Hopefully, One Piece has the chance to open more of its world to players, and a great example already exists.
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