One Piece: Romance Dawn Review – Relive the adventure on the high seas

One-PieceIn One Piece: Romance Dawn, you’ll be able to relive the adventure of how the Straw Hat Crew came together. They will battle against the navy and rival pirates, all in a quest to reach the new world and gain reputation and bounties.

3Developed by Japanese company Three Rings and published by Namco Bandai Games, One Piece: Romance Dawn is a dungeon-crawler RPG for the Nintendo 3DS. The battle sound bites from the game actually uses the Japanese audio from the anime series, as well as having 30 minutes of animated cutscenes right out of the anime.


The game uses an Active Battle system which determines the order of attack, with each character having their own unique battle style. The X and Y buttons are used for combos and can be used to attack (they are limited though). Each character also has their signature techniques, like Luffy’s Gum-Gum Pistol, Axe and Whip, that can be used at the cost of  TP points. These can be gained by having successful attacks or by mixing combos with signature moves. Active characters are rewarded with EXP and SP points to power up. EXP automatically levels you up while SP points are spent to power up special attacks.

As a dungeon-exploring title, you are able to fight or dodge enemies on the map as you explore and find items on the map. Certain attacks can also knock out chests from enemies. You might even get cool items like Arlong’s Hat, Silly Glasses and more.


Romance Dawn mixes it up by adding some quick-time events in the game. During certain portions of the map, you are treated to a mini game where you dodge enemies and obstacles by pressing highlighted buttons in time. Failure to do so punishes you by going into battle or receiving damage.

Romance Dawn felt like a heavy, text-based game. At the start of each arc-based adventure, you are told the story of the events. You then finally get to the dungeon-exploring RPG part of the game. As you reach the next section of the map, you’re given more story, which at times did take away from the game. This was apparent during the Thiller Bark Arc of the game where every new map tossed you into another story, which wasn’t as fun. Maps were also pretty generic throughout, and it didn’t really get challenging until the end of the game.

ncOnePieceRomanceDawn_06This game is great for fans of the One Piece series, since they can relive so many of the stories and sad moments from the first half of the series. Outside of the story mode, you can create teams with your favorite crew members and aim to collect tons of items to play with and create special items for your characters. If you aren’t a One Piece fan, this isn’t a must-have game. It’s one of the few 3DS games that doesn’t make use of the 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS.

One Piece: Romance Dawn is available now on the Nintendo 3DS eShop, as well a Limited Edition release only available via Gamestop and the Namco Bandai Games Online store for $39.99 (while supplies last).

Grade: B-

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