One Piece: Romance Dawn (ワンピース ロマンスドーン 冒険の夜明け Wan Pīsu: Romansu Dōn - Bōken no Yoake, "One Piece: Romance Dawn - Dawn of the Adventure") is a Role-Playing Game based on Eiichiro Oda's long-running anime/manga series, One Piece. The game was developed by Three Rings and published by Namco Bandai.
One Piece: Romance Dawn was originally released in Japan for the PlayStation Portable on December 20, 2012. The game was later ported to the Nintendo 3DS, which was released in Japan on August 8, 2013 and North America on February 11, 2014.
Why it Sucks
- Even though many of the major arcs in the series are present in the game, Skypiea is strangely absent. Loguetown, Whiskey Peak, Little Garden, and Jaya are all absent as are Sabaody Archipelago and Amazon Lily.
- Subpar graphics.
- Low quality textures.
- Repetitive gameplay.
- The Japanese opening song, Eternal Waves by Hyoue Ebata, is replaced by a generic instrumental piece in Western versions, much like previous One Piece games released in the West such as Gigant Battle.
- Most cutscenes are square character portraits on static backgrounds without voice acting, sometimes using stills from the anime, many of which are pretty long. There are the occasional anime cutscenes, though.
- The only thing the touchscreen is used for is a mini map during exploration sections, that’s it. It doesn't even use the 3D feature, making it one of the few 3DS games that don't use 3D at all (another such game being One Piece Unlimited World Red. Pokémon Gen 6 at least had partial use of 3D).
- Bland, sparsely populated environments.
- Exploration follows the same formula, land on an island, search for items in chests, fight enemies, and fight the boss, with little to actually mix things up or keep things interesting.
- Wasted potential, especially when it comes to the battle system.
- False advertising: despite the word "romance" in the title, no romance is seen anywhere. "Romance Dawn" was originally supposed to be the name of the One Piece manga, and was used as the title of the first volume.
- The game sold surprisingly well, convincing Bandai Namco to release (almost) all future One Piece games in the west.
- The anime cutscenes are very well-animated.
- The battle system, which involves moving freely around the battlefield and attacking using button combos, is a pretty unique take on turn-based combat.
MyM gave the game a negative review, with a ranking of 3 out of 10. Reviewer Martin Wharmby wrote: "Hideous, slow, repetitive and downright boring, Romance Dawn does a disservice to the One Piece franchise when it should have excelled."
GamesRadar gave the game 1.5/5 stars, citing barebones RPG elements and bland, maze-like environments.
On the plus side, due to strong sales, Namco Bandai have confirmed future One Piece games coming to the West, including One Piece: Unlimited World RED.