Gomu gomu no Musou.
The game has three different modes: Legend, Free and Dream. Legend is a 22-stage long campaign that covers the entirety of One Piece, from the East Blue saga to the Punk Hazard saga, alongside a bonus chapter with an alternate take on the Dresrossa arc. One Piece is a massive story, so suffice to say, what's presented here is fairly compressed, they crammed entire arcs into single stages, almost every secondary character got cut, but it's a more or less decent retelling of the whole story, even if it glosses over details. While some things could've been explained better, like Whitebeard's relationship with his men and Ace, I think even people not versed in One Piece lore will be able to follow the story. This mode features some phenomenal cutscenes that showcase key moments, as well as comic-book styled, low budget cutscenes to bridge in the gap between stages. For Warriors games, the campaign is rather short, clocking about 11 hours, but every stage is unique, so in a way, they trimmed off all the excess fat. Free is Legend mode, but you can pick any character instead of being limited to the Mugiwaras or temporary allies. Lastly there's Dream Mode, with an unlockable Nightmare mode, that is made up of a series of simple Stages free of any kind of story, just you, your army, and the enemy army.
One thing to keep in mind, mostly in Legend Mode, is that the AI needs help constantly. Whenever a 'X is attempting to flee', you must stop everything you are doing and rush to their aid immediately, sans you want to redo the entire, long stage again. It can get annoying having to stop pounding bosses or what have you and having to run across the entire stage just to heal them, no other Warriors game has had such needy allies, and the penalty for losing allies wasn't this steep, unless they were the mission's VIP.
Another thing I didn't really like was how long it took to fully develop a character, it takes a while for a character to earn its full moveset, at around level 30 you'll get most of a character moves, but you'll get your final attacks at level 63, so 'Limit Breaking' is a requirement, which means you'll have to hunt for the gold coins. Mind you, the game isn't impossible if you don't grind for the coins, even Nightmare Mode can be finished with a level 50 character if you're careful, but I felt like they could've done a better job with the leveling and upgrading system.
I had a blast with Pirate Warriors 3, it's probably one of the better Warriors games out there. One Piece's zany cast of characters, with their ridiculous attacks and powers lend themselves to a Musou game perfectly. There's a lot to like here, whether you are Warriors fan, a One Piece fan or both. For future installments, I'd like to see a more streamlined upgrading system, if anything, at least have the moveset expand at lower levels, because it's the different attack strings and what you can do with them that make the franchise so good.
8.5 out of 10