Octopath Traveler Game Review
Fun and accessible combat system
Lots of diverse, well-written characters
So much variety in its world
Soundtrack is excellent
Grinding is not for everybody
Opening hours are a bit slow
Retro influences are not always positive
About The Game
There is something special about returning to JRPGs of old, whether it’s to relive iconic tales or enjoy in mechanics which have long since been left behind. Bustling towns full of inhabitants eager to ditch their stories and slow, methodical turn-based battle systems are a rare sight in the genre today, and for a considerable reason.
Octopath Traveler supersedes this notion and presents an adventure that is bold, psychological and positively stunning all at once. While occasionally its retro influences feel too widespread to their good, enough fresh and exciting ideas are pushed forward to make it an afterthought. Those hoping for an engrossing narrative travel should look no farther on Nintendo Switch.
Octopath Traveler is extremely daunting at first. During the opening seconds, you are presented with eight diverse protagonists to select from. They stay in your party for the game’s entirety, so make your decision count. Each hero encircles the archetypes you have come to expect from the genre. Clerics, apothecaries, knights. It, Octopath has assured that veterans of the genre will feel a sweet tinge of nostalgia at every possible turn.
All the eight introductions are beautifully told, feeling like moment coming-of-age stories that solidify our heroes issue and why we should care for them. Every one of these has an isolated story, which means that you will advance through numbered chapters before finally reaching a conclusion.
The majority are efficiently paced, despite implementing cliched moments you will undoubtedly roll your eyes at. Nevertheless, these are juxtaposed with rare moments of genuine emotion. A bold achievement when you are staring at a jumble of, admittedly gorgeous, pixels.
The story lies in the forefront of Octopath Traveler and, similar to the greats that inspired it, you are expected to sit back and savor unfolding cutscenes. Ripe with unrequited love, tragic betrayals and a great deal of family drama, it manages to walk a balance between camp dream brilliance and a real sense of weight to its fanciful world.
Narrative conveys massive significance in Octopath Traveler, and its battle system manages to be equally as engaging. Do not enter this hoping for something radical. It is a tried-and-tested turn-based combat system using numerous creative tweaks into the weathered formula. It is clear from the beginning that modern hits like Persona have had an impact.
All enemies have a small collection of weaknesses, meaning that after a predetermined number of hits, they will break. Breaking means that they will miss a turn while also being exposed to additional damage. This component is complemented by Battle Points, a currency that could be build up to carry out multiple hits of the exact same skill or skill in a row.
This becomes an evolving approach throughout all conflicts, acting like a short game of chess as you realize enemy weaknesses and countertops with the best abilities available. Boss encounters are particularly challenging, as temporarily stunning them is tantamount to victory. Failing to do so normally causes a devastating attack that will either wipe your party and have you scrambling desperately for healing things.
As anticipated, each of the playable characters is vastly different in regards to the way they operate both in a struggle and amidst exploration. Abilities are influenced not only by the course they live in but the storyline consequences that brought them to where they are. By way of instance, Primrose, a dancer, and a prostitute are ready to allure nearly all NPCs if she wants to do this for a specific quest.
Cyrus is a professor, and thus approaches everything he sees with a uniquely inquisitive perspective. A brief minigame permits you to delve deeper into the backstory of the majority of NPC characters, making lovingly composed nuggets of backstory or a precious bit of information associated with an objective.
Having the ability to prod and poke at the inner workings of the world adds a layer of depth I actually did not expect and shows that you don’t want a long-winded encyclopedia to create a world feel alive and purposeful.
Small sprites are instilled with a spice of life because of a couple tiny paragraphs, whether they are an estranged daughter of a fallen kingdom or a drunken bouncer reluctant to work. The writing in Octopath Traveler sings as it’s to. Needless to say, the masterful visuals and audio go a long way toward making this possible.
Octopath Traveler is a subversive graphical showcase for Nintendo Switch. At first, it seems to be a simplistic JRPG with artistic stylings to match, opting for surroundings and models so simplistic it is possible to count the individual bits they consist of. As soon as you see it operating in movement, that view changes for the better in so many ways. Unreal Engine 4 has helped create a lavish world where every new surrounding is an optical feast.
Occasionally it can resemble a J.J. Abrams as obtrusive lens flares shine upon the display, particular in snowy environments or across vast, seemingly endless rivers. It is a graphical quirk I quickly grew used to, excited to see what surprises every new city or dungeon had anticipating me.
A personal favorite touch of mine is how absurdly vast boss characters are in conflict. They are fantastical to the intense, so much so that some be able to fill the display, leaving its boundaries temporarily during every stylishly animated attack. It’s breathtaking occasionally, showcasing a degree of artistic talent I can not help but commend.
Octopath Traveler is a beautiful JRPG that takes ample inspiration from the classics that inspired it while carving a new path with fun, and inventive ideas.
Its systematic and satisfying combat system is complemented by a world that is brimming with life. Whether it’s through its sprawling cities of richly composed characters, there is plenty here to get hardcore and casual fans of the genre to love.
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