Friday, July 20, 2018

Octopath Traveler: A Super Short Review

I have a soft spot in my heart for old school JRPGs. Final Fantasy IV, and VI, or II, and III as they were known then in the west, are two of my all time favorite gaming experiences. Heck, I even loved Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. I even have the SNES cartridges for them still. With that knowledge it should come as no surprise that I found the aesthetics of Octopath Traveler very intriguing when I first saw them on a teaser reel demonstrated when the Switch was being revealed.

Yep. I like Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Fight me!

When Square Enix launched the first demo for Octopath Traveler I wrote a little post about it here. Turns out I nailed it when it came to the name. My first impressions carried forward too so if you want some more words go check it out. I love the art style. The pixel graphics are great. But make no mistake, this is NOT a retro art style. The particle effects employed by the Unreal Engine would bake your SNES. 

Not gonna lie. This boss took almost an hour to kill. I may have been under leveled. It was a pain in the ass. I didn't feel threatened like I would die. It only felt really, really bored.

Each character has their own unique style of fighting. After completing the first chapter for a character you'll find a shrine that will make their job available as a support job for another character. This ability to mix and match will make sure that you can get all 8 unique combat styles in a fight with only four playable characters. One of the first jobs I unlocked was the scholar so I could inspect enemy weaknesses and break their armor.

Combat in Octopath Traveler takes place in turn based battles. While JRPGs started to employ active time battle systems in the 90s there is none of that here. Enemies have armor that is represented by a shield and are weak to certain attacks. Hit them with their weaknesses and eventually their armor will break. Breaking the armor of bosses later in the game will become paramount to your tactics. It will interrupt their most powerful abilities. Left alone these attacks could wipe out your party. 

The biggest criticism against Octopath Traveler is that there does not appear to be a singular unifying big bad that threatens the world and pulls all the characters together. Frankly I don't find that the game needs one. It's refreshing to take control of these 8 different characters and see the world through their perspective and deal with problems that are important to them. Not everything has to be of such proportions that it threatens the world's existence to make you want to get off the couch and do something about it.

It's great. 9/10.


  1. I feasted now I want to buy this game! Actually I've been wanting to buy this game and this is my excuse to buy it.

    1. This game is so good that even if you didn't already own a Switch it would be worth buying a Switch for.