First Impressions – Octopath Traveler – The First 25 Hours

Along comes a game that shakes up the RPG scene, with 8 different main characters and an art style that blends 16bit with new age graphics, I’m holding Octopath Traveler right up there with my favorites like Lunar: Eternal Blue and the Final Fantasy series.

Time Played: About 25 Hours
Main Character Levels: 28, 27, 26, 25

Octopath Traveler is a turn-based role-playing video game developed by Square Enix, in collaboration with Acquire, and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. The game was released worldwide on July 13, 2018. In under a month, the game had sold over a million copies, making it one of the best selling games on the platform.

Straight from booting up Octopath Traveler, you know you’re in for something special. It presents you with eight different characters to start your adventure, each with different backgrounds, and motives. I chose the thief (Therion) as my first character, I didn’t want to go the save the world route, although if this game turns out to be one of those, I think I can say it would be fine by me because the localization is top notch. I’ll be sure to avoid spoilers, so this beginning is just that, something you can find out in the first five minutes of the game. Therion hears of a special treasure heavily guarded in the castle in the town you are in and plans to steal it. That’s all I’ll say.

The game is told in chapters, each about two to three hours long. When you complete one you can choose to go to chapter two or go to the other, although the game does show recommended level, I was at recommended level 1 to start and then level 22 for chapter 2. To gain another playable character, you select a main character, go to his village and recruit them by doing their chapter one story. I chose to do Olberic next, his king died and he was now living and teaching the blade in a small village. Next, I went to get the merchant who just wants to see and travel the world. I’m not sure who the next character I’ll pick, but judging by the previous characters I’m interested in what’s next.

This is your standard controlling game. If you’ve played the classic Final Fantasy series then this is exactly how it plays. Although Octo is a classic JRPG like game, the battle system is fresh and personally, I have never seen anything like it.

During battle you have two weapons to choose from with each attack, making the switch to which weapon you want to use, is on the fly when attacking the enemy. After every turn, you get a boost point (BP) this allows you to attack an extra time up to 4 times extra in a single turn. After using a BP you will skip earning one for the next turn, until the time after that, then it returns as normal. This allows for different strategies to emerge, do you use boost points 2x for multiple turns or do you let it all go on a full on load, and have no boosts for the next turn. It’s fun as all hell.

Every character has a custom action that can be used in towns and if the NPC has a chat bubble over their head. My thief can steal things from people, which also has a percentage of failing or succeeding, Olberic likes to challenge people to duels, while Primrose can ‘seduce’ people to come to fight for her. H’aanit also has a cool pokemon type move where you can capture animals while you are in battle.

This article has been in the works for days now and I was about level 20 something when starting it, now I’ve grinded/ground my way to around the 28 – 29 area. I’m in love, usually with these games I stop playing around hour 6 but I’ve surpassed that here, the game is just that good. As a matter of fact, I might just go play it after I’m done here. Although I do have some issues, listed below.

This is where Octopath really shines, the graphics here look like an evolved Final Fantasy 6 dear I say “32bit” version. Whereas old SNES era RPGs were 2D, Octopath is 3D with 2D Textures, if that makes any sense? Screenshots speak wonders. There really isn’t anything like it out there, and it shines through. Water sparkless, trees sway, it has tons of little touches to make it complete.

I have not, in literally maybe 15 years possibly more have heard such an amazing soundtrack. Upon booting the game up you can already tell you are in for a special treat, I let the game just sit there multiple times as I hear piano melodies and sweet guitar themes that really resonate with me. Suikoden comes to mind in certain areas, especially the guitar acoustic track. I can’t get enough of it

I’m loving it all, for the MOST part, I love the combat which has brought something fresh to this now old-school genre. The graphics are fantastic, and the standout for me, the amazing soundtrack, with its pianos and acoustic guitar strings. Spider-Man has layers and layers of awesomeness! This game is great.

There’s one major thing, and it depends on what mood I’m in. That is the Grind, yes this game is old school in that you most likely are going to have to grind your way up some levels. I’m cut from the World of Warcraft cloth so I’ve gotten pretty used to doing it,  so although it could have been major, and the battles at these levels take longer than usual if you don’t know what you’re doing, I’ll squish it down to a minor, this game is too great and the problem shows it’s head if you’ve been playing for 5 hours straight.

95% – While although I don’t believe a game can be absolutely perfect, I believe it still can achieve the highest score.

 

Moco has held a controller ever since the Atari 2600 days, to the current PlayStation 4. Ever since I was little I loved to write, so here I am doing what I love most. Only second to actually playing them, I’m writing about Video Games. So stay a while and listen, you might just like what you read.

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