Octopath Traveler really takes me back to the old days of gaming, which is probably why I spent 30 hours of my vacation week playing it through.
Oddly, I am not a fan of the RPG game genre. I’ve never even played a Final Fantasy title. Initially, I had reserves when playing the demo version earlier this year. Despite those reserves, I purchased a copy of the game and gave it a try.
5 Likes And Dislikes Of Octopath Traveler
It turns out that I really do enjoy Octopath Traveler. With that being said, nothing is perfect. Here are five things that I love about Octopath Traveler and five things that I don’t.
- You choose your path
- At the start of the game, I was able to choose one of eight characters. Each which their own unique backstory and abilities. As the player, it was nice to find the character that suited me best. Shortly thereafter, I began to add the other characters to my party as I progressed. Who I chose and when was completely up to me and it made me feel like I was in complete control of my journey.
- The game is beautiful
- As I mentioned earlier, Octopath takes me back to the 90’s with its 2D sprites mixed with 3D modelling. It really shows off the beautiful landscapes and the artistic touch. What I really love about the setting is that each area looks completely different. The grassy areas really come through with the sunlight and shadows. The snowy areas are covered in white giving you a completely different tone. The game just looks amazing.
- Combat is easy to pick up
- The combat system was easy to pick up but challenging enough to keep me coming back. Each enemy has a weakness that I could exploit with a given attack. If I hit that weakness enough times, it created a break in the attack flow. This gave me an extra round to attack and took one away from the enemy. This type of combat made me experiment with different attack types to find as many weaknesses as I could. Boss fights really put me to the challenge as they forced me to think my attacks through. Coming from someone who doesn’t play RPG’s, I had to grow into my strategy.
- Path actions
- Each character has something called a path actions to use to their advantage. I started the game with Therion who can steal items from townspeople. He is also equipped with a talent of picking locks. Both come in handy for gathering useful items in battle or when I need a little extra money from selling items. There is another character named H’aanit who can provoke people into battle. She can also capture the beasts that she battles and use them to fight by her side. This really came in handy for building her HP and gaining a power boost in battle. Each character has their own unique ability and if used right, they all add something positive to the team.
- The soundtrack is amazing
- The soundtrack is amazing! What else can I say here? That is all!
- Random battles
- One of the things I have always disliked about RPGs were the forced battles. I know it’s these battles that help you progress but ultimately, they waste time. Octopath has random battles throughout and it can be frustrating when advancing toward a boss. If there was a mechanic to turn it off, I would probably use it at certain points…
- Interaction among characters
- Despite having eight characters to choose from, they hardly interact with one another. They meet initially and agree to join each other on their quests. As I played the story, rarely did they have dialogue other than a minor thought exchange here and there. I am unsure if they will ever truly come together and mesh as a unit. I guess I will have to find out but, so far, the story lacks an engagement.
- I must say it was tough to start the game without any type of boost. In 2018 it’s rare for a game to force a player to grind. Loot boxes and microtransactions are aplenty today giving players boosts and power-ups in games. Octopath stays true to the word as I could only grind my way to the top, just like the old days. As of this writing, my top character is at level 31 and I think the top dungeon is level 45. I still have a way to go.
- Stories can drag
- There is a lot of dialogue in this game which was expected. In the beginning, it especially drags. Most of it comes from the back story of the characters and how much dialogue is needed to introduce them. I decided to gather all eight characters one after another, so it really dragged early on for me. Maybe If I played through a few bosses before going to gather everyone, it would have been a bit different.
- Gameplay variety
- I enjoy the gameplay, but there isn’t much variety to it. The premise is basically the same with each character. You find a character, you use your path actions, you fight a boss and you move on. I understand the need to introduce each character’s story and actions but, it could have been introduced in a more enticing way.
Overall, I really do enjoy Octopath Traveler and I commend Square Enix for their contribution. For any Nintendo Switch owner, I would say that this is a must-have game.
For me, it’ll have me taking a second look at the RPG genre. I need to know what the hype is around Final Fantasy. It’s time!