My initial impressions of Octopath Traveler after my first 5 hours
Katie Egervari last edited by
This is the best RPG on Switch in 2018. I don't really get some of the professional critics... this game is a masterpiece. Everything is so polished, and the game is amazing at what it does. The sprite work is amazing, the environments and HD effects (like snow, water, sand) are absolutely gorgeous. The writing and voice acting (when it shows up) is very good. The sound track is really one of the best sound tracks of the year.
And damn, this combat system and character mechanics are so deeply layered and synergistic. This is by far one of the best JRPG battle systems ever. I mean, even 1-on-1 battles at the start of the game are interesting and exciting, and have some strategy to them. How many JRPGs can say that? You're never going to just be pressing A.
The game is also really challenging as well. Octopath Traveler presents us with some of the BEST JRPG boss battles I've played in god knows how long! Even bosses 3-4 hours into the game are seriously epic in size and strategy to defeat them.
And can you believe the game is open-world with tons of exploration and non-linear story progression? And did you know the game is 100 hours long?
Overall, while so many things are the same and polished to a tee, much of the game is very different from JRPGs too, and that's a great thing - it feels modern and not just a remake of the days of yore on your SNES. Yes, the stories of the 8 characters might not tie into a whole, but that's okay - does every RPG have to have the same formula? Octopath Traveler had a vision, and it accomplishes what it set out to do perfectly. It's different, and different is good.
This is easily going to end up somewhere in my top 10 games of the year. The game is awesome. And did I mention the soundtrack was the best this year? Seriously, that alone is a reason to play the game! It's that good!
DIPSET last edited by
Hey Katie, we have a bit of a convo going in the Octopath thread. It's getting more action now that the game is out: https://forums.easyallies.com/topic/4473/octopath-traveler-switch/20
Mbun last edited by tokeeffe9
This is the best RPG on Switch in 2018.
That released this year? Maybe. Overall? Nothing I've seen so far in this game tops Xenoblade Chronicles 2, except maybe the writing for Primrose's stories, but really that is just great due to being a different, more serious tone we rarely get in games like this.
voice acting (when it shows up)
That's probably my biggest problem with it. It is perfect for playing in Japanese where the jarring moments when the voiced line doesn't match the text on screen happens, and I know there's tons of text dialogue, so it was unrealistic to expect them to voice every line, especially on Switch which had limited space restrictions. Hell even Ni No Kuni II couldn't do it on a console that could've. Since you'll be reading all the dialogue anyways, and it tends to be faster to read than wait for voice lines to play out, might as well just set it to Japanese.
The sound track is really one of the best sound tracks of the year.
And did I mention the soundtrack was the best this year?
I'd still give the edge right now to Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion's soundtrack, (yes it is DLC, but they're releasing a whole physical soundtrack for it) but I agree Octopath Traveler is a crazy good JRPG soundtrack. It is kind of insane listening to the songs on Youtube, then looking down at the comments to see someone saying the song reminds them of this or that RPG. Well that alone isn't insane, but when this happens for more than two thirds of the soundtrack, and every single song is reminiscent of a completely different RPG, then I think the soundtrack as a whole has an amazing variety that pays perfect tribute to many RPGs before it.
And damn, this combat system and character mechanics are so deeply layered and synergistic. This is by far one of the best JRPG battle systems ever.
This I think is a little much to say. I honestly think the early game at the very least is unbalanced with characters like H'aanit being extremely OP and characters like Tressa being pretty weak, which makes sense because one is a trained hunter and the other is a merchant girl leaving home, but that disparity still exists. The way the characters grow before they get subclasses also seems shallow and meh, considering you're just choosing what you learn first. Since eventually you get it all, and some characters like Cyrus have really bland and bad options like "do you want a lightning spell or a more powerful ice, fire, or lightning spell that costs more mp?" It would have been better if he was as diverse as H'aanit. Feels like a step down from Bravely Default.
I mean, even 1-on-1 battles at the start of the game are interesting and exciting, and have some strategy to them.
The game is also really challenging as well. Octopath Traveler presents us with some of the BEST JRPG boss battles I've played in god knows how long!
Even bosses 3-4 hours into the game are seriously epic in size and strategy to defeat them.
This I agree with though. Perfect difficulty, and it always keeps you on your toes, which is greatly appreciated.
non-linear story progression?
Well, hold up. I'm not sure how much it counts as non-linear story progression when the game is basically eight completely separate stories, and the story progression for them all within chapters when those stories are active is very linear, and you have to visit specific places to activate those new chapters. Sure, it is tackle in any order you want, ignore whatever you want, and that's cool, but I don't think I'd call that non-linear as a whole.
Yes, the stories of the 8 characters might not tie into a whole, but that's okay - does every RPG have to have the same formula?
No, but I do wish they connected more, even just if characters in the party commented more on stories that weren't their own. There's quite a missed opportunity here for that, and it is definitely a major point worth knocking about the game.
By the way, there's already a topic for this game here. But I guess we can continue discussing here until a mod merges the topics or whatever.
Ya, unfortunately, I can't move the OPs in topics but I think it'd be best to just move your post to the general topic. I'll lock this thread so you can do that.
I'd move your post too @Mbun but since it's heavily linked to the OP, might be best to do the same once Katie has posted there, or I can move it then. Whichever one of us is quicker :D