Game Review - Octopath Traveler on Nintendo Switch

Written by MrPapillon on October 11, 2018 @ 7:58 pm

In short:

++ The art, the graphics
++ A world that feels alive
++ The combat and classes systems
+ The story and characters
+ Freedom in story progression
- Limited party management most of the game
- Random backtracking of some side-quests

Man, what a beautiful piece of enjoyment that is Octopath Traveler. Prepare yourself for a long journey, or multiple short journeys should I say, through Osterra and its vibrant landscapes and its thrilling people.

Indeed, the art of the game is jaw-breakingly astounding. The mix between 3D landscapes, 2D sprites and lightings effects offers spectacular views. Moreover, this world is filled with interesting characters with whom the player has short but meaningful interactions. These characters, although unseemingly, also become connected between eachother, as the player discovers and understands the lore behind the game. This all results in creating a world that is both pleasing to the eyes and to the heart of the player.

As a Square Enix J-RPG game, this game continues the legacy of Bravely Default/Second combat and classes systems (as expected since this is the same people behind it). It adds however a new layer consisting of ennemies protective shields and weaknesses (both weapons and elementals). This alone doesn't stand out, but when combined with the more intricate classes systems, it becomes very interesting. Each of your character has a fixed primary class. A little further into the game, and then the player is able to assign a secondary class to your characters leading to various combination of classes ; you may have your traditional thief, but you may also chose to have more of a "magical" thief, specialised in dealing elemental damage. It's up to the player to decide which combinations fit right for him and for his situation.

The 8 different main characters each have their own story, which progress through 4 chapters each, with their own troubles and life-defining problems to solve. At first, there seems to be no connection between each of these stories, which may be a bit disappointing. However, as the game unfold, the player may witness some small but very welcomed and heart-warming interactions between the main characters and also discovers more connections later. The endgame content, although a bit rushed, is extremely juicy and offers a wider point of view to all the main characters stories and to the world. It is also very welcomed to be able to progress through each of these stories at our own pace and choices.

One major drawback of that many number of main characters is that the game forces you to "main" one character. It means it will be your party leader and it will not leave your party until his story is finished (in other words, until near the end of the game). This leads to your main character behind overpowerd compare to all other seven characters, if you chose to uniformly train all your characters.

Another small problem is found inside some side-quests. Side-quests in octopath traveler are interesting, when clearly explained. Some side-quests require you to remember certain particularities of the world or of some characters in order to guess where you have to go, which is rewarding in itself, but some other are so vague, have so little information that it's almost impossible to solve them without backtracking the whole world. Worse, some quests make NPC appear after you have taken them, and, coupled with the few information you receive, they sometimes appear in some very unobvious places forcing you to backtrack the whole world and to pray that what you search is in the first towns you visit.

Theses small drawbacks are but small peckles in the vast majestic universe created by Octopath Traveler. This game is a must have to any Switch-owner J-RPG fan but also provides a casual experience with those who struggle with this game genre mechanics.

Gameplay Rating: 9
Story Rating: 8
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 10
Sound Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 9

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Game Information

Platform
Nintendo Switch
Developer(s)
Square Enix, Acquire
Publisher(s)
Nintendo
Genre(s)
RPG
NA Release Date
July 13, 2018
JP Release Date
July 13, 2018
EUR Release Date
July 13, 2018
AUS Release Date
July 13, 2018
ESRB Rating
T
PEGI Rating
12+
CERO Rating
C
ACB Rating
M
MVGL User Score
8.2
Composer
Yasunori Nishiki
Official Website
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