Octopath Traveler, developed by Square Enix is a JRPG of recent times. It generally has what you’d expect from a JRPG, and we’re here today to see if it’s worth it both for fans of the genre and for players who haven’t played any JRPGs yet, or any RPGs for that matter.
This review will have a Storyline, Gameplay, Visuals, and finally, a Personal Thoughts section. Without further ado:
Table of Contents
Being a JRPG, the game has a rich and convoluted storyline. I’ll explain the basics while avoiding spoilers.
The game is called Octopath Traveler because the number 8 is super important in the continent of Orsterra. As such, before you begin, you have a choice between 8 characters.
The characters you can choose from have a profession and skill that goes with their profession. Their profession is their class.
The character you choose here will be your protagonist, and he will be that character you always have at your party. But not to worry• in the case you liked more than one character, you will be able to travel to their starting location and recruit them to your party.
Each character has their own story split into chapters. You have to travel half the continent to get to the next chapter too, so you will most certainly recruit someone along the way.
Even though the party consists of 4 people, you can recruit all 8 and play their stories however you like. Each character’s story is independent, but once you finish all stories, you will see that most of them had some common figure controlling the scenes from behind, taking you to a “final story” of sorts.
I inadvertently talked about some gameplay elements in the storyline section by mentioning that there can be only 4 party members at a time.
You can change which members are those by visiting a tavern in any town. Generally, there are 2 rules.
Firstly, if you want to play a character’s story chapter, you have to have him at the party. Second, the protagonist you chose will be the party leader at the very least until you finish his/her chapters. This is not going to happen anytime soon, so I hope you really like him/her.
Now generally, there’s nothing wrong with having 4 main members and just switching one for the one who needs to do his story. The game requires some grinding to an extent, and it’s useful to have some characters overleveled.
Each profession (class) has its own unique skills. Everyone starts with 3 and can learn up to 5 more. The 5th skill is usually an ultimate. More on that later.
The skills usually cost mana. They also usually have a damage type (if they deal damage). Damage types are essential to combat.
Essentially, in combat, every enemy has a set of weaknesses. These weaknesses are either to weapon types (swords, polearms, axes, daggers, bows, staves) or an element (fire, ice, lightning, wind, light, and darkness).
Hitting an enemy with their weaknesses deals increased damage, and also breaks one of their shields. Every enemy starts with a set amount and getting it to zero breaks them, stunning them for a turn and making them take increased damage from every source.
Every turn you gain a BP. These are points you can use to boost a move. A character can have up to 5 and can use up to 3. You can either boost a skill for an increased effect (damage, heal or buff) or you can buff a regular attack and essentially make it a multi-hit. Every boost level adds a hit.
I mentioned ultimate skills. These ultimate skills need you to be fully boosted to use.
The battle is split into turns and every turn the one with the highest speed attacks first then the second, third, etc until all have attacked in which a new turn begins.
You can see this turn’s priority as well as the next turn’s.
You can also defend, which means you take reduced damage for the turn, and act faster in the next turn.
Winning a battle gives you gold, experience, and JP.
The first two are self-explanatory. JP are resource points you use to learn new skills in your class.
The more skills you learn the more supporting skills you unlock. Support skills are essentially passive buffs that help you or your whole party.
Now I want to mention 2 hidden mechanics. Secondary classes and advanced classes.
Secondary classes mean you can take any character and give him a second class among the other 7 available. Of course, each secondary class can only be equipped by only one character at a time.
I suggest not switching too much between one character because you will have to spend JP to train those classes much like your primary, and switching it resets the progress for the new character that has it. The old character keeps the progress in case you give him back that specific secondary class.
That’s why I suggest keeping one class for every one character and not changing it, so you won’t have to grind more than you have to.
Advanced classes are essentially different classes or evolutions. You keep your main class and you gain the advanced profession as a bonus of sorts. There are 4 advanced classes and you can allocate them any way you want.
To gain these classes (secondary or advanced) you must find the shrine of their respective deity on the map as you travel, go in, and get their blessing. Keep an eye out as you travel.
There is also the equipment. Besides the weapons you wield, you also have shields, helmets, and bodywear. These are just stat sticks, they offer no other advantage.
Finally you have the profession actions. Each profession can interact with the citizens of Orsterra in its own unique way. Some classes gain information about items and situations, others lead them around. These are a must if you want to do the side quests that some citizens have.
A special word about the SFX. Generally, I am personally amazed by both the music and the voice acting. The world is so much more alive with these things the actors nailed their characters. You will probably find yourself repeating after your characters.
The visuals are astounding. That is if you know what to expect. This is a JRPG, which means you should be expecting pixel art graphics.
Well the game is pixel art, but most sceneries are far from being low-resolution pixel art. Stuff like sandy beached, flowing rivers, snowy mountains, are extremely detailed and absolutely stunning.
The game definitely exceeded my expectations in that regard.
The only negative I could think of is that the game does get a bit repetitive. Not that JRPGs are known for keeping you on edge but Octopath Traveler doesn’t do anything to even spice it up a bit. I guess it’s not bad if you’re absorbed into the story. But if you aren’t it will feel kinda grindy.
General Rating: 9/10
That’s it for my review guys, I hope you liked it. If you liked the game leave a comment down below and tell me what you liked the most about this game. See ya in the next article.
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