Octopath Traveler is here, and anyone who’s familiar with the work of Square Enix will no doubt be chomping at the bit to get their hands on this gorgeous turn-based RPG. The game was first revealed back at E3 2017, and now, roughly one year later, Octopath Traveler is launching on the Nintendo Switch. After spending some time diving into this magical world, we’ve come up with eight things we love about Octopath Traveler!
The first thing about Octopath Traveler that players will likely react to is the artstyle. This is one of the most unique looking games on the Nintendo Switch, thanks in large part to its HD-2D pixel art. Despite it using a 16-bit style for the characters, the environments are polygonal in nature while all of the combat effects are explosively detailed. As players move back and forth in the environment, the focus shifts as they move, giving a real sense of depth as you push further into towns or explore deeper into dungeons.
One can’t talk about Octopath Traveler without mentioning the soundtrack. Composed by Yasunori Nishiki, the soundtrack is just as mythical and fantastic as you would expect. Every town entered, every field crossed, and every battle fought is ignited by an epic backdrop of rich orchestral tunes that evoke a sense of wonder and awe. With a headset like the Stealth 300, each beat and rise in the music will totally envelope your ears, bringing you into the heart of the moment.
Any fans of turn-based combat will feel right at home in Octopath Traveler, though there are some delightful twists and differences to be found. The job system allows players to really get in and alter the many characters to a unique style. Different active and passive abilities can be learned and selected to make every playthrough or battle feel different – which is important given the difficulty of some of the encounters.
Speaking of characters, there are eight classes for players to experiment with and collect throughout the entire game. Each of these classes offers unique combat styles, skills, and perks. The merchant class excels at purchasing items from many of the NPCs in the game while the scholar is able to scrutinize people around town, drawing out more useful information that could help with quests, finding hidden areas, or learning an enemy’s vulnerabilities. Getting all the classes to join your party and then using them in combat and learning about their abilities is pure bliss.
Capturing Wild Animals
One class that really stuck out was the hunter, as it reminded us of the hundreds of hours spent playing any number of Pokémon titles. The hunter’s primary talent is the ability to capture animals in the wild and summon them forth in combat. Spending time looking for new animals to add to the collection offered us a nice moment of exploration in Octopath Traveler.
Gorgeous World Map
Octopath Traveler’s map is a gorgeous thing to behold. Most of the time, we’d find ourselves scouring every little detail in search of any secrets it might be hiding it its depths. Players who know what they’re looking for can spend time looking around the map for things like shrines, or major junction points that have little secret areas like cave openings. Even a parting in the trees can lead to a secret clearing brimming with loot.
The entire story in Octopath Traveler is one of an epic adventure, and we can’t get enough of the world that has been created here. From lonely towns atop mountaintops and bustling villages on the outskirts of cities to the thriving town center of a castle and hidden desert valleys, each location exudes a deep sense of history. Uncovering the story and motives behind each of the eight travelers kept us coming back for more.
Finally, as mentioned briefly above, each of the eight characters has their own story and journey to follow through Octopath Traveler. This multiple storyline is one feature we absolutely adored, as it created a sense of connection between each of the playable characters. Following each character through their own trials and tribulations was eye-opening and made us look at each person as more than just another party member, they were someone we’d come to know and care for.
Octopath Traveler is out as of July 13 for the Nintendo Switch, and if you’re one who loves nothing more than to become totally absorbed in a Square Enix universe, dive straight into this gorgeous and well-crafted experience!
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