Octopath Traveler is a brand new JRPG IP from Square Enix, and it tries to differentiate itself to other JRPGs, but in the end, the result was decent at best. Still, I admire Square Enix for giving a new IP a stab. We’ve seen them do smaller old school projects this generation like Lost Sphear earlier this year and Octopath Traveler is a much better attempt at the whole old school thing. In the end, though I was quite disappointed with Octopath Traveler. It’s not a bad game, it’s just decent and just like Lost Sphear and Dragon Quest XI Octopath suffers from a boring and over an over traditional battle system. In the end, I got the whole impression of “been there done that” when I was done with the game, and it’s the thing JRPGs, in general, have been suffering from this generation.
Octopath Traveler is a breathtaking game with an extremely unique and never seen before visual style that is striking and exceptional. The visual style in this game is brilliant, and I want to meet the mastermind that came up with the idea to make this game look like it does. We’ve seen smaller budget Square Enix titles like Lost Sphear and the Secret of Mana Remake release with subpar, boring an dull visuals but Octopath ditches this low budget look for a more simple beautiful 2d-3d look. The reason why I’m a huge fan of the visual style in this game is because of the fantastic blend of 2d and 3d. It’s genius.
Octopath Traveler shouldn’t look as good but it does, and it’s impressive. Octopath Traveler is one of the most impressive looking games of this year, and it’s proof that you don’t need a humongous budget to stand head to head with AAA megatons like God of War or Red Dead Redemption II. We saw this last year with Persona 5 and the beloved Cuphead. Having a good art style is just as good if not better on some occasions. An exceptional art style can really make a game stand out.
An Impressive Soundtrack
The soundtrack in Octopath Traveler was impressive. Not that I expected it to be bad. Even the most disappointing Square Enix games have great music, it’s the one thing they always do right. The battle theme in Octopath Traveler was catchy, it got annoying at times because of the random battles, but overall it was a fun, catchy track. The boss theme was great, and overall the tracks in Octopath Traveler were consistent.
Even though I thought the soundtrack was impressive, I couldn’t help but feel like it was also “uninteresting”. Before you say anything here me out. The soundtrack isn’t bad. Not even close. It’s great, but it was a little bit too consistent if that makes any sense to you. The music in the game was the type of music you’d hear in JRPGs. This isn’t a bad thing at all, it doesn’t matter really, and I don’t think this is a flaw at all, but I would have liked if there was a track really out of the ordinary that would make me go “wow”. Overall the soundtrack in this game is no Bravely Default, but it’s still consistently great and another achievement for Square Enix.
Dreary Battle System
Octopath Traveler just like a few other Square Enix JRPGs this year has a dull and boring battle system. Octopath Traveler also has random encounters. The good thing is they aren’t awful, but at times they can get repetitive. If Octopath Traveler ever gets a sequel, it would be nice if they ditched the battle system. We’ve already seen established franchises like Pokemon ditch the old school, mundane random encounters. Random encounters just aren’t fun. In Octopath Travelers enemies have weaknesses. They also have a breaking point so if you keep on striking an enemy weakness they will eventually break which will leave them vulnerable and you’ll be able to hit them with an onslaught of attacks. Enemies at times can take too long to beat, and the game can become a real challenge at times. Overall the battle system was pretty shallow. It’s a turn-based JRPG, and it’s really just that. There wasn’t anything I found unique about it.
Overall Octopath was a decent game. The stories for the characters were pretty disappointing and basic. When they meet they barely interact so it was like they were strangers travelling together because they had to. There are a lot of good things about this game and problems. If Octopath does get a sequel and the fantastic visual style is kept while the issues are ironed out then it could potentially be a really strong JRPG.