Review: Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)

Begin your journey as one of eight travelers, each with their own origin, talents, and goals. Where will your tale begin? Who will you team up with? And where will you go next? Go it alone, or delve into each of the seven other travelers’ independent stories as you journey onwards.

Pros:

  • Absolutely gorgeous jaw-dropping 16-bit graphics.
  • 3.06GB Download size.
  • Japanese/English voice options.
  • JRPG gameplay.
  • Eight characters- Thief, Apothecary, Dancer, Hunter, Cleric, Scholar, and merchant. Choose one to start your adventure. Each character has their own backstory and quests.
  • Can skip dialogue if you wish.
  • Tutorial/help pop-ups as you play.
  • Autosaves regularly but does allow you to manual save at save points with 9 save slots. The save points are very generously scattered around.
  • Every NPC you encounter makes some sort of noise whether it be a laugh, cough or words. It is just a neat way to add more ambiance to it all.
  • Can fast travel to previously visited locations.
  • Full item management with stats popping up as you look at them.
  • Turn-based combat.
  • Random encounters- You do not see enemies ala Final Fantasy.
  • Find and recruit the seven other characters.
  • Combat has a boost mechanic. Every turn you increase your boost by one to a max of 3. Boost will increase the power of attacks but also the number of attacks. Just happens to also change the lighting which looks so cool.
  • Stunning locations.
  • Strong lighting game from God rays to day/night cycles.
  • Break system- Destroy enemy shields by discovering weakness to certain attacks and abilities. Once you learn which work they will be displayed on the bar below the enemy name, Initially it’s just a series of question marks.
  • Damage numbers show on screen.
  • Hidden loot chests.
  • Big screen-filling boss fights.
  • Fast loading times.
  • Such a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch.
  • 1000s of hours of gameplay.
  • Discover so many optional side quests.
  • Play how you want for so many parts of the game.
  • Team management.
  • Massive map to discover.
  • A lot of fun to play.
  • Very rewarding.
  • Beautiful soundtrack.
  • Options- Message speed, All music aspects have separate sliders, HD rumble on/off, Remember battle cursor and brightness.
  • Journal- Able to go back and read characters stories.
  • JP- Earned from fights, This is used to learn new skills for your characters and you can swap them in and out.
  • Minimap complete with icons.
  • Gorgeous artwork.
  • Status screen to see an overall look at your character stats and loud outs.
  • Each character plays differently from combat to interactions. For example, Thief can attempt to pickpocket NPC or The Hunter can capture enemies and have them fight for her.
  • Button prompts throughout meaning its very easy to get into.
  • In combat, you can easily swap out weapons, Just a simple case of pressing left or right to swap to any weapons you have.
  • Characters you play are grouped into one of two categories- Noble or rogue and this basically means good or bad or lawful and unlawful.
  • Map uncovers as you play.
  • Best played with headphones.
  • Actions/interactions can affect your standing in towns and open/close certain interactions and options.

Cons:

  • Clunky UI interactions. A lot of unnecessary button presses and menu levels.
  • Battery killer.
  • Difficulty spikes.
  • No touchscreen.
  • Fights happen a lot.
  • Side quests do feel like they repeat.
  • The late game turns into a bit of a grind.
  • Can actually feel lost for the first hour or so as you have such a large playground, It can be hard to focus.

The Numbers:
  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Accessability - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
9.2/10

Summary

It has been a long time since a JRPG has grabbed me instantly and made me think about the game when I am not playing it. Ok, it could be the gorgeous graphics or the lush soundtrack, But to be honest I think its a bit of all the above coupled with handheld portability and the solid deep story. I found myself doing all side quests I could find and losing hours to map exploring. I love all the different stories that combine to make a solid experience. I am usually one to shy away from JRPG due to time commitments but having it on the Switch means I can get a cheeky few quests in during the day. In short, this game isn’t just style it has substance and goes the extra mile in so many ways.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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