Octopath Traveler is truly a 2D-HD Masterpiece. When I reviewed the OST of this game, I was only 60 hours in. After completing 95 hours of this game, and finishing each character's story, I'm blown away by the depth of this game. From the stories, to the visuals, to even the gameplay, this game is all around solid. I will admit, a turned based JRPG IS an acquired taste in 2018. However, Square Enix has done a fantastic job in creating a battle system that can keep you on your toes. Now let me warn you, this review will have some LIGHT spoilers, but nothing story breaking.
The story of Octopath Traveler is truly unique. While many JRPGs have one central plot, this game has 8 individual stories (or paths lol), and these stories are far from boring. Although some of these tales have slow starts, each tale picks up well, and have you wanting to know what happens next. While there are 8 different stories, none of these stories overlap into each other. Instead, the other 3 members of your team will give their input on your current situation after a cut scene. I actually liked this a lot because instead of having your team stand next to you like zombies during a cutscene, it's like they pull you aside giving you their input with their personality. These travel banthers kept the story interesting, and I'm impressed Square Enix maintained this so well for 8 different characters. The voice acting can be played in both Japanese or English dubs, however I only played through this game with the English dub. If you are fan of anime, you may recognize some of these voices. The acting talents of Patrick Seitz, Greg Chun, Cindy Robinson, and a few others are the main protagonists of this game. Some people didn't care for the amount of reading/talking done in this game, however I loved it. I understand wanting to get into action swiftly, but this game solidifies what it means to be an RPG, and not an action adventure game. When playing a Role Playing Game, the story comes first. Personally, if I'm not interested in the story I find it hard wanting to continue. So being able to read through, or even hear the voice acting was truly an experience. It felt like reading a series of books that make it easy to become invested in the characters. It made it easy to get upset, excited, and even sad for these characters. So in terms of story, this game gets a 10/10 for me.
Gameplay & Visuals
The story is great, but how does the game run? As I mentioned, this game is a 2D-HD MASTERPIECE. While the sprites and buildings are in 2D, you are immersed into this HD World, which is easy to love. This game is easily my favorite game to play on BOTH handheld and docked modes, as this is a stellar experience no matter where you are. The combat system is your traditional turned-based fighting style, with the addition of a boost system. The boost system enables you to double, triple, or quadruple attacks and or effects for your team, or against enemies. Each enemy has a weakness, and exploiting that weakness by the number next to their weakness renders the opponent unconscious for the rest of the turn, and the following turn as well. So there is modern depth behind what some would view as an archaic style of play. In the later battles, knowing how to do render your foes unconscious plays a HEAVY role in actually winning the battle. TRUST ME!!! I caught QUITE A FEW L'S ignoring this aspect, thinking I can fight bosses however I wanted to. However, I will admit the random encounters are a bit much in this game. There were times I would win a battle, take 5-7 steps, and I'm in a new battle. While the battles were fun, this did get annoying in the beginning of the game. If this is something that bothers you, I would recommend starting off with Cyrus the Scholar. One of his first supported skills cuts down the random encounter rate. When you're ready to grind, you can always turn this ability off. Which brings me into the supported skills in general. Without spoiling the game, each character has their own set of skills that can increase stats, and the overall battle experience. One ability gives you the ability to do more magic damage for more SP, while another ability gives you a chance to get an extra strike on your turn, while another ability gives you the chance to have an extra turn. Needless to say, there is a lot of depth to this game, yet it is far from overwhelming. So in terms of gameplay and visuals, this game gets a 9/10. It's not perfect, but it's still amazingly fun to play.
Now some of you may know I love video game soundtracks. Some of you may also know the soundtrack of this game was the last review I did. With the Video Game Awards airing this Thursday, this game being nominated for Best Score/Music, and me giving this score a 10/10 in my previous review, it's no secret this game's music is amazing. The question is, do I still feel that way today? When I reviewed this soundtrack, I was only 60 hours into the game. With over 95 hours into this game, hearing even more themes, I have to say this game deserves its nomination. The music can get a bit repetitive during the cut scenes, but outside of that I have no personal gripes with this soundtrack. The character themes are amazing, the battle themes are amazing, the boss themes are amazing...and although the characters are pixelated, the music is high quality. With that said, I give this soundtrack a 9.5/10. Being objective, I would have liked every last boss theme to be different for each story. However, that's my own personal bias and why I personally can't say this is a 10/10 soundtrack. At the same time, I do want this game to win Best Score/Music at the VGAS.
So what's the verdict? This game is a 9.5/10. While the story is perfect, the gameplay and the music can be SLIGHTLY better to make this game into perfection. But what are YOUR thoughts? How do you feel about this game? Let me know in the comments down below. If you enjoyed this post, Share it with a friend. This is Avidan, and I'm out!