back to article Octopath Traveler: Love letter to JRPG golden age has great combat but retro graphics highlight the genre's tedium

Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. 2021 continues to move slowly for the world's biggest entertainment industry and while we did ask Square Enix for a copy of new looter-shooter Outriders, they blanked us. So instead we are picking up a style of game Square is better …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    I usually love this genre and IMO the graphics were great throughout this game.

    However it did seem to be slightly lacking something. I couldn't even pinpoint exactly what. It seemed to require quite a bit of grinding which I also usually don't mind in RPGs, however in this one it was more noticeable and I felt my mind drifting to my work that I was putting off doing by grinding instead ;)

    And yes, the A button did seem to need to be pressed a lot. Again, perhaps it was just more noticable because something else was lacking.

    If you enjoy the battle system specitfically, then perhaps give Bravery Default a shot. It uses a similar system of weakness / strong attacks. The characters are also a little more fleshed out.

    But I do plan to revisit the game again. I must have missed some game mechanic surely!

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Images vs Imagination

      I think that the graphics were better playing Adventure back in the 70's, running on a PDP-11, but of course I had to have my eyes shut to see them.

    2. aerogems Silver badge

      If you ask me, it was the lack of a cohesive overarching plot that really dragged this game down. It was basically just 8 individual stories for each character with next to nothing tying them together. Your typical JRPG has a ragtag group of characters who end up finding each other and coming together in an effort to save the world from some great evil. So all the grinding was just so you'd meet the level requirements for the next chapter in a specific character's story, which made it feel more like a traditional side-quest.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        I have to admit it sounds interesting to me, in much the same way that SaGa Frontier's "Free Scenario System" was. (SaGa Frontier is actually in the same family as the Final Fantasy games – the "SaGa" brand was used for the latter in Japan.)

        In SaGa Frontier, you have your choice of seven protagonists, and with each one you can eventually assemble a party containing the other six. Then when you finish a protagonist's story, you go back and pick another one. So the entire game consists of taking the same seven characters through seven interrelated stories in the same setting, from seven points of view.

        Based on the article I understand Octopath's approach is different, but I still like the idea of assembling a narrative from pieces rather than having it just supplied by the game, as with most of the Final Fantasy titles. Not that I haven't enjoyed several of the latter. (I haven't played them all because I'm a very late adopter and I generally only play video games while running on my treadmill, so it takes me years to get through a typical RPG.)

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Second that to the Bravely Default series, although I'm devastated that the third instalment wasn't released to the 3DS as I don't own a Switch and have no intention of getting one.

      What I really liked about Bravely Default was the developers knew how grindy it was and built in both a battle speed option and auto play option; once you've found a nice area to grind in, switch those modes on and just let 'em go! Most of my character/job grinding was done on the train journeys to/from work.

  2. Pseu Donyme

    I liked the graphics, especially the cutesy character sprites. In general the game (on Switch) was well worth the price. Still (as above) things didn't totally click: it seems I had better things to do than the endgame after all the eight storylines had been brought to a conclusion. This could be due to exposure to the embarrassment of riches which is Zelda on the Switch, then again I could have used (even) more of Fire Emblem Three Houses which seemed to have that certain something (hard to put a finger on, also in the Eye Of The Beholder).

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am clearly not in tune with the current '8-bit lo-res' gaming on offer here, 30 years ago I may have been impressed. Makes South Park look sophisticated ! Yes I know its all about gameplay but TBH FF always left me wondering what the fuss was all about. Ah well, time to continue my replay of a 'modern' game, Bioshock Infinite.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like