In Wednesday’s discussion of upcoming turn-based RPGs, I named Square Enix’s Switch-exclusive Project Octopath Traveler as one of the RPGs I’m most looking forward to. Let’s talk about it a little more.
With an art style the developers are calling “HD-2D” (don’t ask me), its look reminds me a lot of classic Final Fantasy games. And while it doesn’t seem to have a world map, favoring connected areas instead, it definitely has a traditional feel.
Project Octopath Traveler has 8 protagonists, each of whom has their own special skill. The demo lets you play as two of these characters. Primrose can “allure” characters to follow her and fight alongside her in battle, while Olberic can challenge characters to a duel.
Since I’d watched a significant portion of Primrose’s part of the demo before I downloaded it myself, I decided to start with Olberic.
Olberic’s story has a slower start, but it’s still interesting, and I enjoyed what I saw of Primrose’s story. I’m not entirely sure how useful Olberic’s skill will be (although one duel solved a side quest), but I had fun fighting NPCs when I wasn’t following the story or exploring.
The combat seems fun. At first it felt like enemies had way too much HP, but then I realized how to effectively use its systems. When you attack an enemy with an attack it’s weak to, its shield gauge lowers. When the gauge reaches 0, you “break” the enemy, lowering their defense and making them unable to attack.
On each turn, you also gain one Boost Point. You can have up to five at a time and use up to three at a time to increase your number of attacks or the power of a particular skill. With the right combinations, you can deal a ton of damage. It feels like an improved, somewhat streamlined version of the Brave system in Bravely Default, with the tedious parts taken away.
Now, back when I played the demo for Bravely Default, I enjoyed it, only to end up disliking the full game. The main difference is that the Bravely Default demo focused on gameplay (and I was so nostalgic for traditional RPGs, that was enough to win me over). Here, I’m already interested in the characters and their stories, and I hope all 8 protagonists end up united in an exciting story.
What are your thoughts on the Project Octopath Traveler demo? What do you expect from the full game’s story?---
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