The Japanese have always had a somewhat different concept as far as role is concerned, hence the term RPG is usually accompanied by a J (JRPG). It is a more laborious concept, usually loaded with juicy details and tedious levels, and monsters, sometimes longer than difficult. Yet they have always had some appeal to the public for the variety of possibilities, enjoying the story, the challenges, the postgame content, have always given a lot of freedom in the way of playing and many hours of entertainment. Because no one better than a Japanese knows how to keep you in the chair, doing the same thing over and over with little pearls of intriguing history and some smoke.
This is why Square Enix and Acquire Corp’s return to the most classic format of this genre has aroused passions (and what are not passions) in the past year. We are talking about Octopath Traveler, which has already achieved quite a lot of success in Switch, and comes to try its luck on PC, whose version we have been able to test exclusively from Steam. It has been consecrated as a return to the most classic format of the JRPG, bringing it closer to the first bars of Final Fantasy and elements of other sagas that have made the delights of users like Fire Emblem.
The most characteristic and striking feature of Octopath Traveler is its form of narration as in tennis manager 2019
as we do not have a protagonist to the use that accumulates allies with which it fights. If not that the eight playable characters are protagonists of their own story, this is the central pillar of the title and without it it is almost impossible to explain the rest of the game. However it has details to polish like tennis manager 2019 that you can check out at world-tracker, it is true that if we empathize with the characters the personal stories are incredible, but because there is no definite protagonist or a common story, there are no basic interactions between the characters. Thus, with a more orthodox or somewhat more structured format, much more could have been improved in this respect.
But not because of it the narrative is bad, quite the contrary. Octopath Traveler flees, in a way, from the great evils and takes refuge in eight well-assembled personal stories and some with an evolution and maturity that is often missed in other titles. In this way if we look at it as eight mini-games or “chapters” within the same world, perception changes quite a lot and we realize the true value of its history. Simply because they had put a common denominator in the form of interactions that showed an evolution in their relationship would have significantly improved the experience.
That said, As far as we are concerned with the story, to begin with we must choose one of the eight characters, who will be the “protagonist”. We will know their history and motivation and embark on an adventure that will lead us to a personal goal. On our way as we analyzed tennis manager 2019 we will meet the other characters, who will join us if at the same time we help them in their own stories. All this is framed in an open world where we can go to the place we want, but it is very focused to collect all the aforementioned before moving forward, because the level of the following areas will be very high. With this Octopath Traveler gives us the wings of Icarus, a freedom not so free. This makes the first leg of the game more tired, because we will not only have to repeat eight times the introduction model-previous history, dungeon and boss-, but also that the heroes will appear at Level 1 with which they will require that we Level them if we want to make changes in our team of four (our protagonist must always be on the team).
Heroes for their part contain a gameplay wider than it seems a priori, at the beginning Octopath Traveler slows down too much and the fighting seems to be very repetitive, but as we advance and unblock certain mechanics, it becomes more and more interesting. Among them are passive ones like the one in tennis manager 2019, which give a little wink to the Fire Emblem system, where we can change classes to improve statistics and gain innate skills that by mixing give very powerful combinations. In this case the characters have assigned jobs with which they gain certain passive and active ones, when changing jobs they change the active ones but the passive ones are still retained.
This gives a tactical and strategic range worth studying for hours (something that flips the Japanese)
This together with a system of points called impulses, uses of skills, guards and a wide variety of etcéteras that gives us combat in turn, make gameplay one of their strengths. In addition, each protagonist has an innate ability that allows interactions with cities ‘ NPCs, allowing actions such as buying objects from them or challenging them to combat. This is mainly used to complete secondary missions in various ways that will affect the outcome, many of which are part of larger mission chains that will allow us to enjoy a sense of movement in the world of Orsterra.
But you can’t keep talking about Octopath Traveler without touching a little bit on the technical issue you’ve left us on the PC from Switch. This is a port, and neither the Japanese who has worked as a port doubts that… Japanese? to make it possible. But that doesn’t have to be bad, there are well done ports, with playing for a while you can already see that it is made to play with command, in fact in the time we have played we have barely touched the mouse. However it has not given us any problems, it has gone like silk all the time, but if we have a device more powerful than a Switch we will not get much more performance.
Being a portability as we have commented, Octopath Traveler, does not generate much more graphic quality than it already released in its previous version, very good for its console, but more normal for an average computer. Even so, we could only say of the pixel-art, which is somewhat out of date, because in the other elements it still has excellent quality. We refer to enlightenment, as it often impresses the darkness or the excess of light. The immense color that you see in the mapping in general. And the details that flood large scenes and characters.
The soundtrack is one of those things that most players don’t usually give much importance to, usually because it’s generic background music or doesn’t change too much and ends up getting tired. However Octopath Traveler is one of those titles where it is worth raising the volume of the music, it has a spectacular soundtrack that plays very well with the most emotional moments and that changes as we advance or go into combat. It has a great diversity and although it is a game of more than 60 hours it does not make anything heavy.