After putting 30 hours of time into Square Enix’s exclusive JRPG, Octopath Traveler, for the Nintendo Switch I feel comfortable giving my full opinion on the game.
What is Octopath Traveler?
Octopath Traveler is a JRPG developed by Square Enix exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It was released on July 13th, 2018 and was received incredibly well upon launch. So well, in fact, that physical copies of the game sold out in several locals only hours after its release.
The game itself is a single player, turn based, strategy, role playing game that many people draw parallels between it and Final Fantasy VI. The player chooses one of eight characters to play as: Ophelia, Cyrus, Tressa, Olberic, Primrose, Alfyn, Therion, or H’aanit. After completing the first chapter of the character you chose the world opens up and you are free to explore Ostera and recruit and play as the other seven characters.
Each character specializes in a job, which is unchangeable; however, you are able to add secondary jobs to characters to add diversity to your team. For example, Ophelia is a kind hearted soul who holds the job as cleric. She wields light magic and has powerful healing ability. This part of her character is unchangeable; however, by traveling to shrines you unlock other jobs that you can equip to her. I equipped the dancer job to her so that she also wields dark magic and the ability to augment her allies stats.
In addition to each characters ability in battle they also have abilities outside of battle called path actions. Path actions are unique interactions with NPC’s that have 8 different results. Therion for example, my favorite path action, has the ability to steal items from NPC’s. Find yourself low on items or new equipment? Walk into a new town and pickpocket everyone in sight. Be careful however, because should you fail your reputation in that town will lower and you will not be able to interact with the townsfolk anymore. You can repair your reputation buy paying a sum at the local tavern.
Should You Buy?
The game has its flaws. The storytelling is pretty linear from what I’ve played thus far and can be predictable at times. It’s also grind heavy as you can only travel with four members at a time. This means you’re gonna have to do some intense leveling when you want to advance the story of a different character. Square Enix didn’t try to reinvent the wheel with Octopath. Instead, they created a true JRPG in every since of the word. If you’ve played a JRPG before you know what to expect with this; however, what they’ve created is one of the most polished and detailed JRPG’s to come out within the past five years.
Octopath is an absolute masterpiece and is close to being my favorite game on the Switch. Between the games 16-bit art style mixed with modern polish or the breath taking original soundtrack produced by Yasunori Nishiki, this game is a complete gem. There are hours of content and challenging yet rewarding gameplay that will get you hooked.
My final verdict is that Octopath Traveler is worth every penny that the $59.99 price tag is asking. If you’re unsure after everything I’ve discussed there is a great demo version available on the Nintendo eShop that allows you start with any of the eight characters and play up to 3 hours from the start of the game.
Thank you for reading and happy traveling!