‘Octopath Traveler 2’ review: Eight different stories, but not enough connection #GeekLeap

Octopath Traveler 2 is a retro-styled RPG, set in one other steampunk-esque fantasy world. Sq. Enix isn’t reinventing the turn-based RPG for this sequel, as an alternative increasing and (mildly) correcting among the weaker elements of the unique. There are new battle dynamics and strikes, a well-utilized day-and-night recreation mechanism, and shared tales that try to convey a connection between the eight narratives. But it surely’s nonetheless an off-the-cuff one. If Remaining Fantasy XV was about 4 finest buddies occurring a road-trip, then Octopath Traveler 2 is extra like an Uber Pool rideshare. There is perhaps pleasant small discuss, however there’s nonetheless not sufficient of a significant connection between the eight protagonists.

Octopath Traveler 2 doesn’t provide any technical graphical upgrades I want to clarify, though there appears to be just a little extra element to each the sprites and environments. It’s nonetheless a reasonably recreation. Half of the enchantment is how video games like this coax my reminiscences of 16- and 32-bit video games.

Having mentioned that, the workforce behind this sequence has realized they will play with the dimensions a bit extra: that is the Nintendo Swap, not a SNES. In among the opening scenes for Hikari the warrior, characters rush previous a crowd of 40 or so combating in a desert. Builders Purchase and Workforce Asano have amped up the cinematic cutscenes just a little extra, too. Cameras will pan out and round your characters, as they brood on cliff faces, or as they’re compelled to kill their abusive mother and father.

OP2 tries, solely ever so barely, to convey the concept that you’re on a collective journey. When you’ve chosen your primary character (who might be ‘locked’ into your get together till you full all 5 chapters of their story), you’ll stumble upon different vacationers. Then you definitely’ll be given the choice to play by way of their origin story, or circle again to it on the native tavern at a time that’s appropriate for you.

Octopath Traveler 2


Often there might be some minor banter parts, known as “shared tales” the place two characters will share a couple of scenes collectively. These usually join tales and provide up some rewards. Nonetheless, it’s just a little too rare – and never sufficient to get the impression this can be a workforce of heroes serving to one another to avoid wasting the world from numerous calamities – or grow to be a world dance famous person. (Sure, that’s somebody’s intention.)

Osvald, the scholar, begins his journey in jail, accused of killing his spouse and baby. He’s this recreation’s defacto black magazine,e with an array of elemental assaults. Nonetheless, this time, given his gritty backstory, his path actions (talents and interactions you can also make with non-playable characters in cities, and usually any time outdoors of battles) aren’t your typical black mage traits. One is scrutinize, a dangerous manner of gleaning info from characters, whereas the opposite is mug, the place you may duel just about any NPC you come throughout, and steal their possessions in case you win.

Nevertheless, with eight characters, many path actions overlap. Castti, an merchandise skilled and apothecary, can inquire for a similar info you may get from scrutinizing, with none danger – she simply needs to be a excessive sufficient degree. In the meantime, Throné, the thief, can steal throughout daytime, giving the identical outcomes of a mugging with out the combat.

Alongside these abilities, every character additionally begins with a novel expertise, providing battle talents or passive abilities that others received’t be capable to use, even after unlocking secondary lessons.

Octopath Traveler 2


Like the unique, the battle system comes into its personal as soon as you may swap round job roles. To take action, nevertheless, you’ll want to seek out the guild for every job to unlock it. Some are straightforward sufficient to seek out – I got here throughout two of the ‘secret’ jobs totally accidentally – whereas others are eluding me even now, 60 hours into the sport, at roughly degree 60 throughout my get together. The place are you, hunter guild!?

Extra effort has been made to tonally differentiate the eight tales of Octopath Traveler 2 in comparison with its predecessor. With Temenos the cleric, who works as some kind of blasphemy hunter/thriller solver, will get a couple of scenes the place he’s making an attempt to resolve crime scene mysteries. It’s not precisely Phoenix Wright, with all of the clues there, twinkling away, ready so that you can stroll as much as them, but it surely helps to make the chapters really feel completely different to the others.

Partitio, the service provider, likewise, has a narrative that seems like some whimsical Okay-drama, as this entrepreneur makes mates of enemies and travels the world placing offers. He will get an oddly weird montage of his closing deal placing, hopping on ships and visiting a couple of secondary characters you in all probability already forgot. The aforementioned Castii begins the sport with amnesia (ah that online game basic), and if there’s something shared throughout many of the characters, it’s the sense that almost all of them are unreliable narrators. Rounding out the forged you will have Agnea, the dancer, and Ochette, the hunter. (Not all eight will resonate with everybody, will they?)

Even the ultimate chapters for every of the eight characters solely leads to a couple of further banter scenes. I’m enjoying by way of the ultimate chapters for every character, and if it is something like OP1, this may in all probability unlock a real closing space, dungeon and boss. At this level, I doubt all of the themes and story will coalesce right into a satisfying conclusion — there’s been some allusions to a ‘shadow’, however that’s true of 90 p.c of all RPGs. /I’ll be proud of one other difficult boss.

Octopath Traveler 2


The battle dynamics comply with the identical system of the final recreation: you intention to interrupt the enemies’ defenses by way of making use of elemental and weapon weaknesses. Break them, and so they’ll cease attacking — or reset the charge-up to their excessive injury talents – permitting you to do elevated injury, or rigorously heal and put together for the subsequent a part of the combat. As soon as once more, you’ll be capable to increase assaults as a battle continues, augmenting injury or extending the size of strengthening spells and different boons.

The sequel provides latent powers, a limit-break styled tremendous assault distinctive to every character. For some, this permits them to handily carry out two actions directly, whereas others will deal augmented injury or supercharge spells and bodily assaults. This was how I discovered my favourite characters and so they appeared to stay across the squad longer. (Thanks on your service, Throné.)

Day and night time have an effect on your entire recreation, and fortunately it’s a straightforward set off button you can faucet at any time outdoors of a battle. There are advantages to combating throughout night time, relying on the characters. Throné and Temenos provide debuffs and buffs at the beginning of nighttime fights, though it looks like fights are typically harder than throughout the day. Additionally, you will come throughout completely different enemies relying on the time of day. This transition can even transfer NPCs across the city, or make them disappear totally. The music additionally thoughtfully segues between the 2 states, which is a pleasant contact. But once more, OP2 has a cultured soundtrack, stuffed with orchestral bangers and a number of other battle-theme earworms.

OP2 builds on the strengths of the primary recreation, with numerous non-linear choices to the story, with sufficient of a distinction between chapters to interrupt all of it up. Nevertheless, there nonetheless isn’t fairly sufficient cohesion between the vacationers and the tales they weave.

Octopath Traveler 2 launches on Swap, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 and Steam on February twenty fourth.

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