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 a substitute increasing and (mildly) correcting a number of 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 and convey a connection between the eight narratives. Nevertheless it’s nonetheless an off-the-cuff one. If Closing Fantasy XV was about 4 greatest buddies happening a road-trip, then Octopath Traveler 2 is extra like an Uber Pool rideshare. There could be pleasant small discuss, however there’s nonetheless not sufficient of a significant connection between the eight protagonists.
Octopath Traveler 2 doesn’t supply any technical graphical upgrades I would like to elucidate, though there appears to be a little bit 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 stated that, the staff behind this collection has realized they will play with the size a bit extra: that is the Nintendo Swap, not a SNES. In a number of the opening scenes for Hikari the warrior, characters rush previous a crowd of 40 or so combating in a desert. Builders Purchase and Group Asano have amped up the cinematic cutscenes a little bit extra, too. Cameras will pan out and round your characters, as they brood on cliff faces, or as they’re pressured to kill their abusive mother and father.
OP2 tries, solely ever so barely, to convey the concept you’re on a collective journey. When you’ve chosen your essential character (who shall be ‘locked’ into your occasion 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.
Often there shall 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 supply up some rewards. Nonetheless, it’s a little bit too rare – and never sufficient to get the impression it is a staff of heroes serving to one another to avoid wasting the world from varied calamities – or grow to be a world dance famous person. (Sure, that’s somebody’s purpose.)
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 method of gleaning info from characters, whereas the opposite is mug, the place you’ll be able to duel just about any NPC you come throughout, and steal their possessions in the event you win.
Nonetheless, 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 stage. In the meantime, Throné, the thief, can steal throughout daytime, giving the identical outcomes of a mugging with out the struggle.
Alongside these abilities, every character additionally begins with a singular expertise, providing battle talents or passive abilities that others received’t be capable of use, even after unlocking secondary lessons.
Like the unique, the battle system comes into its personal as soon as you’ll be able to 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 stage 60 throughout my occasion. 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 type of blasphemy hunter/thriller solver, will get a couple of scenes the place he’s making an attempt to unravel 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 looks like some whimsical Ok-drama, as this entrepreneur makes mates of enemies and travels the world placing offers. He will get an oddly weird montage of his ultimate deal placing, hopping on ships and visiting a couple of secondary characters you most likely already forgot. The aforementioned Castii begins the sport with amnesia (ah that online game basic), and if there’s something shared throughout a lot of the characters, it’s the sense that almost all of them are unreliable narrators. Rounding out the solid you’ve 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 ends in a couple of additional banter scenes. I’m taking part in by way of the ultimate chapters for every character, and if it is something like OP1, it will most likely unlock a real ultimate 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 pleased with one other difficult boss.
The battle dynamics observe the identical formulation of the final recreation: you purpose 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 harm talents – permitting you to do elevated harm, or fastidiously heal and put together for the following a part of the struggle. As soon as once more, you’ll be capable of enhance assaults as a battle continues, augmenting harm 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 enables them to handily carry out two actions without delay, whereas others will deal augmented harm 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 to your service, Throné.)
Day and evening have an effect on all the recreation, and fortunately it’s a straightforward set off button which you could faucet at any time outdoors of a battle. There are advantages to combating throughout evening, relying on the characters. Throné and Temenos supply debuffs and buffs at first of nighttime fights, though it looks like fights are typically harder than through 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 elegant soundtrack, full of orchestral bangers and several other battle-theme earworms.
OP2 builds on the strengths of the primary recreation, with plenty of non-linear choices to the story, with sufficient of a distinction between chapters to interrupt all of it up. Nonetheless, 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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