Words by Jason Sewald
Gaming has been steadily increasing as a medium with each triple-A game pushing graphics and gameplay to its limits, but sometimes stripping back adds more, and Octopath Traveler is exactly that.
Developed by Square Enix – the JRPG masters have decided to take direct inspiration from their successes with the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy and make a game that is directly inspired by them visually. The visuals in question is a 16-bit inspiration from the SNES days and Square Enix, giving this a modern touch with the lighting and brighter colours which make this game one of the best looking games I have laid my eyes upon, despite it not being graphically impressive as a God of War.
The game’s narrative follows 8 main characters who all meet in their own arcs to then travel (just like the name of the game) on one incredible journey. I will be intentionally keeping this short as to not give away spoilers, but the writing is stellar as you would have to consider that the writers have created 8 vastly different character stories which all intertwine in a way that makes perfect sense and by the end of the game you will have fallen in love with every character.
As mentioned they stripped back the graphics to be more faithful of the JRPGs of old but where they “lack” graphically they have jam-packed the gameplay. The battle system of this game has been some of the most exciting and different systems I have played to date and each boss battle comes with its own puzzle and it is so satisfying once you figure out how to beat them. Again not to spoil a lot but each character have their own special way of playing and figuring out your preferred party lineup gives each person a sense of individuality as each character have their pros/con and solving that makes your playthrough vastly different to the next person.
Octopath Traveler is only available on the Nintendo Switch and it makes it the perfect console as there is nothing better thematically to play this game while travelling, so if you own one make sure you grab this game because it hasn’t been given its flowers and that’s why Octopath Traveler is my Hidden Game.
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