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 Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling

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JayMoyles
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Wed 18 Jul 2018 - 23:04

Can't fathom it Mas... I've just done Therion's chapter and he finished it at LVL 11, so a walk to the next town and taking part in Ha'anit's chapter should see him finishing up at LVL 15 or thereabouts. It's bonkers how you're so low.

Speaking of Therion, I thought he'd a massive edgelord judging by his character design but I'm surprised by how snarky he is. Books and covers and all that!
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Wed 18 Jul 2018 - 23:09

Got excalty the same with all the characters they've gone to about 10 after doing there chapter, yet after that the levels haven't really gone up.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Fri 20 Jul 2018 - 22:34

That's me got all eight travellers in my party now. I really don't like H'aanit's Olde English cross Shakespearean dialect - it's giving me flashbacks to writing essays about Dunne and reading The Canterbury Tales. No

I was reading that the Japanese version is more of a country dialect for the hunters, so I've no idea what they were going for in the localisation.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sat 21 Jul 2018 - 20:58

Double post, but that's me diving into Chapter 2 now.

There's been a wee bit of a jump in difficulty in regards to the bosses, but after struggling somewhat with Cyrus's Chapter 2 boss I've done a lap of the starting towns mopping up side stories as well as jumping into the optional caves between each town to level up somewhat and grab some extra items and equipment. My team are in a solid place for tackling Chapter 2 now, so onwards I travel!

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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 2 Aug 2018 - 22:38

Yup. chapter 2 is when things start to pick up, which is nice because the game also gives you freedom to go do what you want instead of move around clock- or anticlock-wise and pick up more party members. Chapter 3 also has a similar jump in difficulty.

The boss fights are perhaps the best part to the game. Despite there being dozens of them it amazes me how the developers find new ways to surprise the player into thinking up new tactics. This too would not be possible if the game's battle and character-management systems weren't top notch. I found they held up very well at least until you're too overlevelled to make chapter 4s challenging any more.


There are two things which disappoint me about the game however:

1) The structure is so painfully predictable. It just reeks of project management - all the chapters basically play out in the same way, and the game's tasks are often designed around the existence of a minimap. This may also be due to the freedom it gives players to start at any part of the map - all the chapter 1s have to be fairly similar to ensure a consistent experience from the beginning. It's disappointing that little changes for most of the other 24 chapters in the game.

2) The level design rarely changes. Every route and dungeon plays out the same - usually a winding path with a few optional routes leading to an almost comical number of hidden treasure chests. These are enjoyable enough to play through of course but it's clear there isn't really much gameplay variety outside of the boss fights, and the levels themselves are only places by visuals only. The excellent Alliance Alive on 3DS has level design leagues ahead of this - each location is designed to be an actual place rather than an abstraction of a template.

The first eight hours of Final Fantasy VI contain heaps more gameplay variety than Octopath Traveler while introducing individual character stories *and* tieing those together to a main plot:

-You navigate a city piloting mechs
-You command three parties of Moogles to stop an invading force
-You sneak in a city as the thief Locke and have to steal clothes in battle to pretend to be a merchant so to not attract attention from the empire
-You ride a raft, picking your path as you go along and dispatching enemies along a waterfall
-You navigate a labyrinth sand castle

Octopath Traveler, by contrast, recycles the same route and dungeon designs ad infinitum, wrapping them around differently named objectives and boss battles. As I mentioned earlier, it's enjoyable enough to mostly escape fatigue (Though at 45 hours played I have little incentive to finish the remaining 2 character stories now that I know exactly what to expect) but it doesn't make it any less unambitous. It's like the developers forgot that people loved the golden age RPGs because they were new and exciting and innovated.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sun 5 Aug 2018 - 16:09

I've found the stories engaging enough to propel me forwards, but the real draw is, like you said yourself, in creating your party and battle strategy. The sub-jobs system is giving me some real conundrums as to which member works best with each class. I do wish your starting character wasn't locked into the party as it does restrict you somewhat in what party you want to roll with, but I guess they did that so you always had somebody in your group who could bail the team out in trickier situations.

I'd like to see this get a sequel to inject a wee bit more creativity into the chapter structures as they can feel a bit by-the-numbers at points and the quality of each scenario is all over the place. For example...

Chapter 2 Spoilers:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sun 5 Aug 2018 - 22:43

Yup, the progression in the game generally has the air of project management about it. That also seeps into those spoilered tasks you mention, the developers made a bunch of locales and content separately to what you'd be doing within the stories and narrative. Probably because having 8 independent stories would require a lot of changing (the game's map looks very different to the demo from last year, for instance).
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 16 Aug 2018 - 21:28

I've wrapped all of the Chapter 2 storylines and I'm now ready to go onwards to Chapter 3! It's a little disappointing that there's only one new town to explore for the Chapter 3 storylines, but I suppose it freshens things up in a way.

Anybody else still playing this?
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 16 Aug 2018 - 21:50

I'll have my hands on it in a week Jay! Because I don't already have two games on the go, one sizeable... Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 16 Aug 2018 - 22:07

Woo! I think having multiple games on the go shouldn't be a problem with Octopath - the game is split up into smaller chunks thanks to its structure, which you could certainly see as a negative or you could see it as a positive as the game's easier to digest than other JRPGs out there. You can play for an hour, get a chapter finished and feel like you've accomplished something, which can't be said of some of other JRPGs too.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Fri 17 Aug 2018 - 23:48

Says a lot that I haven't even felt like playing more of this after I finished the stories for the six characters that interested me. As mentioned previously it's the rather repetitive and unchanging nature of the core gameplay and level design that makes me less than enthusiastic about playing more. If only that stuff was as varied as the boss battles.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sat 18 Aug 2018 - 21:38

Don't get me wrong - I'll not likely return to it like I have with some of my favourite RPGs like TWEWY or the Mother series, but the bite-sized nature has been perfect for going back to for an hour or so after work.

The bosses are a highlight though, agreed. They've really ramped up the difficulty in Chapter 3 - I've gone from obliterating everything in Chapter 2 by buffing Cyrus and having him melt the boss with spells to having to start to strategise and think carefully about how to survive a boss's onslaught.

Alfyn Chapter 3 Spoilers:
 

I'll agree that the dungeon design and story structure could stand to be more diverse, but the battling and the subclass system have kept me engaged so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sun 2 Sep 2018 - 18:13

Time to break the Jayposting chain! I've taken my first steps in this, and my 'main' is Therion. Looking at the descriptions it was either him or Primrose, because all the others seemed a bit soppy; and Primrose was a bit much. Embarrassed

One of the first decisions I made was to turn the voice acting to Japanese. Dearie dearie me.

More as I get it! That said, I dispute Jay's view that's it's a perfect game for stop-start gaming, because the loading screens take a heck of a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Mon 3 Sep 2018 - 18:07

I think Jay's on the money too. It has a moreish quality to it, the way the game is divided into chunks makes it almost irresistible to play. Though it also makes it rather predictable too. But at least it's a good predictable game, rather than a slog.

I can't see myself going back to replay it many years on either like the all time greats like your TWEWYs, or Devil Survivors or Golden Sun (Alliance Alive was also very good and I want to replay it one day). Would probably boot it up to wonder about for a bit and rewatch some story scenes, otherwise it's far too cookie-cutter to hold my interest once I know what to expect.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Mon 3 Sep 2018 - 22:14

Possibly it works better for stop-start gaming if you're not trying to mix it with something else.

One thing I can't believe they didn't carry over from the Bravelies was the ability to set random battle frequency. Such a user-friendly skill and they've ditched it for no reason. Especially given how reliable fleeing seems to be, it's a real annoyance.

Still. Therion's out of his town, and I'm taking him to find Jay's favourite character... Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Mon 3 Sep 2018 - 23:14

Balladeer wrote:

One thing I can't believe they didn't carry over from the Bravelies was the ability to set random battle frequency.  Such a user-friendly skill and they've ditched it for no reason.  Especially given how reliable fleeing seems to be, it's a real annoyance.

Still.  Therion's out of his town, and I'm taking him to find Jay's favourite character... Wink

You can set it to a degree with one of the early class skills, but it's really a two-dial gauge between "normal" and "infrequent" encounters.

Ha, I like Therion's snarkiness, but his storyline is one of the weaker plotlines in my eyes and I've found him gash in battle. That might be simply because he was my penultimate party member, though. I think it's a toss-up between Prim and Alfyn for favourite characters if we're looking purely at how they're written.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Tue 4 Sep 2018 - 20:07

Oh goodie...  He does seem awfully weak, but I reckoned having him around at all times to open chests would be handy.  Hopefully Ye Olde Huntyr will add some punch to the party.

EDIT: 'Thou just madest that one up.' Christ. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Wed 5 Sep 2018 - 17:44

Oh, that's definitely a pro of having him as your main character. He ended up my second highest levelled character due to that ability and my lack of desire to revisit dungeons to pick up a chest or two.

As for Ha'anit, she's definitely going to provide more of a physical kick then Therion. Good luck putting up with her most verily annoyest dialoguen though...
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 6 Sep 2018 - 17:31

You say that - thus far Ophelia is far more irritating. I really loathe the standard white mage character, which doesn't help, of course. What also doesn't help was that, fed up with the Japanese high-pitched giggling, I decided to try switching back to English for her story. Biiiiiiiiiig mistake.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 6 Sep 2018 - 23:08

Yeah, I'm not a fan of Ophelia. One of the criticisms I've seen about this game is that the characters are bland and prototypical and whilst I'd disagree with that for most of the gang, it's tough to disagree with Ophelia getting that classification.

As for your VA complaints, I didn't mind the English VA. That might be because my two favourites - Cyrus and Olberic - have the best battle lines in the game. Grin
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Sun 9 Sep 2018 - 19:49

I've just unlocked Cyrus Holmes.  He good.  Unfortunately his support character Therese is f*cking appalling, but the game seems to want us not to think that. No Then onto Tressa, who continues Octopath's more usual characterisation.

I'd say that complaint you mention's a fair one.  In fact, even though the game feels moreish and is the game I've played most of late, I can't help thinking that it's not actually... y'know... very good?  The visuals and music are godly, don't get me wrong: but the battle system does little new and is hamstrung by being a strict turn-based one; some of the quality-of-life improvements made to the genre by the Bravelies aren't carried through, making parts of the gameplay very irritating; and the plot is necessarily hamstrung by having eight characters with eight non-overlapping stories, most of which thus far aren't actually very good!

I'm still playing it, though.  As mentioned above, there's something addictive about the game.  The battles, the levelling up, the job points...  Maybe it'll feel better once I unlock the full job system.
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Mon 10 Sep 2018 - 15:54

Balladeer wrote:
but the battle system does little new and is hamstrung by being a strict turn-based one; some of the quality-of-life improvements made to the genre by the Bravelies aren't carried through, making parts of the gameplay very irritating; and the plot is necessarily hamstrung by having eight characters with eight non-overlapping stories, most of which thus far aren't actually very good!

I'm still playing it, though.  As mentioned above, there's something addictive about the game.  The battles, the levelling up, the job points...  Maybe it'll feel better once I unlock the full job system.

You've pretty much nailed it there - the battle system gets much more involved once you unlock the subclass feature. Similarly, the storylines become much more engaging for the most part as well. I think, outside of a couple of chapters, the Chapter One episodes in the game are pretty rough going as they're essentially origin stories and there's no escalating difficulty really at this point. It gets better though, so stick with it. Thumbs Up!
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 13 Sep 2018 - 19:03

Will do! This has completely monopolised my game time in an attempt to get to the second chapters/sub-classes, and I've got Tressa and Olberic now. I see why you're fond of Olbers, Jay, although Cyrus is still Best Boy (and Therese can still Get Stuffed).

The transformation of cute boss sprites to giant battle sprites is horrifying. No
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Thu 13 Sep 2018 - 21:46

Olberic grew on me during his second and especially his third chapters - he starts off as a bit of a stone-faced archetype.

I love the boss sprites! The bigger and more horrific they are compared to their field sprites, the better. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Octopath Traveller: Square Enix also celebrating the Year of the Octoling   Mon 17 Sep 2018 - 9:50

...well Primrose's chapter is a complete tonal shift.  Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed it: I like Prim, I like her motivations, and I loved taking down the chapter's boss.  But blimey!  'U mild violence' to '12/15 sex references up the wazoo and grisly pixellated death scenes' all of a sudden.  What brought that on?

And then I went back to finding some flowers to cure a sick kid.  I quite like Alfyn's speech, but his section is twee as anything.  Tonal whiplash much.

It almost felt like the Primrose section was something to put in the demo. and lure people into a slightly darker world that doesn't actually exist.  Does that tone crop up again at all, Jay?

Obvious spoiler for Prim 1?:
 

Not sure what to do now.  Explore the dungeons around the world?  I'm not at a high enough level to take on the next quests, I don't think. Meh Therion, my highest-levelled, is at 19. Alfyn's 11.
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