This is how bad hentai starts… Come to think of it, this is also how good hentai starts…
Good morning Leaguelettes–
It is I, your fabled; dare I say, LEGENDARY Chairman~
And today I come before you at the taint… The fotch, nay the very grundle of dawn to present to you my equally early thoughts on the SquareEnix Switch exclusive: Octopath Traveler!
And perhaps these thoughts arrive late in general, but they’re early to me…
For those of you on the fence still for this fanciful foray into fantasy land– perhaps my following sermon of sorts will sell solace to your soul~
To kick things off, I shall first speak of expectation.
For those of you in the audience lucky enough to have been blessed by a cheesey fraternal figure, I’m sure the phrase “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me!” has made itself well known to you by now.
Fair advice in the case of Octopath.
You see– when first I’d become aware of this title, I’d made the mistake of assuming it would play in the vein of other multi-scenario RPG’s of the past.
Series like Romancing SaGa, Saga Frontier and even Dragon Quest IV in particular all featured numerous, complete and unique scenarios. Scenarios, you as players were encouraged to complete individually to unconver a deeper underlying thread that ties them all together in the end.
Sometimes even offering a secret, hidden scenario upon completing the others!
Replayability at it’s finest, I say.
MORE I say!
Bring me the eight-armed kraken that is to be my Switch’s savior!
…And then I started to collect party members…
During the demo I’d played, several months prior– I’d gotten to enjoy the opening of Olberic the Warrior’s story.
Good times, got to enjoy the combat (which I’ll get to momentarily~) got to beat up some bad guys for great justice..
What could go wrong? Nothing in fact. It was wonderful.
But this time around was different… Or should I say, excatly the same.
When Octopath finally released– or better to say; when I finally purchased it several weeks later– I’d decided to start my adventure as Therion the Thief instead..
Things went well. I’d began to bounce around and collect the other seven heroes as party members, one by one. But as things progressed; a nagging worry nipped at the back of my brain.
Upon meeting each character– you can choose to take them along with you. In doing so, you then play out their general prologue.
Sure, there is a bit of their past that is missing from this that you only get out of your main character’s opening however… This is at best a five minute snippet of information.
Beyond this– you can see everything from chapter to chapter that is to unfold; regardless of who you choose as your protagonist.
Not at all like the open-ended depth I’ve come to expect of the aforementioned multi-scenario titles earlier~
But as I also stated earlier… I’m the ass for assuming.
As for the gameplay itself– It’s .. kind of garden variety.
The environments are gorgeously crafted, but terribly linear.
Taking the beaten path will award you with little more than one of the rather generic and underwhelming selection of items to be found in the game.
Combat can get repeatative and while it does sport an interesting mechanic or two– one could easily say it’s primary ‘feature’ is boredly defunct.
See if any of you can spot the Easter egg here…
All in all, I’m disappointed.
And while I can’t say I’ve completed even 20% of what the game has to offer in the way of content, I simply must stress that the 19% of what I have completed is just… uninteresting drivel.
Have people truly forgotten what an RPG is meant to be?
I feel no connection to any of these hollow husks.
There is absolutely NO engagement between the various ‘personalities’ you collect.
No team dynamic.
No buddy story, not even a bullshit romance..
But don’t take it from me folks~
LeVar Burton yourself on over to the Switch store and pick it up for yourself if you’re still in the mood for a shallow wade through the reflecting pool of gaming yore…
It may just satisfy that retro sweet-tooth you’ve been dealing with.
Or maybe it will leave you…
That’s all for now…