Why You Should Play
- 60 hours of gameplay
- Engaging story with multiple branching paths
- Classic 16-bit look with modern graphical effects
- Turn-based gameplay
Octopath Traveler is the latest RPG from Square Enix and Acquire. If you’re unfamiliar with Acquire, the development team that handled Octopath Traveler is essentially the same team that handled Bravely Default. Instead of the more modern take on RPGs, Octopath Traveler takes a step back to offer the turn-based experience of yesteryear. The game plays more like Fire Emblem or a classic Final Fantasy game than a modern action-RPG, and it’s refreshing.
As a turn-based RPG, Octopath Traveler features all the standard gameplay you’ve probably come to expect from the genre. Each fight consists of menus where you can select attacks, magic, items and more. After you attack and a flashy animation plays, it moves on to the next character in your party, or over to the enemies. Each character has Special Points (SP) that governs their magic and abilities, with items replenishing your SP if you get low.
The game starts with just a single character in your party, but very early on you have access to all eight starting characters, each with a different class. There are plenty of shops around the large world map where you can buy new weapons, armor and items to buff up your characters. Of course, like most RPGs, you’ll gain experience points and Job Points (JP). As you level up your stats increase, and you can use JP to unlock new skills for your characters.
Visuals and Performance
Octopath Traveler is not a game that you’re going to use to show off the power of the Nintendo Switch. It tries to mimic the 16-bit RPGs of the Super Nintendo era, but with a bit more polish thanks to the new hardware. The game has an intentionally old school presentation that should appeal to classic fans of the genre.
The choice to mimic 16-bit graphics also means the game runs extremely well in both docked and portable mode. You won’t see any slowdown or other issues with the game as it’s really not pushing the Nintendo Switch to its limits. Unlike some other Switch games that may not run quite as well in docked mode, Octopath Traveler feels like a truly seamless experience when you switch from portable mode to docked mode.
Game of the Week
If you take your time it’s possible to spend over 60 hours on Octopath Traveler. Even if you try to rush through the game, it’s hard to imagine most people making it through in less than 25-30 hours, and that would require skipping the plethora of side quests and other activities that aren’t part of the main storyline. There’s a lot to do in Octopath Traveler, and the through back to classic RPGs is just icing on the cake. That’s why Octopath Traveler is our Prima Game of the Week!