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 few of the weaker elements of the unique. There are new battle dynamics and strikes, a well-utilized day-and-night sport mechanism, and shared tales that try to convey a connection between the eight narratives. However it’s nonetheless an informal one. If Remaining Fantasy XV was about 4 finest buddies occurring a road-trip, then Octopath Traveler 2 is extra like an Uber Pool rideshare. There is likely to be pleasant small speak, 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 clarify, though there appears to be a bit extra element to each the sprites and environments. It’s nonetheless a reasonably sport. Half of the enchantment is how video games like this coax my recollections of 16- and 32-bit video games.
Having mentioned that, the crew behind this collection has realized they will play with the size a bit extra: that is the Nintendo Swap, not a SNES. In a few of the opening scenes for Hikari the warrior, characters rush previous a crowd of 40 or so preventing in a desert. Builders Purchase and Group Asano have amped up the cinematic cutscenes a bit extra, too. Cameras will pan out and round your characters, as they brood on cliff faces, or as they’re compelled to kill their abusive dad and mom.
OP2 tries, solely ever so barely, to convey the concept that you’re on a collective journey. When you’ve chosen your principal character (who shall be ‘locked’ into your occasion till you full all 5 chapters of their story), you’ll stumble upon different vacationers. You then’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 number of scenes collectively. These usually join tales and supply up some rewards. Nonetheless, it’s a bit too rare – and never sufficient to get the impression this can be a crew of heroes serving to one another to save lots of the world from numerous calamities – or grow to be a worldwide dance celebrity. (Sure, that’s somebody’s purpose.)
Osvald, the scholar, begins his journey in jail, accused of killing his spouse and baby. He’s this sport’s defacto black magazine,e with an array of elemental assaults. Nonetheless, this time, given his gritty backstory, his path actions (skills and interactions you can also make with non-playable characters in cities, and customarily any time exterior of battles) aren’t your typical black mage traits. One is scrutinize, a dangerous approach of gleaning info from characters, whereas the opposite is mug, the place you possibly can duel just about any NPC you come throughout, and steal their possessions for those who win.
Nonetheless, with eight characters, many path actions overlap. Castti, an merchandise professional and apothecary, can inquire for a similar info you will get from scrutinizing, with none threat – 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 combat.
Alongside these expertise, every character additionally begins with a singular expertise, providing battle skills or passive expertise that others received’t have the ability to use, even after unlocking secondary courses.
Like the unique, the battle system comes into its personal as soon as you possibly can swap round job roles. To take action, nonetheless, you’ll want to seek out the guild for every job to unlock it. Some are simple sufficient to seek out – I got here throughout two of the ‘secret’ jobs completely by chance – 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 kind of blasphemy hunter/thriller solver, will get a number of scenes the place he’s making an attempt to resolve 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, however it helps to make the chapters really feel totally different to the others.
Partitio, the service provider, likewise, has a narrative that appears like some whimsical Ok-drama, as this entrepreneur makes associates of enemies and travels the world hanging offers. He will get an oddly weird montage of his ultimate deal hanging, hopping on ships and visiting a number 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 forged you might have 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 leads to a number of further banter scenes. I’m taking part in by way of the ultimate chapters for every character, and if it is something like OP1, this can 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 proud of one other difficult boss.
The battle dynamics observe the identical components of the final sport: you purpose to interrupt the enemies’ defenses by way of making use of elemental and weapon weaknesses. Break them, they usually’ll cease attacking — or reset the charge-up to their excessive harm skills – permitting you to do elevated harm, or rigorously heal and put together for the subsequent a part of the combat. As soon as once more, you’ll have the ability to increase 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 directly, whereas others will deal augmented harm or supercharge spells and bodily assaults. This was how I discovered my favourite characters they usually appeared to stay across the squad longer. (Thanks in your service, Throné.)
Day and night time have an effect on your complete sport, and fortunately it’s a simple set off button you could faucet at any time exterior of a battle. There are advantages to preventing throughout night time, relying on the characters. Throné and Temenos supply debuffs and buffs at the beginning of nighttime fights, though it looks as if fights are usually harder than in the course of the day. Additionally, you will come throughout totally different enemies relying on the time of day. This transition may even transfer NPCs across the city, or make them disappear completely. The music additionally thoughtfully segues between the 2 states, which is a pleasant contact. But once more, OP2 has a refined soundtrack, full of orchestral bangers and several other battle-theme earworms.
OP2 builds on the strengths of the primary sport, with numerous 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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