We don’t have a thread for what will probably be my Game of the Month here, Octopath Traveler 2. There are some great games this month, so I could actually end up being wrong about that, but it’s at least on my radar enough to pre-order this unless something absolutely wild happens with reviews, especially given I’ve already played and enjoyed the demo.
So for those that didn’t play, or didn’t complete, the original this is a fully self-contained adventure that while taking place in the same world (and slightly in the future, so you’l see a slightly more advanced society technologically speaking) it does not tie into the first, so there won’t be anything missed for folks diving in here. In fact, it really does ramp up and improve every aspect of the first game so once this comes out there will be little reason to return to the first, unless you enjoy this so much you want more of it, in which case, I’m sure that will end up being time well spent.
One of my biggest gripes with the first game was the narrative structure - not the writing, or the voice work, or the story telling itself - that was all top notch - but rather how it sort of expected you to wander around the games map hitting up each of the eight characters stories in some semblance of whatever order you wanted, rather than giving you any sort of direction to follow. This (for me) ended up being why I bounced off the game twice, though the second time I was in or around chapter 4 in each of the characters story when I decided to move on.
However, allegedly there is some more narrative cohesion between the characters/party members this time and while the stories are still mostly separate for each character, bringing in different party members will actually mean something this time as many solutions now exist for a given quest or puzzle depending on interactions with party members. How much of a big deal this ends up being is hard to say - and again, some people really liked the way the stories were told in the first game as well - but between this and the improved visuals (HD-2D as an engine looks very improved here, more on that in a bit) and the other changes (new secondary classes, not just the other 7 classes assigned as a secondary - for example I found a cool Inventor class with a bunch of great skills I assined to my Scholar/mage character) round out what looks like it could be a steller entry in the JRPG genre.
The combat is mostly the same, though refined in that all the abilities and skills are mostly new and so far at least, a bit more interesting. Enemies, even early in the game, seem more creative as well? Could be just me. In any case, the demo is available on all platforms this is launching for (PS5, Switch, Steam) and you can play for 3 total hours on a given save, and then you can keep playing that save data when the game launches on the 24th.
I will say I played the demo on the Steam Deck and on the Switch, and this is a really good reason to have a Steam Deck. It’s great on Switch, but it’s a bit lower resolution and only 30fps while the Steam Deck you can crank the game’s graphics options to the max and still get a rock steady 60fps - it’s not Verified yet, but I’m sure it will be immediately on launch, it really ran wonderfully - and having it on Steam Deck means I can play on my PC as well and use cloud saves to play on the go when I want.
A pretty solid preview here - this talks about a lot of the changes (like the day/night cycle that has been added) and is only 10 minutes long if someone wants some more detailed info.
Anyone else looking forward to this?