Octopath Traveler 2 - Welcome back to the Ocho!

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?

Me me me me me!

I adored the first one - I found the graphics and art style amazing, and I loved the combat and how the characters looked and acted.

I did find some of the stories a bit tedious, so I hope that is better this time around.

Agreed - none were “bad” but a few I wasn’t super interested in (when compared to the others). I can only speak for the one story I’ve started so far - the Scholar, who starts the game in quite the predicament and is honestly just a great tale they are telling, so I’m pleased with him as my selection of main character, so far at least.

I am very much looking forward to this. I am hoping the class system winds up being an improvement over the first game’s, where you were somewhat constrained in who to take at times because of the “only one person can equip a specific job as a secondary”.

Very excited for this! I don’t play a lot of JRPGs, but I tried Octopath Traveler mostly because of the incredible art style and very few games have dominated so much of my time in the last few years. I played it to the end. The separate-story structure was a bit perplexing at first, but I ended up loving it. I think I played it as two fresh parties of four, only with the best weapons I had collected for the later characters getting passed on to them. I agree some stories were better than others, but I found all of them worthwhile and found the mixture of story quests to other content to be almost perfect. I practically didn’t do any fast-traveling (didn’t even realize I could for quite awhile), but used the random encounters when going from city to city to keep my party up with the power curve.

I’m delighted to see the team get another swing at this to refine it even further. I kinda wish they had a totally different set of classes, but they seem to have given each a different take, character-wise. I honestly can’t imagine it looking any better. Not sure when I’ll be able to drop $60 on a new game, but I’ll be waiting for my chance to sink my teeth into this!

Curious to see the responses on this one. I’ve been slowly chipping away at the original and it’s always pleasant but hasn’t yet grabbed me.

BTW, might want to fix the typo in the thread title: “Travler”

I’m not seeing this typo but maybe a mod already fixed it?

I need to get back to the first game, eventually. I loved the art style, the combat system, and the idea of having separate stories for each party member, but they could have cut those dialogue scenes in half. I think I stopped playing at the 4th party member’s tale - it just kept taking way too long to get to the gameplay. The stories were decent, though.

I actually played the demo twice, because I accidentally downloaded the PS4 version on my PS5 first. I didn’t realize this game was getting a native PS5 release, but I’m glad it is because it looks so incredibly clean at that high resolution and framerate. I do recommend turning off the “Screen Effects” option to disable the vignetting. Other effects like depth of field aren’t changed, so it just makes things more legible.

I really love the battle system in these games. It’s an evolution of what Bravely Default was doing, but better in just about every way. Made going back to Bravely Default II a chose after playing the first game. I do like the added limit break style mechanic. It’s a different effect for each character, and very fun to combo with a big max boost on a broken boss.

So far I’ve gone through the Warrior, Merchant, Priest, and Thief intros. The priest story is the most interesting at the outset, but all are pretty formulaic. Will be interesting to see how the stories interact this time, as they’ve promised with the sequel.

It made me want to go back to the first game, but I was reminded why I fell off after some 20 hours. The text size on Switch is impossibly tiny for no apparent reason and I’m getting slightly far sighted as I age making playing handheld really obnoxious. I can’t believe they never patched it.

This is dropping today (in a few hours on Steam), just a PSA. I’m still waiting on my GreenManGaming key, but if anyone wanted a discount, GMG had it for $48 (no tax) last time I checked (you have to be signed in to see the discount).

Anyone else as pumped as me to start playing this?!

Wish I could afford to drop $60 right now. I’m eager to have more Octopath in my life!

It’s too expensive here in Brazil currently (most Square Enix games are, because for most games they ignore Steam’s regional pricing suggestions and basically just perform a currency exchange conversion of the US price), but I might buy it eventually on a deep discount. We’ll see.

Argh! There is some sort of misstep with the Steam Deck version (at least - this may be a problem on Steam) where when I downloaded/installed OT2, it deleted the demo for me - which is fine, but the demo seemed to have kept my save data in the fucking game folder like it’s 1999 instead of my \MyGames or \Documents folder like software from this century would have done.

So, I will have to replay the 3 hours I put in, which is okay as I was thinking of doing that anyway since I’m 2 weeks from the last time I played and I can skip cut-scenes so it won’t take but an hour or so, I think, to get to where I was at.

But, just an FYI to anyone that might be effected (I think I read that on Switch this issue was patched already, but I don’t know if non-Deck is still an issue or not). No patch can fix it for the Deck - the save data is just gone with the Demo installation files.

Everything on the Steam Deck has that problem. I forget why, but it’s technical because of Proton & Linux.

Marvel Midnight Suns DID save on the Steam Deck in a \user\documents style folder. The problem there is it was named the wrong thing and I would have to manually rename it so the Deck could read it, then after playing on the Deck, manually rename it again so it would synch so I could play it on my PC.

I really like the Steam Deck, but honestly it’s a fucking train wreck.

So racing through the game like I am, and knowing that running will get you into more fights than walking (because you are moving faster, so I assumed it was to keep you at about the same level as someone that walked) I found out that the enemies are actually stronger (not stat wise, I mean different enemies entirely) when you run - I just got attacked by these ice elementals running around (twice in a row) and both fights leveled me from 2 to 4 and then from 4 to almost 6! Tough battles though, and I probably have fewer JP to spend than I normally would?

EDIT: No, I think I am getting more JP than normal as well; even though I’ve only done two fights, I have enough JP to purchase my first skill already. It probably all averages out - running gets you there faster but you arrive at the same XP and JP as someone that walked, but it’s a bit riskier and faster maybe to level up, in terms of minutes of real time that passed?

It didn’t take me long to get to where I’m exploring the map - I will probably take the same route and unlock the same second character this time as well (the Cleric) but I’m seeing new stuff and have some new quests I must have walked past the first time, so it’s kind of a good thing I’m going this from scratch.

Some tips!

When you start the game, don’t miss the option to change to night time and see the alternate art for each character in the starting character selection screen!

Speaking of, you can hit Right Trigger at any time to change night-day and back again on a whim - this will literally load in and out NPCs that are there (or not) at that time, and changes up your interaction with them. The scholar, for example, can Mug at night taking villagers down and stealing their shit. It’s awesome, if nonsense. A few “foes” in the very first little village I found myself in were way too much for me, thankfully I could escape.

You can’t sell things that are equipped, so if your fancy new wizard staff is sellable, you equipped the wrong thing. Sigh.

Steam Deck Update - this runs smooth as silk at the game’s highest settings and I’m getting a consistent 60fps. I’m also happy to report that cloud save is working natively (unlike Marvel’s Midnight Suns) so while i did have to redo the first part of the game due to demo-snafu nonesense, I was able to play upstairs last night and keep playing on my gaming PC this morning, and I just loaded up OT2 on my Deck and it’s rigth were I left off on the desktop. Just like one should expect.

I’m about 4 hours in and am heading towards my fourth party member, who looks like the hunter lady people seem to really like. I’ve got the thief, cleric, and mage in my party currently and I’m loving the story set up for each of them already - some really great moments for each character, unlike the first game I’m already feeling more invested in seeing where these tales go. Of course, I still have five more characters to see the opening chapters of their story, so there is still room to be let down, but so far this game is hitting all the right notes for me.

I really liked Octopath 1 - Octopath 2 is literally the same except with a very small handful of changes, but really the whole “maiden / mother / whore” trope for Japanese games gets sort of heavy. If everything wasn’t so on the nose and relatively played straight (and pixelated) imo it would be kind of a deal breaker.