Project Octopath Traveller is a dumb name created by the same dudes who made Bravely Default, and is on the Nintendo Switch right now as a playable demo. There’s not much to say about the demo other than it’s pretty good, but let me try to explain. I don’t know much about the game’s development and I am still not putting it on my radar for now as I’ll just pick it up whenever it comes out. But it’s your standard turn based RPG with a neat little combat system and 8 playable characters. Two of which are playable in this demo.
Each character as far as I know has a special ability outside of combat which you can use to your advantage. Primrose the Dancer has an ability which can charm almost anyone into following her. This is helpful in meeting requirements for the story or just having support in battle. The other character, a swordsman named Olberic can challenge almost any NPC to a duel.
The combat system is a pretty standard turn based affair. You can exploit enemy weaknesses using weapons and magic to break their armor and stun them, allowing you to have another go at them with higher damage. I would say it’s pretty fair and fun since you get a lot of feedback from each hit and a lot of pretty particle effects. You also get the boost system, which allows you to increase the effect of any move up to 4 levels. And you get a charge for your boost every turn so you can either use it up quickly to break armor, or save it for big damage. I believe that without this game being on the Switch I wouldn’t even have bat an eye towards it. But comfy RPGs where you can chill out and grind some EXP for hours and hours are some of my favorite types of games to play on a handheld.
The stories for both characters available in the demo were quite alright, I wasn’t fully invested in either of them but I guess that could be because that the stories are just starting out. This is another case where I wouldn’t even focus on the story as much if it wasn’t almost fully voice acted. The voice acting is fantastic and really kept me engaged as reading text for a long time isn’t my thing.
The game also looks amazing, it uses a blend of 3D models for the backgrounds with highly detailed pixel art sprites as well as 2D pixel art for characters and NPC’s. It has a 2.5D type feel to it with the depth of field and everything, and the developers have dubbed this style HD-2D. It has great particle effects in the overworld and in battle as well as some really pretty pixel art on the enemy and character sprites in combat.
Overall there’s not much to say besides that this demo is good. It has a lot to offer for a demo and you can get a good 2 to 3 hours out of it. I hope the full game improves on a lot of the things in this demo since there is a fair bit of room for it and hopefully add more stuff that would be just downright convenient, like being able to skip a cutscene you’ve already scene or to have an option for faster battles and dialogue speed. Octopath certainly has me interested but it’s gonna have to do a whole lot more to keep me invested when the full game comes out. I hope for the best for this game and I also hope for a less dumb name.
For now I’d give this game a 7 out of 10, I’m looking forward to seeing the full release.