Octopath Traveler 2. The first time I ever bought a game on the day of its release. On February 23, I was super (actually super-duper) excited for the next-day release of OT2 (Calling it OT2 for short, okay?) And I was determined to stay awake until midnight, because I expected that the game, announced for February 24th, would be available for download on 2.24.23 at 00:00:01. But I’ll never know if I was right about that. Because I fell asleep. Yes, you see, I’m a working woman with an early morning wake-up time. So the transaction had to wait until after work that day. Which was fortunately a Friday, and Yay! for that.
Like the original Octopath Traveler, OT2 is a gorgeous, gorgeous HD-2D game, both retro and new at the same time. It’s 2D, yes, as games were in the 90s, but in an art style we didn’t see back then. Shining cities, glistening water, light and shadows. Listen, I can’t overstate how absolutely beautiful this game is. Like playing a work of art. Oh, and the music, too.
Ok, so. The game is beautiful. Now, as in the first game, you choose to play as one of eight characters to start, and you add the others as you go. The eight characters fit the job classes of warrior, cleric, thief, merchant, scholar, dancer, hunter, and apothecary, with secondary jobs possible. Each character has their own story, antagonist, starting location, story chapters and end goal, and you can play through the characters’ stories in any order, really. All similar to the first game. What is different here, though, is the addition of “crossed path” stories featuring two characters, and a stronger emphasis on the interconnectedness between stories, which share one final end boss. Seems some players of the first game thought the stories in that game were too isolated, and the writers took heed. But ask me, the first game was a gem, isolated stories or not.
So you form a party of four characters who battle together. Now it’s important to bring all characters into battles, even (especially!) the worst and the weakest, as idle characters do not earn XP (which reminds me that Dragon Quest XI did it better, with idle characters earning half XP). That aside, the turn-based Octopath battle system is one of the best. It relies on a system of exploiting weaknesses of enemies, and breaking their shields in order to deliver the damage. And you can deliver the most damage when you boost your characters’ attacks with accumulated boost points. It’s great! I love it! Bosses are tough, though, and boss fights are long. Sometimes they are too long.
Now the original Octopath Traveler was a Switch exclusive, as far as I know, but the second game was released on the PlayStation also. I bought the PS5 version instead of the Switch version because I knew I was going to invest a lot of hours and I wanted a platinum trophy to show for it. Well, even after leveling up a ton, I still couldn’t beat stinking Galdera – the optional side quest pain-in-the-neck superboss, ugh! So no platinum for me. Should have stuck with Nintendo for this one! Anyway…
Trailing Sleeves gives Octopath Traveler 2 9/10 bowls of soup.
(But if I could have earned the platinum, I would have given this game a 9.5. The half point drop is my revenge! Ha! Take that, Square Enix!)