Each time you faucet open Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, you are prompted with a disclaimer that reads:
It is a message that surprises me every time I open Octopath Traveler: CotC. The truth that Sq. Enix desires gamers to know A) they will possible spend plenty of time taking part in this recreation (as one does with the writer’s RPGs) and B) it isn’t essential to toy with its monetization efforts to speed up the sport’s story, is a wild notice to relay to people each time they play. And but, relating to taking part in the precise recreation, I can not assist however take into consideration the message. Largely as a result of, properly, Octopath Traveler: CotC is so rattling good, it is virtually unfair to name it a gacha recreation.
Let’s again up.
It isn’t as baity as you assume
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is the latest entry within the Octopath Traveler collection. It is a free-to-play cellular unique, developed by Purchase and Sq. Enix, that serves as a prequel to the unique 2018 title. It was made with Unreal Engine 4 — so sure, it appears nearly as good, if not higher, than the Nintendo Swap model — and though the sport’s authentic director, Keisuke Miyauchi, is lacking from its credit, author Kakunoshin Futsuzawa and composer Yasunori Nishiki make their return. It is received phenomenal Japanese voice appearing, respectable English subtitles, and all of the tropes of a JRPG you’d come to anticipate.
It is also a gacha recreation. When you’ve been studying the op-eds round this title, you’ve got possible seen the hatred spewing round that reality. When you’ve seen Sq. Enix’s press cycle surrounding the sport, you’ve got in all probability barely seen a point out of its gacha mechanics.
Nonetheless, I am calling it straight: Dismissing Octopath Traveler — Champions of the Continent as a gacha recreation money seize is a mistake, and never taking part in it’s a fair greater one. I am 9 hours into this recreation and I’ve but to pay to unlock a single factor.
An enchancment from its predecessor
When you can handle to bear by means of its opening text-heavy tutorials, the sport is as easy as a JRPG can get, although an enchancment from its predecessor. Battles are a lot quicker and extra fluid now. There is a mini-map you can faucet to robotically journey all through a city or dungeon, with out the necessity to maintain your finger down in your display screen.
The sport has additionally utterly finished away with therapeutic objects — a novel concept for a JRPG. As a substitute of taking part in with a celebration of 4, now you can use as much as eight characters, and change them between the entrance and rear rows throughout battles. If a celebration member must heal their HP or SP (magic), you may swap them to the rear row to allow them to passively relaxation. These on the entrance will actively assault. It makes for a satisfying combat expertise that goes past the senseless tapping of “Assault” for a bunch of weaker foes.
These two rows are additionally a good way to strategize with Octopath Traveler’s weak spot combating system. In Octopath Traveler, enemies have weaknesses that correlate together with your social gathering’s powers. They might be weak towards bodily or fireplace assaults, for instance, and when receiving these assaults out of your characters, their guards will break, exposing them to greater assaults out of your social gathering. Swapping between these two rows for strategic therapeutic and firepower makes Champions of the Continent really feel like extra of a problem.
The way you fill your social gathering up is the place Octopath Traveler: CotC’s gacha ways are available. Firstly of the sport, your preliminary social gathering chief — in JRPG custom, deemed the generic “chosen one” — is offered to you thru gacha. You will be requested to choose certainly one of three motivations to your character: wealth, energy, or fame. Every predominant quest has a significant antagonist that reveals off these qualities tenfold, when you, however, will be capable of use these traits to your benefit. You possibly can recruit different NPCs as allies by means of the usage of bartering (wealth), combating (energy), and charisma (fame) to enlist. You may also tackle facet quests with these traits as main themes.
Alongside your journey, you will recruit different characters to your social gathering, every with their very own caps on what they’re in a position to be taught, so far as talents and abilities go. Your gacha mechanic is paying for the possibility to win stronger characters. That isn’t in any respect vital for beating the sport, although producer Hirohito Suzuki has gone on report to say that should you’re fascinated about listening to extra a couple of particular character’s arc, you will must dig into your pockets to find extra. Out of my 9 hours of taking part in, I’ve but to even take into consideration doing that.
That mentioned, this recreation’s predominant storyline is a whopping 60 hours lengthy, and should you’re into pulling slots, then hey, gacha is there to partake. There are over 64 characters on this recreation with extra going dwell as updates roll out. Personally talking, I do not assume any of them are value a buck.
A single-player RPG value sinking into
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent is probably going going to be a recreation ignored and unfairly bashed by skeptics, however held close to to the hearts of diehards who thrive in JRPG world-building. I am no fan of JRPGs myself — I can solely take so many random encounters and textual content bins about nothing with NPCs — however Champions of the Continent is a really spectacular expertise. It is received the lessons, weapons, and characters you will fall in love with should you give it a shot, regardless should you’ve performed the unique title.
These in search of a cellular recreation that may replicate time spent with a prolonged single-player console recreation ought to positively do this out. It is among the best free iPhone video games, and actually, it appears like taking part in an superior journey title on a devoted handheld console. Simply do not let the smoke of gacha gaming kill the passion.