Octopath Traveler Demo.
Last week, Nintendo released a demo of their upcoming RPG, Octopath Traveler, on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Developed by Acquire and published by Square-Enix, the title is developed by the same team behind Bravely Default and Bravely Second for 3DS. While Nintendo previously released a demo for the title last year, this version showcases improvements as well. Furthermore, you can now start the story as one of the eight characters. With a three hour time-limit, you may also finish several of the prologue stories in the process.
Earlier this year, we covered Octopath Traveler. Featuring eight characters, all with different storylines, you eventually recruit them into your group. Each character has their own story. Getting through them is the key to earning their trust and allowing them to travel with you. This in turn allows your characters to finish their goal as they reach new areas and take on a new chapter. In the demo, however, only the first chapters of each character are available. With that said, we’ll guide you on things to know about the demo as well as what to expect from the game.
What to expect if you didn’t play the first demo.
If you’re new to Octopath Traveler, the premise comes as a traditional JRPG. Built on the visuals echoing to the days of the SNES and PlayStation era, Octopath Traveler utilizes sprites. Called “2D HD,” the game utilizes bloom lightning and other special effects to bring the art style to life. With visuals similar to Final Fantasy VI, and similar 16-bit RPGs, it’s a perfect echo back to the old days while embracing the standards of a modern-day title.
Start the demo off by picking a character. I started with Olberic, the Knight. Everyone has a special talent they can use on the map. For instance, Olberic can challenge NPCs to a duel, while Primrose can use Allure to summon them to battle. You have towns, dungeons, and fields that connect them. You can also Quick Travel to revisit towns you’ve entered before. When exploring, make sure to check passageways for hidden treasure as well. There’s usually an indicator if you look.
In battle, you’ll take turns against your enemy. If you’re familiar with Bravely Default, you can use a boost system to augment abilities. Whereas in that game, you acquired more turns, in Octopath Traveler, you buff your attacks. You can buff anything from normal attacks to stat boosts. As turns progress, your boost points will recover. Using them strategically is key, as leaving yourself open afterwards can cost you your team.
What to expect if you played the first demo.
Unlike the first outing on eShop, Octopath Traveler allows you to pick one of the eight characters from the get-go. Once you clear their story, you’ll be left to explore the fields. You can go to the next town over and start the story of its respective character. You also have the option to skip the prologue story of each character, a bonus if you finished Olberic and Primrose’s story previously. You’ll recruit each character and add them to the party while finishing their story as well. Once you do, you’re free to leave their town and move onward to the next. Watch this if you want to learn more about improvements made from the last demo.
As the previous demo didn’t allow you to recruit them together for the same story, this one does. Going from Olberic to Primrose means the two fight together now. For those struggling against her boss fight before, this will certainly make it easier. Upon clearing Alfyn’s story, however, I had both of the former characters and ended up having to change my strategy a bit. One thing I note is the game will scale difficulty levels based on the party members you have. For each one you have, the enemies get stronger in the next area. This is good news for anyone concerned about the game’s difficulty.
You can pick any of the three paths you want to. And the best part is your save will carry over to the full game. You’re also given the option to pre-purchase the game on eShop, which I did impulsively. And the best part is, the game will kindly allow you to save your progress upon reminding you that your time is up. Don’t worry about losing data.
Octopath Traveler harkens back to the 2D era of RPGs. However, it is stunning, beautiful, and captivating all at the same time. The battle graphics and map visuals alike are stunning. Meanwhile, the story captivates you with its clever writing, engaging the player with scenarios that press them with life-or-death matters. Some of the plot twists end with a shocking or gruesome end, and the game is not afraid to hold back. That said, I’m pleased with the voice acting from what I’ve heard so far. For those who prefer Japanese dubbing, rest assured. Octopath Traveler allows for dual-audio.
Fans of Final Fantasy, Bravely Default, or RPGs in general will certainly be pleased with this demo. You can download it today on the eShop, as well as pre-order the game if you’re interested. Keep up to date on NerdBite as we continue covering Octopath Traveler for Nintendo Switch, which comes out July 13, 2018!
Thank you for reading our coverage of Octopath Traveler! Do you have a favorite character? Let us know in the comments below!