The new role-playing game Octopath Traveler is better than the original Switch

Three evil tyrants scan the continent of Orsterra.

Image: Square Enix

Octopath Traveler: Champions of the ContinentRecently available on mobile, it’s a worthy sequel to 2018’s original Switch RPG. I was expecting a watered down combat system and hellish menu like many other gacha games on mobile. Square Enix proved me wrong. Champions it preserves the images and music they have created Octopata a unique title in a field of cute RPGs, and his simplified combat is a huge improvement over the grind of the original game. Octopata it’s even better on mobile than it’s ever been on the Nintendo Switch.

In 2018 Square Enix released the original Octopath traveler on Nintendo Switch. Set on the same continent as Orsterra, Champions is a prequel, set in an unspecified period of time Octopata. While the protagonists of Octopata appearing in some side missions, the narrative centers on a band of cheerful adventurers who are joined by the sacred ring carried by the first “chosen”, your first player character (who is randomized through the gacha). It’s an interesting take on the first game’s narrative system, in which eight characters came together for even more subtle reasons. Although there are side missions focused on each of the characters, the main campaign focuses on three themes: wealth, fame and power. Each series of main missions revolves around the overthrow of a tyrant that exemplifies one of those qualities. The group of adventurers can also accumulate points in each of these qualities, which affect the recruitment of NPCs and the collection of resources.

Sofia is dating an architect and her cat.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

Critics generally praised the former Octopata the game’s art style, combat, and music, but some found the gritty progression and story uninteresting. So I was a little nervous when I found out Champions it was a mobile game. Many gamers who are used to premium console titles often find the mobile routine too frustrating to bear. After years of playing on mobile devices, I have a tremendous amount of patience, but even I remember hearing it Octopath traveler it was a bloated time sink. I was prepared for Champions aggravate the original problem.

I was also worried about how well the Octopata the art style would fit a mobile game. The character designs are whimsical and effectively draw on the nostalgia many players feel for the 16-bit JRPG of the 90s, but they aren’t exactly exciting or eye-catching. With the exception of the dancers, the characters wear pragmatic clothing in earthy colors. I couldn’t see myself obsessed with fanarts from Octopata characters like I did with Caenis Fate / Grand Order or the dragon girl in which Ch’en Arknights. When I started ChampionsI barely remembered what it was Octopath traveler the characters looked like.

These were the concerns I had before actually playing. Eight hours later, those largely forgotten worries, I realized Champions it’s my absolute favorite way to play Octopath traveler. The auto-shift feature, where you swipe the screen to automatically run across the landscape, is intuitive. There are buttons to stack each character’s moves at the same time, which makes ordinary battles much faster. If I only encountered a couple of weak enemies, I could finish the battle with two taps.

Champions it also introduces the concept of reserve group members in the back that can be swapped in and out at will. If anyone got hit with a status effect, I simply pinned them to the bottom line and used the reserve group members. Characters on the bench also recover health and SP (mana). Since there are up to eight characters in each battle, it is easier to distribute experience points to multiple characters.

In both games, combat mainly revolves around targeting enemies’ weaknesses to break their shields. Doing so was tricky in the original game. Multiple enemies in the same battle often had different weaknesses (such as pole weapons, daggers, or fire), and boss battles became excruciating when bosses changed their weaknesses. In ChampionsHowever, with my group split into two rows, I could organize my front line to break enemy shields with multi-hit basic attacks in the first turn, and then use my back line of powerful characters to punch the health of the enemy in the next turn. I was amazed at how Champions managed to do Octopata feel less grindy by making very small changes. It wasn’t supposed to be an overhaul and the combat still works similar to how it works in the original Switch.

Members of the Orsterran group fight a snow fox.

Screenshot: Square Enix / Kotaku

But wait, there’s more! The impact of status effects is now greatly reduced, a wise decision that allows champions to completely eliminate inventory management. I could get equippable weapons and armor, but I no longer had to juggle salvage items or status ailments. I didn’t have to think about the difference between the Weed of Clarity and the Weed of Awakening, which was a truly hellish experience when I finished. Octopata last year. The NPC summoning system has also been greatly simplified. Summons are no longer tied to specific characters – you can now temporarily recruit people by fighting or paying them, regardless of who is in your party. These might be sad changes for RPG fans who like to manage their inventories or endure the consequences of state conditions, but they’ve given me a more enjoyable RPG experience.

Champions he is also faithful to the imagery, soundtracks and extraordinary stories he created Octopath traveler so memorable in the first place. I felt so comfortable and comfortable as I walked through the HD-2D landscape to the sound of Octopath travelerthe energetic soundtrack of. And I didn’t have to worry about the charm of the character – I loved every single person I recruited through the gacha system. The return of OctopataThe character-centric search system allowed me to get attached to the characters at my own pace. While some RPG fans might feel it Octopata the characters are not morally gray or complex enough, I love how humble, recognizable and genuinely likeable the characters are. I am used to recruiting noble nobles, legendary warriors and even gods in other gacha games. And even though the cast is made up of up to 80 playable characters, the writing makes them distinctive and likeable in an easy way. Rather than being all incredibly high and intense, I’ve spent a lot of time simply helping people feed their kids or understand their research project. Characters in both games are motivated by altruism or an inherent appreciation of worldly wonders, rather than revenge or grudge. It was relaxing to watch the characters fidget over small misunderstandings or easily solved human struggles. I love the JRPG melodrama about secret bloodlines or whatever, but sometimes I just want to relax with people who have normal human weaknesses. Champions it fits that niche perfectly.

The leanest Champions the experience allowed me to return to my game whenever I felt like it, and I didn’t have to relearn a complicated system to progress. It strikes the perfect balance of accessible enough for those who have never played Octopath traveler and loyal enough for anyone who wants Champions be a direct follow-up.

While mobile gacha games often have a bad reputation for being a money trap, it’s clear that the developers of Champions pay close attention to designing a turn-based RPG that is enjoyable to play. And many of the new combat and mission system redesigns are meant to improve the single player experience rather than the monetization aspect. The new features, the way the themes intersect with the game systems and recognizable characters Champions a significantly improved single player experience over its predecessor.

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