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I feel like I've given this one a pretty good try, doing a few of the chapter 2 stories before wanting to fully put this down, but yeah, I'm just really not a fan of Octopath Traveler unfortunately. When you look at it broadly, it seemingly has a lot of ideas that could make for a really engaging RPG, but unfortunately, I feel like the skeletons of most of these ideas are all that's present. You have 8 characters, but none of them feel interesting and barely even talk to each other, you've got unique ways of interacting with a lot of NPCs, but the interactions themselves feel hollow, you have a ton of plot threads going on at once, but never any sense of actual stakes nor an instance of them intersecting, and this issue pervades the whole experience. This isn't even a case of just disliking this for being an RPG either, because RPGs are cool, this one just doesn't do it for me despite the amount of promise and how genuinely great certain aspects of the experience were, it's all just disappointing really.
Everything surrounding the writing is where a lot of my biggest complaints stem from, not just from one particular aspect either, it's just all rather bad to me. The premises of each of the 8 plotlines is where I especially take issue with, as none of the set ups really do anything especially interesting on their own, but due to the way everything is structured due to the fact that there are 8 of these, none of the individual plotlines feels as if they really have any ground to fully take off, instead feeling like truncated ideas that aren't allowed to actually expand in interesting directions. This causes the narrative to feel like a consistent drag without an end in sight, further hindered by the pacing being rough thanks to having to jump between each of these narratives regularly, causing everything to feel stagnant with how long it takes to see anything progress in any meaningful way.
Doesn't help that the characters don't really have much going for them, similarly largely feeling like skeletal concepts and tropes without much to really differentiate them. The choice to write all of this in such a self-contained manner as if each adventurer has entirely set off on their own does no favours either, completely hindering a lot of potential interactions and making everyone feel like even more of a blank slate. I personally feel that structuring the game in a way where after the intros for each character, it was possible for a player to fully complete each storyline in full would've done a lot to help with the pacing issue, because as it stands here, it really just feels like an endless sea of nothingness.
The world itself similarly doesn't really do anything for me, neither to towns nor the overworld. I'll say that the game mostly looks very pretty, including these environments, but that's really where it ends for me. I didn't really feel any sense of cohesion in it especially, with generic biomes bleeding into one another without much that felt like it was connected in an especially interesting way, just, "ok and now the scenery is suddenly a desert, and now it's a beautiful, grassy area with absolutely beautiful water, and now it's a giant, mysterious forest" and it just, doesn't feel interesting, there's no real intrigue to any of these places, and as such I end up feeling absolutely nothing when exploring them. Doesn't help that the NPCs don't really add anything to the experience either, having a tendency to just not really say anything of note, at most occasionally providing a single line tidbit of information that I never really found myself caring about given that it never really did anything to make the setting feel any more interesting. The side quests also suck and reveal how empty the whole path action mechanic feels in its implementation, not to mention having other issues to go along with it. So many of them feel vague to the point of being ridiculous while simultaneously almost always just being solved by spamming certain path actions towards surrounding NPCs. It makes for a dynamic that simultaneously feels obtuse while being totally braindead, almost never really knowing the exact thing you need to do, but being able to brute force your way through a lot of them anyway.
Despite all of these complaints, there's one area that the game absolutely excels at (mostly), and that's the combat. Even some of the earliest fights feel pretty engaging due to the combination of the break and boost system being tools that are able to contribute both to long term strategic play while also giving the player a lot of tools to make a lot of nuanced spur of the moment decisions. It adds a lot to the battling experience in a few different ways, as not only does it lead to a more dynamic experience as a whole, but it also feels awesome when you've planned everything out and then enact it all to deal an utterly absurd amount of damage, and can also make each individual fight feel a bit more involved. This last point is a bit of a double edged sword however, as while making it that even a lot of common enemy fights require a bit of thought at times is cool for giving a bit more gravity to each encounter, it also has the effect of making grinding feel agonisingly tedious when you can't really have anywhere to fall back on to only half pay attention while mashing the attack button to gain those extra couple of levels you might need. If the game didn't feel grindy that'd be one thing, but the jump from the chapter 1 areas to the chapter 2 ones felt pretty steep to me with how tanky some of the enemies ended up getting, and it doesn't help that only your 4 active party members even gain any exp, basically forcing you to either grind, or to kneecap yourself by having certain party members be slacking in a combat scenario. Doesn't help that actually exploring a lot of the dungeons was just lame, nothing really going on in them.
Octopath Traveler is a game that has some serious promise in some areas and is outright amazing in others, but the whole package doesn't connect in a way that I feel is particularly interesting, especially since so many of the promising ideas never really deliver on anything more concrete. So many times I was thinking "this could be awesome" only to repeatedly see it exclusively utilised in the more barebones way possible, doesn't matter if this was to do with the world, the characters, or the narrative, basically anything that wasn't the core combat felt lacking, and combat alone really just isn't enough to make for a game I want to play to completion, especially when it's this long. Basically a game that I could only recommend to someone who just reaaalllly loves JRPGs and enjoys this sort of very stylistically basic experience, but even in that case I would probably just recommend playing through a Dragon Quest game instead.

remember when the internet tried to convince itself this game was bad actually. lmao

Undertale has something that a lot of publishers lost over the years: HEART. I started this review not trying to make a joke with the heart mechanic on battles but now I have to start with it. =)
The battles are unique. It's not a classic RPG but the game has some elements of it... It's really hard to describe how the battles work but I can garantiee that's different and really fun. You have your regular attacks, items or you can talk with the enemy on your turns. On enemies' turn, you can dodge their attacks controlling a small heart in a box. It doesn't sound fun but it really is. Every battle is different and you have a lot of options to end it.
The story is simple but AMAZING and UNFORGETTABLE. It's incredible how a small developer could add alternative endings. Every battle will be important to your end. I can't say much to avoid spoilers but you are a kid that fell on a underground world full of monsters and trying to escape.
One thing that I have to say it's that you can see how much this project was important to its developer. I was playing Gears 5 at the same time I was playing Undertale and I could see the difference between something made only to make money and a game that tried to give a journey.
Please, give Undertale a chance. I hope that this review makes you full of DETERMINATION!

If you let Tumblr fandoms ruin a game for you, you need to grow up.

Truly revolutionary for its time. It had the opportunity to get really preachy with its core message but narrowly avoided it.

Quite literally an almost perfect game. Nothing more that I can say that hasn't already been said trillions of times before.

Literally life changing. No game has ever made me feel as much, or as intensely, as this game did. Stopping here, because I feel like anything else I say would sound hyperbolic, and it's all been said already anyway.



This game is the perfect example of a developer using a video game as an art medium to its fullest potential. Everything that happens in this game is so tailor made for being a game that it be killing half the experience to adapt it into something else.
But other than that, the story in this game is the main selling point, this is a basically perfect story abt memories and mental illnesses. The plot is very airtight and the game makes it a point to show you all this crazy shit and leave it up to you to interpret it, its very fun to go back and think about. This honestly is what all those "earthbound-inspired" indie RPGs want to be.
The gameplay if im being real is the only part that was a little lackluster, specifically one boss was really annoying and tedious to get through. The game also isnt very hard which I know isnt the point but at times it felt like if i had one specific setup then i could mop the floor with all the bosses.
Anyways yeah 9.5/10 best played blind and look out for the losers who say this game is mid lmao



One of the few games where the haters are as if not more annoying than the fans

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