Octopath Traveller 2 Review ( Octopath Gezgini 2 İnceleme )
Square Enix’s Octopus Traveller 2, a traditional JRPG released in February 2023, is the third in the series that began in 2018. Created in co-operation with Japanese developer and publisher Acquire, the series immediately attracted the attention of fantasy RPG fans with its attractive graphic style called HD-2D. . It combines retro-style character sprites reminiscent of the Super NES with layered environments and high-definition visual effects. But the first game also attracted people with its unusual story presentation and engaging turn-based combat.
Octopus Explorer 2 offers more of the same, so much so that it feels more like a sequel to the first game than a true sequel. The graphics have been slightly improved, but otherwise hardly changed at all, and even the user interface, combat and gameplay loop seem to be picking up exactly where Octopus 1 was left out. The soundtrack, composed by Yasunori Nishiki, offers a number of new themes, all immersive and expertly done. But most of all, Octopus 2 offers a few quality of life and gameplay tweaks that hint at a “If It Ain’t Broken” approach, which works because most aspects of the first game were already pretty top-notch, but those hoping for a more notable overhaul may be disappointed.
Octopus Traveller 2 introduces eight new characters, or travellers, with various jobs, backstories and passions. As in the first game, each job comes with unique combat abilities, as well as skills known as Path Actions that can be used while travelling around town. For example, Osvald is a Scholar who can cast basic spells in battle and can also Investigate the townsfolk to discover the locations of hidden items throughout the day. Ochette, as a Hunter, can Provoke NPCs to fight for a little more experience, and Temenos the Cleric can direct people and summon them to help in a limited number of battles.
These abilities will be very familiar to those who played Octopus 1 because almost all jobs and skills are the same between games, including secondary jobs that every traveller can learn. However, some passive abilities, called Talents, have been changed. For example, in the first game, Therion the Thief was able to open special chests using the Unlock skill. In Throne, the sequel, the Thief instead has a passive ability called Blessings of Darkness, which increases the attack and speed of allies in battle.
Octopus 2 also introduces a day and night cycle that can be changed at will by the player and significantly affects gameplay. For example, Throne’s Blessings of Darkness only triggers at night, and all travellers have a second Path Action that can only be used after dark. each character in Octopus Traveller 2 also has a unique secret power, which is a powerful ability similar to the powerful ability in the recent fantasy 7 Limit Exceed. So while it is a little disappointing that almost all of the jobs and abilities are copy and pasted from Octopus 1, these few changes help to make everything look a little fresh and appealing. Even the sometimes gruelling pace of the first game has been taken into account, and players now have the option to increase the speed of battle.
Each character in Octopus Traveller 2 has his or her own story to follow, broken down into small chapters that can be completed in an hour or two. From the wronged and seeking revenge, the unlikely hero on a quest to protect his people, or the bandit on a quest for redemption, they all follow predictable RPG formulas. These are told through seemingly endless, mostly silent dialogue, interspersed with small quests to break the tedium. Luckily, scenes can be set to autoplay or skipped altogether, and generally the travellers’ stories are more gripping than those in the first game.
The lack of an overarching narrative to tie the separate stories together was a complaint from people who played Octopus 1. Eight scenarios shared in a single game is an intriguing idea, but it can feel more like an anthology of short stories than a coherent, epic adventure. The sequel suffers from the same sense of disconnect, although the developers clearly made an effort to bring the eight paths together in a more meaningful way, with an endgame dungeon and boss fight providing a satisfying finale. Octopus Traveller 2.
One shortcoming of Octopus 2 is the game’s failure to establish a real sense of camaraderie among this group of strangers travelling the world together. When activating any character’s individual story sequence, that person is suddenly left alone and the group inexplicably falls apart. Even the “travelling banter” between party members that is occasionally alerted on screen does little to dispel the feeling that they are on completely separate journeys.
Conversely, and perhaps even in addition to this sense of neutrality, the NPCs introduced during each character’s personal narrative feel like a more integral part of their story than other party members. They often have a similar degree of development, personality and background, and interact more actively with the characters. This could be remedied with occasional cutscenes or other cutscenes, for example, to show the travellers that they have experienced more than just fighting together and to add more depth to their dubious partnership.
Although party members often seem distant from each other, they come together magnificently in battle. Although traditional turn-based combat octopus 2 has a somewhat unique combat system, it will be quick to understand for anyone familiar with old-school RPGs. It’s not all about crushing enemies until the victory screen appears, and once the intricacies of combat become clear, even regular fights with enemies of the same level can be enjoyably challenging. However, aside from some random difficulty spikes that require the inevitable EXP grind, overall the combat feels easier than in the first game.
After each turn in combat, each character gains an Upgrade Point, with each point increasing outgoing damage. These can be spent immediately for a small boost, or players can tactically stockpile up to five points to unleash an extremely powerful attack. It becomes a matter of balancing patience and the desire to strike quickly while taking a light beating.
Added to the mix are enemy shields, which take a different number of hits to knock down. When an opponent’s defences are broken, attacks deal more damage. These shields, however, can only be shattered using weapons or spell types in which the enemy is weak, thus adding another layer of complexity to the battle. Mastering the synergy between party members and their abilities, taking the time to release reinforcements, deciding whether to use AOEs or focused attacks, and uncovering enemy weaknesses make Octopus Explorer 2 consistently dynamic and fun.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing; Octopus Explorer received a mobile spinoff and a sequel for a reason. It was a successful bridge between SNES-era turn-based RPGs and modern gaming expectations, offering an engaging game that could absorb hours of free time. Octopus Traveller 2 is more of the same, with side quests, interesting characters and a vast world to explore. Essentially, it gives fans of the first game an additional 60 hours that they already enjoyed, and newcomers can jump into the sequel without worrying about what they might have missed.
Octopus Explorer 2 is currently available on PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch. Today Technology was given a Steam code for this review.