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The Hidden Side Of Octopath Traveler's Combat

With the release of the Square Enix JRPG on Nintendo Switch, Mike Mahardy takes a deep dive into the game's combat, and the various games that inspired it.

With eight playable protagonists and eight separate storylines that you can take part in during a single playthrough, Nintendo Switch's new RPG Octopath Traveler is a lot to digest. It jumps from one adventure to the next, switching between revenge stories and coming-of-age tales at a moment's notice. It's a lot to balance.

So going into the game, Mike Mahardy had high expectations for the writing--the presentation and dialogue holding all of the stories together. The narrative glue, as he calls it in the video above. But, as he spent more and more time with the JRPG, he found that narrative glue not in the traditional narrative, but in the game's combat.

In the video above, Mike explores the various ways Octopath Traveler uses its combat to tell its story. Not only does it supplement its written narrative with the actions characters take in battle, but also helps to pull you through several lengthy adventures that otherwise run the risk of outstaying their welcome.

Any game can tell a story through exposition. It takes a special title to tell that story through gameplay. For more, check out our Octopath Traveler review, in which Peter Brown gave the game an 8/10 and said, "The promise of new jobs, exciting boss fights, and powerful gear will inspire you to poke around every corner, and there are no shortage of discoveries to strive for."

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Avatar image for Jago-Vs-Fulgore

I'm 30hr's in.. Loving the game. Olberic is my favorite character.. I gave him a 2nd job as an Apothecary which made Olberic completely Op in duals. Buffing the spell "emPOISON" ensured constant damage delt to the enemy while maintaining my health for the enemy's big spells all while I attacked their weaknesses.

Avatar image for kaiserdisco

im really glad this game is getting so much love. It really is something very cool and interesting

Avatar image for Renunciation

The combat is quite good, indeed.

The classic old-school JRPGs didn't have homogenized characters, indistinguishable outside of their names and sprites.

Retaining individual character in Octopath Traveler was a good call.

Avatar image for lionheartssj1

I'm loving the game, but the scaling can sneak up on you if you're not careful. I really need to find the job shrines.

Avatar image for texasgoldrush

"But, as he spent more and more time with the JRPG, he found that narrative glue not in the traditional narrative, but in the game's combat."

However, there is a unification quest at the end. Narrative wise, it also comes together.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide

Damn I gotta get this game...

Avatar image for johnblaze911

@Bread_or_Decide: Do it, this game is legit fun if you like RPG's.

Avatar image for mojito1988

Well said. This game is simply brilliant.

Avatar image for schiff11

Amazing game.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

I have got to ask Mike.... would you have given this game a better score than an 8. Even when you and Peter Brown were playing I thought I could tell that you liked it a bit more than he did.