Thane

Project Octopath Traveler

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Hello everyone.

In case you missed the Direct, Square Enix is going to release a Switch-exclusive JRPG sometime next year tentatively called Project Octopath Traveler because JRPG's probably have a competition in coming up with the most bizarre names possible.

In preparation for this, they released a demo where you can play the introductory part for two out of the eight protagonists. They'll also conduct a survey later on to collect our feedback on the game, and I figured we who played the demo might as well discuss our thoughts here.

Keeping in mind that a lot of things are subject to change as this was merely a demo of a game that'll come out next year, here are my thoughts and the feedback I would leave on the survey if I could write whatever I wanted.

1) I'd like a greater variety of voiced lines. Many of them are repeated, which gets especially annoying/comical in combat. Primrose starts every turn with "I am ready", even if she's on her own.

2) There needs to be a way to skip previously read dialogue before a boss fight. While I was getting used to the combat, I died twice to Olric's boss battle, and getting back to that fight took quite a long time of mashing the A button.

3) While I like the general art direction and presentation quite a bit, the sprites for the main characters feel oddly unemotional. They can effectively close their eyes, change poses slightly and...that's about it. This runs the risk of creating a bit of a dissonance as Primrose looks the same when talking to Yusufa as she does when she sees one of the assassins who killed her father.

4) This is might be unnecessary to include since this is just a demo, but I will say that I hope there'll be more to do in the overworld than to find treasure chests and fight monsters. Some more interactivity would be nice, but I realize this might be overkill for a demo. Basically, I just hope the eight protagonists' unique strengths will translate to more than just NPC interactions.

5) The name doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Overall the game really surprised me with how fun it was to play, and right now it's definitely looking like I'll buy the full game when it releases. However, there's definitely room for a few quick fixes to make the experience more enjoyable. With any luck the story will be good too.

What're your thoughts?

Edited by Thane

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The good

  • Art direction is amazing.
  • Combat is simple yet engaging
  • Voice acting is (mostly) good
  • Each character having their own unique abilities is a good thing. When the full game rolls around, it'll definitely be fun playing through all eight stories
  • Music is decent so far
  • Being able to swap out weapons in battle with the touch of a button

The bad

  • Since you brought up, i'll have to agree that despite the art direction being amazing, the sprites do feel emotionless
  • While the combat is good, it is clearly not meant for one party member. This is noticeable when you fight the bosses. When a boss has a shield counter of 6, you know one person alone isn't meant to break that. Speaking of bosses
  • The bosses are just HP sponges. They aren't super hard or anything, but they take so long to kill. This was more of an issue in Primrose's tale, where i had to stock up on a lot of healing items because the boss would eventually bring me down to low health while he was nowhere near death range. This ties into my previous point, where you're clearly meant to have a party. I know in most JRPGs, you start out on your own, but the combat is designed to where, at least in early game, one character can handle it, even in a boss fight.
  • I'll have to agree on unskippable dialogue regarding bosses. I died twice to the boss in Primrose's tale (because he was an HP sponge) and it became a matter of pressing A as fast as i could to skip the dialogue i've already read.
  • No HP meter on enemies. This is probably more of a personal issue, and i don't know how often it is in JRPGs, but i like knowing how much health my enemies have. Most of the time in this demo, i just use AoE attacks. Knowing enemies' HP can actually help with strategy planning. If it's not there, i'm afraid the game may become an AoE spam fest.
  • Outside of hitting weaknesses, there isn't really a reason to change weapons. Would be nice if changing weapons gives you different skills to use.

Overall, i enjoyed my time with the demo. The game is still clearly in development and i have faith that the issues will be resolved. I'll be looking forward to picking it up.

 

Edit: I just remembered another thing i didn't like about the demo. The lighting in the darker areas is too dark. I get that those places are dark but at least let me see. 

Edited by Armagon

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So Far I've enjoyed Primrose's tale and will get to the other tale. I'll toss in some ideas on my side here too

Good

  • Great Artstyle
  • Music is pretty good despite being semi-limited (demo of course)
  • VA is pretty good
  • Combat is nice
  • Likes the exploration and hidden areas

Neutral

  • The dialogue, while it is presented very well, the content of it definitely seems a bit more mature and vulgar then what I'm used to
    Spoiler

    for example the boss on Primrose's side calling her a whore actually shocked me

    Not saying that more mature dialogue is a bad thing but something unexpected

  • Level caps, I know this is a demo and all and of course they won't let you go all the way up to 99 or whatever, but I feel like level 15 is still a little low, given some enemies are still tougher then you at said level in the demo

Bad

  • Broken combat, this is not in boss fights, but basically in any free battle you can "stun" lock enemies, it's done best with two characters, but basically have both use up their burst at turn 1 and shield break the enemies with the weapon that they're weak against, then next turn since they're stunned, attack with 1 move, then repeat these two turns until you have 4x burst and go all out, while fun, it makes combat boring with how easy it is to break
  • Skippable dialogue please, I know it's important but if we've read it and died have the option to skip please
  • HP meters please, it's so annoying to just go off wits and hope you're doing good damage to a boss when in reality you're only doing 1% of it's health a turn
  • In hidden areas, please make it so it changes so we can see the character, like in houses, as of right now we just see the landscape and have to guess where we're going
  • Quest log, as the few quests in the demo I had no idea what needed to be done and I actually finished one before I had started it
  • A glitch I found in one area was the camera got stuck in the overworld, I basically had to retrail where I was back up to the village before the camera zoomed back and refocused on me, has only happened once but is worth mentioning.

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So far I'm very impressed especially by the storytelling. The story manages to have a mature tone without veering into edgy territory, which is increasingly incommon(looking at you, Zack Snyder). I would not be surprised if this game ends up rated M, especially given What's His Face being implied to rape his dancers.

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My thoughts are kinda in this 2 hour stream I did haha. I'm really looking forward to the game overall. 

Skip ahead a little to skip me messing with settings and stuff, I also derp quite a number of times lmao.

 

Edited by Jedi

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4 hours ago, Armagon said:
  • Since you brought up, i'll have to agree that despite the art direction being amazing, the sprites do feel emotionless

Yeah, I'm afraid this'll affect some of the more emotional moments in the game if they just stand there with a blank look on their faces.

4 hours ago, Armagon said:
  • I'll have to agree on unskippable dialogue regarding bosses. I died twice to the boss in Primrose's tale (because he was an HP sponge) and it became a matter of pressing A as fast as i could to skip the dialogue i've already read.

This surprised me the most, I believe. This seems like it shouldn't be a problem in 2017. 

1 hour ago, blah the Prussian said:

So far I'm very impressed especially by the storytelling. The story manages to have a mature tone without veering into edgy territory, which is increasingly incommon(looking at you, Zack Snyder). I would not be surprised if this game ends up rated M, especially given What's His Face being implied to rape his dancers.

The warrior's story was pretty much as standard as it gets, but maybe it suits someone like him. Maybe it's a good introduction for newcomers to JRPG's. However, I felt like the writing was rather stale on occasions, and I can't say I liked Primrose's situation that much; that dancer pimp felt just a bit too much of an asshole, even if such people exist in real life.

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Yeah I played it yesterday I just finished the survey by the way if you haven't filled it out yet it should be in your email that's where I got mine.

My thoughts similar to a lot of yours, but I'm not sure how fair some of them are concerned the combat because most RPG start out bad in the beginning with combat.  That being said I wish I looked at the thread beforehand because I forgot to mention in my survey that I want health bars I hate invisible health bars they are so annoying though not a deal breaker.

Anyways my major points is I want complete voice acting for story scenes, it's randomly not voice acted at points and that's a definite minus the voice acting that is there is good though. Obviously I don't expect it from random NPC dialogue but I would have heavily appreciated it being present in all story  scenes.

I love the arts style and sprites for this game though it's still certainly feels early in development  i'm certain that the polish will be added to the game as it progresses.

I thought the start of the stories really good especially Primroses.

I think the concept is really cool and promising and i'm looking forward to seeing how it is  fleshed out. 

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Those crispy SFX, dang. The overworld skills look fun, as well as being able to choose your journey path and who you recruit.

Kinda bummed it's a switch exclusive, it looks fun to try out. At least Lost Sphear is multi-platform. :P

 

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Digging the art style and the combat, though I have some issues as well.

1) I hope they add the ability to skip dialogue before a boss battle, or in general.

2) Needs more variety in the voiced lines, especially during the battles.

3) I wish the enemies had specific frames for when they attack, rather than just a generic slash above their sprite indicating they attacked you.

4) Combat, while fun can be broken as mentioned above.

I'm glad surveys are being sent out, they mean to fix the game and make it even better.

44 minutes ago, Gemma said:

Kinda bummed it's a switch exclusive, it looks fun to try out.

The team behind Bravely Default is making this, and those games were exclusive to 3DS. I'm not really surprised this is a Switch exclusive, and it's a perfect fit considering it harkens back to the SNES era of Final Fantasy. I can see why you'd be bummed out by this, but I imagine alot of the people on these forums will buy a Switch for the next FE, if they haven't already. 

 

8 hours ago, LucarioGamer812 said:

Quest log, as the few quests in the demo I had no idea what needed to be done and I actually finished one before I had started it

There is a journal option on the pause menu, but it was grayed out because this is a demo. I'm sure that will have the sidequests logged in there.

Edited by DragonLord

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6 hours ago, Locke087 said:

Yeah I played it yesterday I just finished the survey by the way if you haven't filled it out yet it should be in your email that's where I got mine.

Wait, really? I haven't gotten it. Do you need to do something in the demo for that or...? 

What kind of questions were there?

Edited by Thane

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5 hours ago, DragonLord said:

The team behind Bravely Default is making this, and those games were exclusive to 3DS. I'm not really surprised this is a Switch exclusive, and it's a perfect fit considering it harkens back to the SNES era of Final Fantasy. I can see why you'd be bummed out by this, but I imagine alot of the people on these forums will buy a Switch for the next FE, if they haven't already. 

Shame that its still fairly hard to find a Switch right now for a good chunk of people.

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The art style took some time getting used to but I'm interested.

I was surprised how dark it was. Half the thing Primrose hears are barely concealed rape threats. 

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20 hours ago, Thane said:

The warrior's story was pretty much as standard as it gets, but maybe it suits someone like him. Maybe it's a good introduction for newcomers to JRPG's. However, I felt like the writing was rather stale on occasions, and I can't say I liked Primrose's situation that much; that dancer pimp felt just a bit too much of an asshole, even if such people exist in real life.

Hey, not every villain needs to be super deep and multi-faceted, especially not a starter villain like him. Now, if the wierd shadow dudes just killed her dad to be assholes that would be one thing, but starter villains don't need to be that. For example, in Harry Potter Professor Quirrel is basically a flat character, not nearly as complex as Voldemort or even as some other Death Eaters like Lucius Malfoy, but he doesn't need to be. Niether did Helgenish.

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25 minutes ago, blah the Prussian said:

Hey, not every villain needs to be super deep and multi-faceted, especially not a starter villain like him. Now, if the wierd shadow dudes just killed her dad to be assholes that would be one thing, but starter villains don't need to be that. For example, in Harry Potter Professor Quirrel is basically a flat character, not nearly as complex as Voldemort or even as some other Death Eaters like Lucius Malfoy, but he doesn't need to be. Niether did Helgenish.

That's fair, I suppose. Was it ever explained why Primrose had to dance as opposed to just hanging around the bar if she knew the assassin frequented the place?

Changed settings on my Nintendo account so that I can accept surveys. Redownloaded the demo now. Let's hope I won't need to replay it all in order to participate in the survey. I want to make my voice heard!

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The repeated voice lines were did annoy me a lot in the demo too. It might get a bit better when there's multiple party members but I do hope there'll be more variety. Also, the ability to skip cutscenes would be nice too. I died before Primrose's boss fight and having to watch the same cutscene twice did annoy me.

This may sound stupid of me considering it's a Square Enix game, but I didn't expect the game to focus on the story that much. I mean, in the Nintendo direct trailer, they hardly even mentioned anything about the story and instead focused more on gameplay and graphics. Because of that I also kind of thought the game would be aimed for a younger audience but, boy, was I proved wrong on that one. But I am glad I was wrong on both of those things.

I'm also glad there's more characters than the two in the demo since I didn't really feel like I could relate to or like all that much of Primrose or Olberic. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike either of them but my feelings towards both of them were just "meh". But I must commend Square Enix for putting an old man and a dancer as the two playable characters for their jrpg demo.

I haven't gotten an e-mail about the survey yet but I suppose that could be just the European Nintendo's slowness and weirdness.

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5 hours ago, Jedi said:

Shame that its still fairly hard to find a Switch right now for a good chunk of people.

Well there is a few Special switches coming out soon (splatoon 2 and Odyssey) plus for some reason my local gamestop has like 3 of them that have been there since launch so IDK

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8 hours ago, Jedi said:

Shame that its still fairly hard to find a Switch right now for a good chunk of people.

It's been getting better ever since Splatoon 2 launched, I'm seeing Amazon Canada having them available for longer periods of time, and hearing of similar situations in the US. Japan's Media Creates was showing close to 100k each week for the few weeks after Splatoon 2 launched, and then sales dropped to around 50-60k (which is still decent, considering the shortages). Before Splatoon 2, weekly Japan was only selling around 20k, just goes to show how much the stock situation has improved. I suggest people who want one should start searching now though, Nintendo can only stockpile so many for Odyssey and the Holiday season.

Edited by DragonLord

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9 hours ago, Thane said:

Wait, really? I haven't gotten it. Do you need to do something in the demo for that or...? 

What kind of questions were there?

Here I'll just post the link for everyone here,  just anyone here who takes it please make sure you've actually played the demo before you take the survey, Survey link.

 As for why you may not have received the email, If you're not signed up to receive emails from Nintendo you might not have got it at all or it might've found itself in your spam box not sure. The questions on the survey just ask what you liked, disliked, what you played of the demo, if you play the previous games and what you're looking forward to in the final game. 

Edited by Locke087

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4 minutes ago, Locke087 said:

Here I'll just post the link for everyone here,  just anyone here who takes it please make sure you've actually played the demo before you take the survey, Survey link.

 As for why you may not have received the email, If you're not signed up to receive emails from Nintendo you might not have got it at all or it might've found itself in your spam box not sure.

Damn, looks like my survey e-mail option from Nintendo wasn't activated. Any chance I can still get the survey? I don't think I can use your link for a submission.

Edited by DragonLord

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7 minutes ago, DragonLord said:

Damn, looks like my survey e-mail option from Nintendo wasn't activated. Any chance I can still get the survey?

Does the link not work on your end? The link I included is to the survey...

As to whether or not you still have a chance to receive it after reactivating that option, no idea... if you really want to receive the link yourself your best safety option is to re-download the game and play through one of the campaigns again (at least partly) which will most likely prompt it to resend.

Edited by Locke087

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I went through the survey with no problem. Weird.

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7 minutes ago, Locke087 said:

Does the link not work on your end? The link I included is to the survey...

As to whether or not you still have a chance to receive it after reactivating that option, no idea... if you really want to receive the link yourself your best safety option is to re-download the game and play through one of the campaigns again (at least partly) which will most likely prompt it to resend.

Link works, but I was under the impression that the link is unique based on your e-mail. I guess I'll try and complete it with your link then, thanks.

Edited by DragonLord

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20 minutes ago, DragonLord said:

Link works, but I was under the impression that the link is unique based on your e-mail. I guess I'll try and complete it with your link then, thanks.

That might be true but I completed the survey before so if it was a unique instance I'd figure it would just say thank you whenever I click the link like most surveys that I've already completed that are unique instances. So I don't think that instances are unique, I think anyone using the link is probably safe, but there is a small risk so in using my link so if anyone else reading this can easily get the email they should use their own link obviously... 

Edited by Locke087

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4 hours ago, Locke087 said:

Here I'll just post the link for everyone here,  just anyone here who takes it please make sure you've actually played the demo before you take the survey, Survey link.

 As for why you may not have received the email, If you're not signed up to receive emails from Nintendo you might not have got it at all or it might've found itself in your spam box not sure. The questions on the survey just ask what you liked, disliked, what you played of the demo, if you play the previous games and what you're looking forward to in the final game. 

Thanks, I just submitted mine. 

7 hours ago, LucarioGamer812 said:

Well there is a few Special switches coming out soon (splatoon 2 and Odyssey) plus for some reason my local gamestop has like 3 of them that have been there since launch so IDK

I just personally know several people who are still trying to get theirs, and it was a struggle for myself too, partly because I was uninterested in the bundle games like Arms. 

4 hours ago, DragonLord said:

It's been getting better ever since Splatoon 2 launched, I'm seeing Amazon Canada having them available for longer periods of time, and hearing of similar situations in the US. Japan's Media Creates was showing close to 100k each week for the few weeks after Splatoon 2 launched, and then sales dropped to around 50-60k (which is still decent, considering the shortages). Before Splatoon 2, weekly Japan was only selling around 20k, just goes to show how much the stock situation has improved. I suggest people who want one should start searching now though, Nintendo can only stockpile so many for Odyssey and the Holiday season.

Yeah its going to get crazy.

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Finished both routes a few hours ago. Very pleased with the demo--thought it conveyed what Square Enix are going for very well. Big fan of both characters, though I think I prefer Olberic right now. In a haste to comlete the survey,I completely forgot to mention an option to skip dialogue. Too busy wanting character portraits, haha.

13 hours ago, Jedi said:

Shame that its still fairly hard to find a Switch right now for a good chunk of people.

To my understanding, UK's stock for the Switch greatly improved when Splatoon 2 got released. I've heard or seen no complaints regarding stock issues over here, anyway, and getting mine was super easy. Importing from the UK is an option for people, though it's admittedly a more costly one.

Edited by DodgeDusk

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