Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Episode 42: Exploring Octopath Traveler II (with Raya)

For podcast #42, we have a very special guest with us, Raya, also known as the Glimmering Harpy!

Raya joins us to talk about Octopath Traveler 2, but before we get into that, we want to learn more about her background with JRPGs and gaming in general. In this Q&A, Raya shares where people can find her online, her first console and favorite console, and her favorite genre of video games. She also tells us about her most memorable or important JRPG.

Moving on to the main discussion, we start by asking Raya and the other host if they played the original Octopath Traveler and their brief thoughts on it. Octopath is most known for popularizing the 2DHD graphical style, and we get to hear where they stand on this design choice.

Next, we delve into the story and characters of Octopath Traveler 2.

The game features eight protagonists, each with their own unique narrative. Before you can see if or how these narratives tie together, you need to make a major decision: who is your starter, and why? Raya and the host share their thoughts on the eight-character system, the lack of connections, and the side stories and travel banter.

We then move on to the gameplay, discussing the combat system and the job system. Outside of combat, the game uses path actions to allow you to gain new information on objectives, learn more about the world, and purchase or steal items. Raya and the host share their thoughts on this system, whether it enhances the gameplay experience or feels too forced/contrived.

Moving on to world-building and level design, Octopath Traveler 2 has more streamlined dungeons compared to the first game, and the world feels even bigger this time around. Raya and the host share their thoughts on overworld and dungeon traversal, memorable locations, and how the depth of field affects your perception of the world. Finally, we end on music, with Raya sharing her thoughts on the soundtrack.

We then get her final thoughts on Octopath Traveler 2, what stands out the most to her about the game, her overall impressions of the experience, and whether she would recommend it to new players or people who bounced off OT1. She also shares the biggest drawbacks and how they impacted her experience.

And last but not least, we end the episode with the Game Recommendations of the Week.

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