Square Enix Serving Up Classic JRPG Bait on Switch
JRPG fans on Switch rejoice! Square Enix’s codenamed, Project Octopath Traveler, the retro-looking JRPG for Nintendo Switch finally got some concrete details with today’s Nintendo Direct. With two trailers dropped, the gameplay looks to hit that classic JRPG itch harder than the time Sector 7’s plate fell on Midgar slums.
The game, which is being developed by the team behind Bravely Default, will see a worldwide release in 2018 with a worldwide demo out tonight. In the trailers. the game touted using a graphics style called “HD-2D”. With the detailed PlayStation-era pixel work, there are also modern effects like transparency from the mist. The enemies in battle follow classic Final Fantasy with some larger-than-life sprite work.
Besides that, the game will let players take control of eight different characters, each with their own abilities. Tonight’s demo will let you play as the dancer, Primrose, or as the warrior, Olbrec. The Overview trailer showed that Olbrec can go around challenging anyone in town to duels. It sounds funny, and I’m curious if the kid in the screenshot above will be safe from Olbrec’s bloodlust. Primrose, on the other hand, is slightly more interesting as she can use “Allure” to get townsfolk or enemies to follow her. With the former, she can even summon them into battle after charming them while enemies can be lead to traps.
At one point in the trailer, we get a quick glimpse of the world map which is more like Final Fantasy Tactics where you click on a location. It’s unclear if there are random battles, class systems, but we’ve got other JRPG battle staples: equipment and abilities. The battle system also has a mechanic similar to Bravely Default called the Boost system where you can save up Boost Points to power up attacks or chain them together. You can even inflict a Break status on enemies which makes them more prone to damage.
While everything looks pretty great, I’m curious how the game’s story will be as a multi character JRPG can be done well (Dragon Quest IV), but not much can be gleaned about the overall plot from the two trailers we got today. That said, I’m still excited to hear impressions of the demo tonight, and will be looking forward to the game’s release in 2018. Hopefully, they’ll decide on a less stupid name for the game by then.