Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: July 27, 2022 (Americas and Europe)
Platforms: IOS and Android
Reviewed On: IOS
I went into Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent (Octopath Traveler: COTC) knowing it was a prequel story for the larger Octopath Traveler game. If you’d like to know more about the original game, you can check out this article that reviews it. I was honestly expecting just a mobile, gacha game, something developed just to pass the time and accumulate some revenue. I came out of it with a lot more.
The developers are still updating the game, including the main story which I have yet to fully complete. But, I’ve reached far enough in the story that I’m coming across the updated story that I felt it was about time I wrote a review for the game.
Table of contents
In the continent of Osterra, a traveler suddenly finds themselves spoken to by a mysterious voice. They are told they have been chosen, bestowed a ring with a blue light that will guide them on their journey to maintain balance. This traveler has a choice: do they seek power, fame, or wealth? This kicks off their journey against Herminia, the “Witch of Greed”, Tytos the “Hero”, and Auguste the “Playwright” with many more enemies to come.
Like Octopath Traveler, this game is a turn-based RPG. Players start with a set hero randomly given to them (Milared, Sofia, Gilderoy, Fiore, Lynette, Theo, Viola, or Scarecrow) and accumulate more heroes to form two parties. These parties each include four people which can be freely rotated during combat. Players control the front row during battle meaning only the front row attacks and receives damage from enemies.
There are eight jobs travelers align with: Cleric, Scholar, Merchant, Warrior, Dancer, Apothecary, Thief, and Hunter. These jobs have weapon types in corresponding order: staff, tome, spear, sword, fan, ax, dagger, and bow. Travelers are not able to equip weapons that are a higher level than they are nor a different type.
Each character has a basic attack that requires zero Spell Points (SP). As travelers level up, they accumulate Skill Points that can be used to level up their skill trees where they can learn new skills and gain passive abilities. Some of these new abilities use SP to deal physical damage according to their weapon type or cast elemental spells.
Travelers also have elements they align with. These elements are Fire, Ice, Wind, Lightning, Dark, and Light. There are three slots travelers can use for skills, although characters do have a fourth slot that comes with a certain Awakening level.
Each enemy has weaknesses whether that be to a certain weapon type or element. Taking advantage of their weaknesses means breaking through an enemy’s Shield Points, allowing travelers to deal large amounts of damage. Furthermore, breaking enemies’ shields also means they can’t take their turn.
For every turn that passes, travelers store up power in Boost Points (BP) that can be used to augment powers and deal even more damage with basic attacks and skills. Travelers store up to five BP and using it resets the charge.
Certain travelers also have an Ultimate Technique. This technique comes with its own gauge that increases the more a traveler does a boosted action. An Ultimate Technique can only be used once during battle and greatly differs between travelers. Some travelers have an Ultimate Technique that heals the party, others buff party members, and some deal large amounts of elemental or physical damage.
All of these elements together create a rather immersive RPG experience. I’m rather fond of the combat and find it challenging when encountering certain enemies. I’ve definitely had to fight through certain bosses multiple times to understand their mechanics and defeat them with the right strategies.
Players can gain more travelers through the gacha system. They are freely given three other party members at the start of their journey to make a full party. But, that means there’s probably only four weapon types, and potentially four elemental types in the team. In a game where enemies have a variety of weaknesses both physical and elemental, having a diverse party is a boon while exploring and battling.
Hence, the gacha system. The gacha system is called Guidance of the Sacred Flame or Guide for short. Characters will range from three-star to five-star in rarity. In fact, some characters are even capable of awakening to gain a star, boosting their stats and abilities.
Awakening to increase a traveler’s star rating means that most characters have more finicky Guide rates. All five-stars have a four-star equivalent that can be awakened using a character’s Awakening Stone which is gained by pulling that same character. All four-star characters also have a three-star equivalent with the same Awakening basis.
The rate of three star characters being pulled is much higher than four-star characters which is higher than the probability of getting five-star characters. This makes it a little more probable for players to gain a five-star character without directly Guiding that five-star character. If a player ends up Guiding a character they already have that is a higher star quality than the one they currently own, their current character will immediately Awaken to that rarity.
There are three basic Guide banners that players will always have access to. The first is the Gold Chance Encounters which utilizes paid rubies in order to pull for characters. The second is the Silver Chance Encounters which uses regular rubies to pull on it. The last is Sacred Guidance which uses Traveler’s Sacred Seals in order to pull on the banner.
All three banners feature the same characters. There are many of them, 39 of them being five-star in fact. There are 32 four-star characters available on these banners, and then 24 three-star characters.
Each banner has a separate pity system that does not carry over to new banners. A player is guaranteed a five star character at 200 pull pity. As each 10 pull costs 300 rubies, this is a pretty costly price for a five star character.
Thus, alongside these standard banners are event banners that run from time to time. They feature rated up five-star travelers that make it more likely for players to obtain them. These event banners come in two forms: the standard Guide and then the step up. The standard form works just like the three basic Guide banners, a rated up chance for that five-star character that players can pull on.
The step up is the better option when available. These step up Guides have five steps and cost 1000 rubies overall. Players also receive rewards in return for every step they pull on this banner. At the fifth and final step, they are guaranteed a five-star traveler. It is much easier on the players to build up for and also have a better chance of getting the rated up five-stars.
The game is very grindy. At first, leveling up the party through free rewards and traveling the world make it possible to enjoy the story and combat with relative ease. However, as the story progresses and the map opens up, the level cap of enemies increases, typically by increments of 10.
This can be difficult for many players, especially for ones who don’t have five-star travelers. Five-star characters naturally have a level cap at 80 whereas three-star characters have a level cap at 40. These level caps can be broken by Guidestones. However, the difference of needed resources between five-star and three-star characters is pretty obvious, especially as the further story missions require travelers to be over level 80.
Additionally, I’m always battling and looking for more resources. Building weapons at the Blacksmith can be pretty costly, especially since I’m constantly trying to build up my weapons alongside my characters. My characters currently all sit at over level 80 and yet my weapons are still stuck at level 60.
Not only weapons, but armor as well. Armor is also restricted by the traveler’s level, so its level cannot exceed that of the traveler. However, it requires different monster drops like weapons do and make it more difficult to craft. I’m in a similar situation in that all of my traveler’s armor sits at level 60.
Travelers also do not level up quickly just by fighting in the overworld. Most of the experience comes from Experience Nuts which range from a Small Experience Nut to a Large Supreme Experience Nut. Many of these are given to players at the start of the game, but players have to start farming for them once they unlock the ability to go on Hunts.
Thankfully, Hunts also greatly increase a Traveler’s level as well as drop a lot of gold coins. Hunts also can be automated after defeating a hunt location once making it easier to grind through it a day. However, Hunts accumulate a charge every day to a max of seven. The charge increases by one every day meaning only seven Hunt excursions are available a week.
Many times, I’ve been stuck from completing a quest because of the level caps and needing more resources. Although I can make do with a certain difference in levels between my team and the enemies, combat becomes progressively more difficult when the gap is so wide that I’m essentially one-shot by common enemies.
I really went into the game because I was looking forward to the story. Each traveler has their own personal Traveler Story that delves more into their backstories. Then, there are Side Stories that range from unlocking more Hunt locations and helping random non-playable characters (NPCs).
Then, there is the Main Story which really blew me away. I quickly attached myself to characters and immersed myself in the world. I was also really surprised because the game was not afraid of death, quickly getting rid of those same characters I attached myself to.
I began with the path of Wealth, going after Herminia the “Witch of Greed”. Once I completed her story, I quickly realized I also needed to complete the other two paths of Power and Fame. Just as I thought I was done, a new part of the Main Story opened up.
Every time I’ve reached a conclusion to the story, a new problem occurred that pushed my journey to continue. It has not felt overdone or confusing either. I understand why the story continues to push forward, why the Chosen One has been called to Osterra in the first place. Although the story is a bit predictable, it’s a good predictability. It’s a story written well with good pacing.
Final Score (4 out of 5 Stars)
I have yet to spend a single cent in the game but have a pretty decent team entirely made of five stars built up. Furthermore, I greatly enjoyed the story and seeing the problems grow bigger as my traveler grew stronger and more capable of handling them. The retro RPG style really appeals to my nostalgia and the music is fantastic as well.
Despite the rather difficult gacha system and grinding, it’s a good game to play through every now and then. Anything daily I do in the game typically only lasts half an hour, if even that. It’s not a game I have to entirely focus on; missing rewards is not the end of my progress in the game. It was a much bigger and better made game than I was expecting, especially as something made for mobile platforms.
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