Octopath Traveler - Final Thoughts

This is my third blog talking about Octopath Traveler.  It started with a first impression, which was then followed up by commentary on my (least) favorite thing about the game, and now here we are with my coup de grâce on this game.

I've put another 6 (or so) hours into the game this past week bringing up my total to ~25 hours played.  The game is averaging 70 hours to beat, so why are my final thoughts coming in this soon?  What do I have to say about a game averaging 90+ on reviews?  What do I think about the 'love letter to traditional JRPG fans'?

I'll never finish it.  I'm done playing it.

But why?  I've always been a guy who beats games.  The game play is well tuned, the equipment/skill progression isn't over complicated for a JRPG, the music is great, the retro style graphics are perfect, the controls are tight (for a JRPG)... so what is the problem?

In my humble opinion, the story is THAT un-engaging that I just can't go any further. 

At this point in the game, I've completed the first of four chapters with each character, and I've encountered a few of the JRPG tropes that annoy me on my way to kicking off a second chapter.  I'm being forced to use party members I don't like/care for and because of that there's a leveling gap that I have no interest in grinding to close.  Then, when you get to the start of the second chapter (in this case, for the thief character), it's him by his lonesome conducting business, completely disregarding the party members we've spent 20 hours assembling together.  This is where the game lost me.

Allegedly, there's some connection between all 8 stories that you get once you beat all 32 chapters, and a super hard dungeon.... providing you've done two very specific side quests throughout the game.  Oh, yeah, no thanks.  That ain't me.  Not at all.

Looking back, I’ve never been someone to abandon games like this, but I’m at a place in my life where I’d rather buy a different game (I'm looking at you, Dead Cells) that I’ll enjoy more than spend my limited gaming time on something I’m not super invested in.  My critique (of a non-interacting party of 8) is not unique, as seems to be the weapon wielded by most reviews as the only glaring negative of the game, but it's glaring enough to push me out.

For now, I look forward into getting back into Hollow Knight, Splatoon 2 DLC, and maybe even Xenoblade Chronicles 2... Maybe I'll boot up Disgaea 5 for a little bit?  I'm sure it's much less JRPG-y, right? 

Who knows -- but Octopath Traveler, you're definitely a great game, but you're just not for me.

- @testanomics