Octopath Traveler II – Eight Journeys, Eight Destinies, Eight Stories To Return In Another JRPG Adventure

REVIEW – Octopath Traveler, released in 2018, was a real surprise for JRPG fans, who could experience the adventures of eight different characters in a beautiful pixel-graphic and 3D world. The game has sold over three million copies worldwide and now a sequel has arrived, bringing new locations, new mechanics and new characters. Can Octopath Traveler II replicate the success of the first instalment? After trying the game on Nintendo Switch and PC, we’ll give you our thoughts.



The story of Octopath Traveler II is set in Solistia, a world divided into continents, where the industrial revolution and steam technology are driving progress. Each of the game’s eight protagonists sets off on a journey with a different motivation: actor, soldier, inventor, doctor and thief. The player can start the adventure with any of them and gradually meet the others. Each character tells their own story in their own chapter, with the possibility of intertwining their paths. Throughout the gameplay, there are plenty of choices: where to go, who to take with you, what fighting style to choose.



Eight times the freedom


Perhaps the greatest strength of Octopath Traveler II is that it leaves it entirely up to the player to decide how they want to explore Solistia. The world map is vast and varied, with mountains, forests, deserts, towns and villages to visit. As well as the alternation of day and night, the weather can also affect the environment: roads become slippery when it rains and slower when it snows. The game also doesn’t limit the order in which you visit locations: you can start a character’s chapter anywhere (once you’ve met them), or just wander around at will.

Of course, you should also pay attention to the level of your enemies: if you stray into too strong an area, you’ll lose easily.

The freedom of the game is not only in the map, but also in the choice and development of characters. At the start of the game, you can choose any one of eight heroes, from whom you can’t be separated until the end. The other seven characters, however, can be met at any time and added to your team. Each character has a special ability that you can use in towns or during missions, such as healing people, seducing them, interrogating them or robbing them. These abilities are not only useful, but also fun: we often found hidden secrets or funny situations with them. Character development is not limited either: everyone can learn a secondary profession, which gives you new combat options. There are 12 professions in total: in addition to the basic eight, there are four secret ones to discover. This gives you plenty of variation in team composition and strategy.



Eight times the battle


The combat system in Octopath Traveler II is very similar to the first part: each character has a basic profession (e.g. warrior or wizard), which can be later supplemented with a secondary profession. The Break and Boost systems play an important role in combat: each opponent has a shield that can be broken with certain weapons or spells. If we can do this, the opponent is rendered defenseless for a round and takes more damage. And Boost means we can use our accumulated points (which we get one each round) to boost our attacks or abilities. This makes battles very tactical and exciting, especially against the main enemies, who can often fight us in more than one form.

The combat system not only inherited the Break and Boost systems from the first part, but also introduced a new element: the Skill Link. This means that when a character uses a certain skill, another character can automatically follow with another skill for extra damage or effects. Skill Link can be pre-set in the menu, and you can even link multiple characters together. Skill Link can be very useful in combat, but it doesn’t always work perfectly: sometimes it activates abilities we don’t need or wastes our points. Another weakness of the combat system is perhaps that it can sometimes be too easy or too hard: if we make good use of our opponents’ weaknesses and Boost, we can often easily defeat them, but if we’re not careful, we can be killed in one or two hits. There is no difficulty level choice in the game, so we can’t set the challenge for ourselves.



Eight times the beauty


The graphics of Octopath Traveler II are also very similar to the first part: the HD-2D style game places pixel-graphic characters and objects on a 3D background, enhanced by beautiful light and shadow effects. The game is almost like an interactive watercolour painting: each scene exudes a unique atmosphere, and many times we stopped just to admire the details.

The game’s music also fits the mood perfectly: the composer of the original game, Yasunori Nishiki, has returned to compose another wonderful tune. The game features more than 100 new tracks, including happy, sad and epic ones. The synchronous voices are also of high quality: you can choose between English or Japanese speech.

Besides graphics and music, the other visual and audio elements of the game are text and speech. The game has a lot of dialogue and narration that tells the story of the characters and the background of the world. The quality of speech is good, with both English and Japanese dubbed voices conveying emotions and personalities well. The game also gives you the option to turn on region-specific accents, which further differentiate the characters from each other. Sound effects are also appropriate: in battles, you can hear punches, spells and the cries of opponents.



Eight times the pleasure


Octopath Traveler II is a great sequel that doesn’t change much from the first part’s successful recipe, but it has tweaked it. The story of the eight new characters is interesting and varied, the world exploration is free and exciting, and the combat system is deep and challenging. The game’s graphics and music are also impressive: the HD-2D style still feels fresh, and the composer has once again gone the extra mile.

However, Octopath Traveler II is not perfect: there are occasional repetitive elements or lengthy dialogue, but these do not detract significantly from the overall picture. If you loved the first part or just like classic JRPGs, you should definitely give this game a try.



+ Story of eight different characters
+ Huge and diverse world
+ Tactical and exciting combat system


– Sometimes repeating elements
– Long dialogues
– Difficulty fluctuation

Publisher: Square Enix

Developer: Square Enix, ACQUIRE Corp.

Style: JRPG

Release: February 24, 2023.

Octopath Traveler II

Gameplay - 8.6
Graphics - 8.2
Story - 8.1
Music/Audio - 8.6
Ambience - 8.4



However, Octopath Traveler II is not perfect: there are occasional repetitive elements or lengthy dialogue, but these do not detract significantly from the overall picture. If you loved the first part or just like classic JRPGs, you should definitely give this game a try.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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