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Octopath Traveler: The Battle System

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Octopath Traveler comes out for the Nintendo Switch on Friday. I've been playing it a *lot*. I LOVE the battle system. Here's me spending 13 minutes to tell you about the battle system as we frame-by-frame our way through a two-minute battle.
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Text Comments (84)
Geoff TuckFrump (10 days ago)
Good walkthrough and tips. Thanks. 👍 Great game, as well.
ryukenb2k (13 days ago)
Hmm! They trail each other just like Dragons Quest games.
KillerPie92 (15 days ago)
I've never played a turn-based RPG before, this combat has always been a turn off for me. But I really want to play this game. Is this game a good place to start turn-based rpg's?
A.J. Ello (11 days ago)
I'm in the same boat. Just started playing it today, and I'm pretty sure it's something I'll be able to get into. Which would be nice, because that'd open up an entire library of RPGs that I've avoided up until now.
Smack Bramhall (15 days ago)
Love the very, very quiet jazz music in the background
MyreFly (25 days ago)
This explanation is longer than an episode of Inferno Cop.
eric dawson (1 month ago)
what are the herbs ie herb of valor herb of clamor for?
LizardDude (1 month ago)
The herbs are all cures for status impairments. Herb of Valor cures terror. Herb of Clamor cures silence.
Camille F (1 month ago)
I can't even defeat the first boss, why do I suck
Brian Lopez (1 month ago)
Camille F I struggled the first time in that battle. What helped me is skill slash all enemies with boost and when he grins and twirls sword that’s when you defend instead of attack. It reduces your damage by like two thirds of that special move of his. It’s also possible you might need to grind a bit if that doesn’t work. If you did something different I’m interested in knowing what your strategy was. 😊
wang onn (1 month ago)
Miss the old turnbased
Curly Bobs (1 month ago)
I love Tim Rogers videos, and this one taught me a hell of a lot as well as making me laugh!
Andy Tekampe (1 month ago)
Anyone else think of Spyro Year of the Dragon when you hear this guy talk at certain points? Lol "It would be easy to get that treasure if you had something to stand on" Sounds just like that guy from Frozen Alters.
Matthew Marn (1 month ago)
“Tends to use an attack buff maneuver on his first turn 100% of the time” Um buddy that’s not a tendency, it’s a certainty
chocograph (1 month ago)
I didn't get it. Please definitely explain it again.
B M (2 months ago)
when you find a new job, equipped right away, it makes better any build and can carry more weapons
B M (2 months ago)
almost all enemies with the same sprite have the same debilities, as example in here you can see 3 lizards but one don't said the same debilities as the other 2, so check that out
B M (2 months ago)
the tactics that i have is break shield first and then hit it with the BP to make more damage, if you use your BP when they have a shield the damage decrease a lot, i use attacks all to break all shields and then use the single foe attacks (those make more damage)
B M (2 months ago)
not necessary, if the shield is higher it doesn't mean that it hits harder, it just mean it has more heal point
AirMaxPenny (2 months ago)
Thanks.
Revz8bit (2 months ago)
it's odd that every enemy in the game is called "Vulnerable"
UglyhoodRAT (2 months ago)
guys the game is boring and there is no interaction between characters it's all cluster fuckband main story is generic.
Bjorn Andurson (2 months ago)
This game's got nothing on KNACK 2 BA-BEEE! OOOOOUUUH~
itiro tanaka (2 months ago)
Atelier Sophie
Luke W (2 months ago)
Tim i know you read these comments please compare this game’s combat to cinco paus thank you
Matheus Xavier (2 months ago)
I see your plan. Let's see how much you get on that d20
Mr. Vacca (2 months ago)
I can’t WAIT for this game’s release tomorrow!!!! It’s going to keep me busy summer long.
Matthew Miranda (2 months ago)
Very helpful.
Kevin Broderick (2 months ago)
I could watch a Tim Rogers video about any topic.
Rajin90 (2 months ago)
8:20 You would've gained the second BP anyway if you had casted any unboosted spell instead of defending. You wasted a good amount of damage here. It didn't really matter in this specific case, because as you said it's a low level battle. But if it weren't one, that damage could have mattered.
Juan De la Garza (30 days ago)
You're right Rajin90, but I think it was more important to show the "defend move" importance.
Kotaku (2 months ago)
yeah, i knew i didn't need that extra damage because i was keeping track of how many times all of the enemies had been hit. also casting an unboosted spell would have been a waste of SP! also, i had a checklist of things i wanted to do in my "untouched" battle and one of them was "demonstrate stalling for a BP" lol
Swe Kiwi (2 months ago)
Excellent break down of the battlesystem of Octopath. I like the guesswork of the weaknesses.
sheamus (2 months ago)
looks like a fun switch game, still haven't picked up a switch though.
SkitBit Production (2 months ago)
sheamus awesome piece of hardware
ViRrOorR (2 months ago)
the graphics annoy me. why have pixel sprites without natural movement mixed with kind of realistic background and effects. how this is a triple a game baffles me
ViRrOorR (2 months ago)
SkitBit Production its just been overhyped by the nostalgia fans its gonna be forgotten like every other wanna be oldschool finalfantasy copy rpg out there.
ViRrOorR (2 months ago)
phatboy5015 mixing in real time graphics with pixels takes me out of it completely it just doesnt work. Like what kind of world is it supposed to take place in. It cant be both good and bad graphics. Also the whole colorscheme is so mundane and lifeless with very little colour. Nothing looks alive in this game. Ive seen way better pixelgraphics than this.
phatboy5015 (2 months ago)
Have you actually played the 3 hour demo? I think think the characters and graphics are great. I like how they mixed 2D with things like real time shadows and lighting effects.
SkitBit Production (2 months ago)
ViRrOorR that's your opinion and I respect that but I completely disagree and it got high ratings from many sites in both America and Japan
ViRrOorR (2 months ago)
SkitBit Production so far it looks and seems veeery bland and dissapointing both story and gameplaywise. It lacks character. The graphics are veery offputting and boring as hell
Darian Hopkins (2 months ago)
Do a video on skills secondary skills.
Marco Cammarota (2 months ago)
Tim. Fuck yes. As always.
Trevor Warren (2 months ago)
TIM. I would ask if I should buy this but about the time you SMOKED baddie #1 I received an email from Amazon saying it shipped. This is where I would put a shrug emoji here if I knew how.
ryukenb2k (13 days ago)
Bruh Dragons Quest 11 for PS4 beats the crap out of this game.Better story,better characters,better gameplay,
ddnnqq (2 months ago)
hell yeah
Jin Sun (2 months ago)
Trials in the sky - simplified edition
Gugelhupf (2 months ago)
STOP letting this guy make videos for Kotaku. BRING BACK MIKE FAHEY AND SNACKTAKU
Gugelhupf (2 months ago)
oh no! Glad to hear he just got out!
Jack Lechner (2 months ago)
Was it the snacks? :(
Rhyme Wilder (2 months ago)
dude Mike Fahey has been in hospital for the past few months and literally just got out.
blueshoals (2 months ago)
He's the best part of Kotaku.
jmt1000 (2 months ago)
Why? He's funny and I like his sexy voice and I say that as a heterosexual man. Also, I'd rather hear something from someone who's into the game and Tim is REALLY into Japanese RPGs.
123456 (2 months ago)
THAT'S A 3:49
afkCORPS (2 months ago)
lets hope he got some flex tape around ;P
Quinn Burner (2 months ago)
thanks tim
Jakob Dorof (2 months ago)
thanks quinn
Naphaster Jones (2 months ago)
I enjoyed what I played of both demo's, but was disappointed to see that all the character path's converged in this manner -- or at all really. Olberic's demo from last year was very fun playing through solo; especially considering how difficult it was compared to most other RPGs (both western & japanese). It reminded me of the challenge of Dragon Quest 1, with added depth considering that you had to manage skill points to strike multiple enemies at once given the massive amount of damage they do, while also conserving SP for future battles. Too bad the original demo had multiple save states throughout, and it seems as though they've kept it in the more recent demo. Primrose's recruitment system felt as though you were improvising party builds based on what was immediately around you. If they would've incorporated Labryinth of Touhou's TP system, it could have been something great. The game still looks interesting, and I hope the boss battles - and the 'long game' of regular encounters - stay engaging as you say they do. Especially considering that Octopath Traveler successfully combines SMT: Nocturne's Press-Turn system with Bravely Default's Brave/Default mechanic. I haven't had the opportunity to play Four Heroes of Light, so I don't know what if anything they may have taken from there. Hopefully Atlus will take the shield point system from this game, the Co-op system from SMT: Strange Journey, and incorporate them into Shin Megami Tensei V. Looking forward to the video review tim! (if you are reviewing it that is)
Naphaster Jones (26 days ago)
Party Customization in 1 game != party customization in any other game. Octopath's party customization is straight-up garbo. and given its battle system and player dynamics outside of battle, it would've benefited from a lack of superfluous party customization as what the game currently provides.
TNTrailblazer (26 days ago)
+Naphaster Jones you're saying you'd prefer less party customization, which is ridiculous. Not sure why you would be disappointed in the ability to customize your party as opposed to no customization. Very strange
Naphaster Jones (1 month ago)
my issue is more with them converging at all. battles are seemingly of a more generic variety due to preparation, resource management, and expected party status were compromised e.g. solo Olberic in the first demo had me engaged in managing SP throughout battles while using multi-hit skills in order to quickly incapacitate monsters who had enough health to be a considerable challenge, not just being trash encounters); Primrose recruitment becoming less significant, etc. dual classing was another unneeded dimension that this game ought to have not included. it took the unique aspects of each character and simply let you prep a singular team. not trying to claim its impossible to manage dominant combinations - or even engaging ones - due to the variety, but it certainly exacerbated the issue enemy encounters already had after allowing permanent joining of other MCs. as for the story, the first demo made it apparent that they were going to be terrible (and having played Bravely Default, I expected as much already). the story wasn't a letdown for me since I already expected the worst to come of it at the outset. overall, the game ended up being a complete let down for me. the battle system including press-turn in some form was interesting! hopefully they'll make a game I could enjoy without as many of the niggling issues it had for me. Where games mostly have niggling issues for me in terms of story, aesthetics, narrative -- basically, overall presentation. this game was a bigger letdown as it attempted something with its battle system -- and exhausted it with great balance from enemy encounters from the first demo. battle systems in most turn-based games don't bother me as they are usually boilerplate (outside of hating Valkyria Chronicles for its real-time movement system that takes strategic value out of moving, and other such examples from games).
Kevin Kirkham (1 month ago)
Naphaster Jones there’s no big evil they all band together to fight, they all have their own story.
Lamar Alexander (2 months ago)
Just got my notification that the game is being sent from Amazon.  I may have to call in sick on Monday for a long weekend.
HazeySB (2 months ago)
Less than 4 more hours!
Matthew Labenz (2 months ago)
It's like Bravely Default and Child of Light put together! Neat!
Sista Jinx Thomas (2 months ago)
Maria Rodriguez I miss those games, hopefully SaGa Scarlet grace gets localized.
Maria Rodriguez (2 months ago)
No ! Is a SaGa series son . Most people won't know this . Because the ones that play the closest . SaGa Fronteir and Romancing SaGa were never popular games . Which ware a very hardcore and difficult series .
Jin Sun (2 months ago)
Matthew Labenz more like a simplified version of trials in the sky series.
Crimson 7 (2 months ago)
Cant wait til friday... kinda hoping Amazon accidentally send it early
Revz8bit (2 months ago)
Crimson 7 from my experience, you can count on 1 or 2 days late
D.Cipher (2 months ago)
this explanation is longer than an episode of captain tsubasa
D.Cipher (13 days ago)
ryukenb2k indeed, the best ff.
ryukenb2k (13 days ago)
Hi bruh is your thumbnail from final fantasy tactics.Hmm!
TheSkaOreo (2 months ago)
Not gonna lie: I’m digging your smokey voice. “Oooh yeah, baby. I’m gonna show you some rpg mechanics.”
Geoff TuckFrump (10 days ago)
Yep. You can tell the narrator is Barry White. 😆👍
Gamma Relay (2 months ago)
...
Pigpug Pigpug (2 months ago)
Found my new way to hit on women.
Reliken (2 months ago)
Tim Rogers content is why I subscribe to Kotaku dot com
ToastedKitten (2 months ago)
this isn't bookworm adventures deluxe, but I'll settle for it.
Jason McCreary (2 months ago)
heck yeah (fist message opportunity; Im taking it.)
Kotaku (2 months ago)
thanks for the comment buddy
Maducrutz Lillywhite (2 months ago)
1

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