Square Enix recently released a demo of Project Octopath Traveler on the Nintendo Switch. Traveler is a “2D-HD” turn-based RPG developed by Square Enix and Acquire. It currently does not have any firm release date beyond 2018.

So what is “2D-HD”? 2D-HD takes 2D sprites and surrounds them with 2.5D environments and modern special effects. It is a very unique approach. I feel that the environment and special effects look awesome, but the sprites were somewhat disappointing. The sprites seemed to lack detail and looked very blocky (especially on a big TV). Maybe I am spoiled with more modern sprites, but it feels like they could have spent some more time with the artwork here.

The demo comes with two of the eight classes enabled. They are the warrior and the dancer. I put some time in with the warrior and enjoyed the turn-based battle system. It has the standard fare of abilities, defense and attacks, but it also adds in a way to boost your attack. After each turn, you get another dot on your boost meter, which you can use during your next attack. You can chain up to three boosts in one turn, which makes for some strong attacks. Boosts can be combined with your normal attack and your abilities.

Each class has a unique ability that can be performed outside of battle. In the case of the warrior, he can challenge people to a battle. When you challenge another character, you will see their ranking in a five star based scale. One star is easy whereas five is hard. In the demo, most of the time these battles lead to experience and money, but sometimes it will complete a quest. This is an interesting addition to the turn-based RPG, but I found that I was getting bored with challenging people. Maybe if they put it to better use in the full game, it could be fun, but who knows what their grand plan is.

Outside of challenging people, the majority of battles happen randomly while you wander around the world. It is no different that other turn-based RPGs in this aspect.

I found that the warrior’s story was not very strong and kind of boring. He is a fallen warrior that failed to protect somebody from being killed. He then moves to a town under a different name and tries to lead a quiet life until a group of brigands threaten the town and kidnap a boy. At that point you go save the boy and your identity is revealed. I just did not care for the character all that much and found the dialogue to be bland.

I plan on giving the dancer a try to see if her story is more compelling. I want to love this game, but in the end, I felt that it is not the strongest turn-based RPG. They also need to find a new name for this game, I can never remember it.

Star unselected
Picture?type=large AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 09/23/2017 at 01:49am
Wow, I absolutely love the 2D-HD look! I agree the sprites could be nicer, but I'm not offended by them. I really like the visual style.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 09/23/2017 at 02:50am
Seems like a mix of Dragon Age Origins(each class had a different intro story) and the the main game picks up and it sort of comes together similarly.

One question about how Demo's work on the Switch. Is it a timed demo or a locked based on an amount of plays? I found many of the demos on the 3DS are locked by a certain amount of plays and that always seemed odd to me as most demos i've ever played were just of the first few levels.
1a853d78362c245aa95060273ee77bb9.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Will_Ball wrote on 09/23/2017 at 03:24am
It is locked based on areas of map and story. So there are areas where it says you can't go there in the demo.
1a853d78362c245aa95060273ee77bb9.png?d=https%3a%2f%2fcheerfulghost.com%2fassets%2favatars%2fheadphone cheerful ghost Will_Ball wrote on 09/24/2017 at 12:23am
I tried the dancer and couldn't go through with playing her demo story. I just was not interested. We will see if the story improves in the final game.
D954c245b9b17eb70ef2a7f547d392a9d148df97 full jdodson wrote on 09/24/2017 at 01:53am
Hope so.
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