Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent | Review – can Octopath gacha be?

Since time immemorial, gaming houses have been trying to bring their most famous IPs to the mobile market, with mixed results, among a few miraculous successes and many easily forgotten products.

In 2020, Square Enix and Acquire attempted to bring Octopath Traveler to smartphones, with the prequel Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent. After two years of waiting, the game is finally available on western stores for iOS and Android devices.

With a good dose of expectations, and not without fear, we have launched this mobile adventure for you, to tell you if it is worth starting the download.

Before the story we all know

As we anticipated, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent (CotC only from now on) serves as a prequel compared to the Octopath Traveler we all know. The story, in truth, offers three alternative routes: you will be called to make this choice in the early stages of the game, but you can easily follow the others later.

The story told always takes place on the continent of Orsterra. We will play the role of a mysterious chosen onein possession of the so-called Divine Rings, with the task of recovering the remaining ones, currently in the hands of ruthless people who use them for their purposes.

You will be offered three stories to choose from at the beginning, but you can play them all later.

As per the tradition for mobile titles, the story comes constantly updated with new contentand to explore it fully you will also have to deal with the classic waiting mechanics (indirect, this time) due to microtransactions and to the component as far aswhich we will return to later.

For what we have been able to play, the story does its duty: we are not at the level of that of the original game, but it is still a good accompaniment, which excellently expands the world building with a view to building a game universe full of ideas for the future of the series.

Graphically, the game flaunts a good 2D HD styleof which we particularly appreciated the sprites of the characters, as well as the illustrations that represent them, in line with the excellent charachter design seen in the original game.



It is limited to 30 fps however, it could turn up one’s nose, especially for those who find themselves playing with a particularly performing device; on this front, certainly Square Enix could have done more, but this is not a problem capable of affecting the gaming experience.

Very good instead soundtrackthat respects the high quality standards to which Square Enix has accustomed us over the years (as for the excellent Bravely Default II, to understand, which you can find on Amazon) and which refers to that (splendid to put it mildly) of the original Octopath Traveler.

Of course, we are not faced with one of the most memorable OST ever, but the songs still manage to do their duty and you may find yourself listening to them even outside of matches.

Aesthetically, the game makes its figure.



Octopath Traveler on mobile, nothing more and maybe a little less

At the level of gameCotC is basically a mobile adaptation of the game seen on consoles, with very few differences.

It is always a JRPG with turn-based combatthat it adopts the same combat system that we already know, with the only important difference of being able to have up to eight characters in your party.

Considering that the gameplay of the base game was excellent (if you haven’t played it yet, and we advise you to do so, you can retrieve it on Amazon), there is no reason to complain about an adaptation that slavishly retraces its path, indeed. The game was also stuffed with side queststhat will keep you company for an indefinite number of hours, if you want to try your hand at them, and will allow you to discover more details about your travel companions.

In the course of the adventure, in fact, you will meet many characters, some of which will be recruitable; the game currently advertises over 60 characters to be able to include in your team, a truly remarkable number that hides a small catch, which we will return to shortly.

If the gameplay has been adapted rather well, the control system has suffered a bit of the transition to mobile. The touch controls work, sure, but they are not really the best way to control the character, who will simply follow the direction we indicate on automatic tracks.

We will be able to recruit many characters over the course of the adventure.

We understand that the chosen platform inevitably entails limits, but we could have opted for another, more effective control system, given that other JRPGs have already managed to propose it.

Beyond the initial tutorial, excessively long and tedious, the game still manages to entertain, repeating the formula already tested with the original title. Except that …

Microtransactions

The microtransactions in this game they are found in the up apart. To recruit new characters in the party, in fact, we will have to rely on the now famous “pull”, which will allow us not only to have new units but also to find higher levels.

The drop rate is quite low, and it will be particularly difficult to find higher tier units. And this would not be a bad thing, were it not that soon in the course of the adventure we will be faced with a surge in the difficulty levelwhich will make our life very, very difficult if we have no intention of spending money.

Paradoxically, CotC could be defined you don’t pay to winwhere, however, there are no other users to win against, but only the story of the game. And defining a single player pay to win game is really symptomatic ofhaving pushed the bar of endurance a little too far over the limit.



In defense of the game we could say that microtransactions are not advertised aggressively (except of course during their first introduction), but this matters little when the title makes us face the impossibility of continuing except by spending money or passing. hours and hours of grinding. And even the hours of grinding may not always be enough, given the presence of a level cap.

In short, we stayed very disappointed with the handling of microtransactions. The game is certainly not a masterpiece, but it could have been an enjoyable companion to the main title if handled right. This being the case, however, we do not feel like recommending the title unless you are a huge fan of the original adventure and do not feel comfortable with the idea of ​​possibly spending money to continue the adventure.

Can I really play it for free?

On a purely theoretical level it is possible to finish the adventure without spending money, but the level of difficulty, combined with the presence of a level cap for the units, makes very difficult to continue in certain sections unless you want to put up with hours and hours of grinding.

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