Octopath Traveler Champions of the Continent Preview – More Like Tripath Traveler
A few years ago, Octopath Traveler took the world by storm with its compelling story, and served as the first game where the developers experimented with the now-famous HD-2D style, where pixel art characters interact in a high-definition space. But now, the million-dollar question is… does all of that translate well to a mobile device, and should you truly give it a look when it officially releases?
Champions of the Continent starts the story off with you as a traveler that suddenly awakens with a mysterious ring around your finger. You’re tasked to thwart the Three Masters, which are all corrupted by some sort of excess: Fame, Wealth, or Power. During the Closed Beta, you could only go until Chapter 2 of each of those stories. You can do them in any given order, and the stories are written just as you’d expect from the series.
I’m just going to rip off the Band-Aid and say that the original charm of the game is also completely gone, because as far as I could tell, the protagonist between stories does not change at all. The stories themselves aren’t connected, but instead of 8 travelers, 8 paths, you got 1 traveler, 3 paths, greatly contradicting the core of what made the series unique.
Battles are an element that was reworked for mobile, and the system works something like this: You have no items. Instead, you can have a party of 8 members: 4 in the front, and 4 in the back. The members in the front can switch with the ones at the back, and every turn, they will heal a bit of HP and SP. After a few turns have passed, you can also add a multiplier to their attack. One fun thing about the battles is that whenever you break an enemy’s defenses, your phone will vibrate. A lot! It might sound like a small thing, but I’ve never truly seen a mobile game focus on that for immersion’s sake. The battle system is really well-crafted.
However…while the battles translated rather well to the mobile device, controlling the characters inside the dungeons…not so much. It feels a bit awkward on mobile. Instead of a joystick, you slide your finger in the direction you want to move, but you have to do this multiple times in order to dash. You can tap at certain icons and the character will automatically move, but I would still prefer a control scheme like some sort of joystick for better precision, instead of having to slide my finger over and over.
And now, let’s not gloss over the most important part: Yes, this game has a gacha system. Yes, this game has daily missions you complete and grind every day.
However, I haven’t felt particularly locked out just because I didn’t have the strongest character. This might change in the later chapters (like I said, only chapters 1 and 2 are playable in this closed beta), but I haven’t had any personal issues.
If you’re looking for an Octopath experience, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent does check some of the boxes. However, the fact you have to stay connected to the Internet at all times could get into the way if you were looking to immerse yourself into the world while on the go. Plus, the fact the story only features three-story points instead of eight really waters down the experience.
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