3 Reviews liked by rinv

Octopath Traveler came out at the right time, It kickstarted the HD-2D genre.
That's about all I can say about Octopath Traveler. While the game was a commercial and critical success, It felt lacking in more aspects than one.
So here comes the long awaited sequel, how does it fare to the original?
As of writing this, I don't believe I've ever played a game that improves on every single part of the original game and rises to new heights in the entire genre. It's a magical little game that has managed to hook me in from the first minute of playing the game, every single character is interesting and are fun to be around, they each have their own storylines together. It feels like everything has finally clicked.
The original game simply feels like just a proof of concept compared to this.
Octopath Traveler as a game was an interesting idea, but it lacked the narrative hook and It didn't help that the characters weren't really interesting either, the interactions between them were minimal or even non existent at times, everything felt disconnected.
The game at its core felt like a short 20 hour long classic SNES JRPG about multiple protags of which all of them had their own storylines cough Live a Live cough but stretched over to 100 hours, it felt exhausting.
This resulted in the average person picking up the game for around 20-30 hours, having their fill and putting the game down.
However Octopath 2 feels like it deserves those 100 hours and ends up making every single minute of those 100 hours insanely fun and entertaining, be it the combat, the characters or the beautiful environments.
If you were someone who loved the original, were let down by it or absolutely despised it.
I desperately urge you to give the second game a chance, there is no doubt in my mind that this game will go down as one of the greats in the entire medium.

I can see the faint traces of the magic that people see in this game. I can hear bits of the echoes of the things that touch them or that they find charming. But for me, it came up very, very short.
I got all the way to the sand monster boss, where my game would not stop crashing, which I took as a sign for me to stop trying to force myself to have a good time.
I think I could go on at length if I could talk out loud, but having to formulate my thoughts right now in this little word box, I don't know if I can articulate why it doesn't click with me very well, but lemme give it a shot.
I've heard people compare this game to like watching episodes of a Saturday morning cartoon. People have said it's a hangout game, or a vibes game. I think that's true for those people, but the missing context there is that it's a certain type of Saturday morning cartoon; it's a certain type of hangout. It's a boy's club hangout.
DQ11 feels like the perfect, most magical game dreamed up by three 10 year old boys in 2002 from within a treehouse with a 'NO GIRLS ALLOWED' sign on it.
Just not my thing.



i have not played replicant ver. 1.22 at all and i imagine it may be some time before i do, but i wanted to take a moment to say a couple things about this game. mostly, i wanted to talk briefly about nier's particular place in recent games history in the west.
think of what video games looked like in america in 2010: extremely dominated by AAA western games design, to the point that many games by japanese developers were coming from increasingly disadvantaged development studios trying to keep up with what sold. jrpgs were at an all-time low—call of duty and gears of war reigned. final fantasy was as maligned as it would ever be. from japan, we saw the likes of binary domain, quantum theory... lots of cover shooters and miserable militarized shootmangames. (don't get me wrong: binary domain is cool!) there were certainly examples to the contrary, mostly niche games in staple genres, but this was the prevailing flavor of the day.
so: demon's souls? while not a massive departure from western aesthetics, it clearly signified a resurgence in fresh, inspired games from japan. i don't think it would be a significant stretch to suggest that nier may have benefitted somewhat from the renewed interest demon's souls and bayonetta elicited, but much more than that i'd say it owes its success and its legacy entirely to itself. nier came out swinging: fuck you, this is japanese games. bullet hell shooters, farming sims, references to zelda and resident evil, the sheer weirdness of it... it was a game that seemed to be proud of japanese games, unwilling to bow down to the demands of the western market. and i think the success of this approach speaks for itself. just look at how things have turned around over the last decade! and these days, how many games can be praised for this level of sea change?

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