While this massive adventure takes some time to get into, the excellent story and deep gameplay will keep you exploring and fighting through its amazing world for dozens of hours. The turn-based combat in Octopath Traveler provides lots of depth: Players have different items and spells to use, combo attacks and chained moves, defensive maneuvers, and a Boost mode to unleash an even greater attack or give aid to allies. Players will have to determine which attacks are most effective on which enemies (e.g., considering vulnerabilities to fire or ice blasts). While combat starts off at a reasonable difficulty, it ramps up quickly -- boss fights can crush you quickly if you don't have a stockpile of healing and protective items. Couple this with the lack of health bars for enemies, forcing you to guess how much damage each will take to be defeated, and you'll quickly realize that this is a seriously tough game.
While you're roaming through towns, the countryside, and caves, you'll meet many people who may ask you to do something for them or join your party, and all your decisions will have lasting effects on the storyline. There are love interests, revenge-laden story paths, and tales of friendship, family, and loyalty. The dialogue can be pretty cheesy, including dramatic voice acting that might make you roll your eyes. And during combat, the lines you hear grow repetitive. But between the many characters you can play, deep turn-based gameplay, and huge environments to explore, Octopath Traveler is a great pocket-sized game from one of the best developers in the business. Players who love classic RPGs on Nintendo Game Boy or Nintendo 3DS will fall for the charm of this well-crafted, smoothly executed adventure.