Octopath Traveler Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Octopath Traveler RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Amazon Discounts Digital First Party Switch Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/23ktd/amazon-discounts-digital-first-party-switch-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/23ktd/amazon-discounts-digital-first-party-switch-titles Fri, 10 Apr 2020 11:50:35 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Outside of Black Friday, it's not often we see a Nintendo sale, especially one on its first-party titles. However, Amazon's got a sale going on right now on some of the Switch's best evergreen titles. Each game is discounted to $39.99.

Scroll to the bottom for the direct link to the sale. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild doesn't really need much introduction. It's a radical re-imagining of the Zelda formula that plops Link into an open-world Hyrule and then lets you decide how you want to proceed from there.

In place of dungeons, you get 100+ Shrines with hyper-focused puzzles. In place of new gear, you get... stuff that breaks. Still, we called it "... a treat for Zelda fans and newcomers alike" in our review, and it's a must-have title for Switch owners.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

DKC: Tropical Freeze was one of the Wii U's best platformers, and it's even better on the Switch. That's because it introduces a new Funky mode (read: easy mode) that lets players of all skill levels join in the fun.

The level design is brilliant, the worlds are gorgeous, and it's just pure fun. When it first released on Switch, we described it as "a challenging game that rarely feels unfair, and it features the same wonderful level design and variety that's made the series so iconic."

Splatoon 2

Splatoon was a big surprise on the Wii U, as a brand-new Nintendo IP focused on online play and third-person shooting action. It was a hit, but it was also locked to the Wii U's small install base.

Splatoon 2 builds on everything that made the original great, adding new modes, a much bigger player base, and even a single-player DLC campaign. That's why we called it yet another must-have title for Switch owners, saying "It's a fun, beautiful, and action-packed ride that will have any third-person shooter fan clam-oring for more."

Kirby: Star Allies

Nintendo shook things up with a lot of its franchises on the Switch, but Kirby: Star Allies opts to improve on what already works. It's the same Kirby formula we know and love, but more colorful, with more powerups, and a new ability that lets you combine power-ups to solve puzzles.

It doesn't quite reach the same heights as some of its predecessors, though. We called it a bit too short in our review, saying "... it's lacking in those big surprises and left-field unique elements that characterize Kirby at its best." Still, it's fun with friends and family, and this sale price makes it even more worthwhile.

Octopath Traveler

Octopath Traveler was to Final Fantasy 6 what Bravely Default was to Final Fantasy 5. It's pure SNES-era RPG goodness, with eight distinct stories, a deep battle system built around interchangeable job classes, and it's the debut of glorious 2D-HD graphics we really want to see in future 2D titles.

Octopath might not be for everyone, with its lack of interconnecting stories and emphasis on combat over everything else. Still, as our associate editor Ashley Shankle said, "Octopath Traveler brings back classic JRPG gaming with style and class." It's technically not a first-party title like the others, but it's also basically never on sale.


We don't know how long the Amazon Nintendo sale will last. If you're interested, it's best to check it out now on the special sale page Amazon made for it sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Nintendo Switch news and sales as they develop.

The 12 Best Classic Style JRPGs on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/t78l7/the-12-best-classic-style-jrpgs-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/t78l7/the-12-best-classic-style-jrpgs-on-steam Tue, 07 Jan 2020 13:38:00 -0500 Ty Arthur


With literally hundreds of RPG Maker games on Steam right now and many more than that available to download for free through other sites it's a good bet we missed dozens of titles that are well worth playing.


What did you think of our list, and should any other games have been included in our look at the best old school JRPGs on Steam? Let us know in the comments!


Outside of Steam, console players may have another big JRPG resurgence in the near future. There's tantalizing possibility on the horizon of fans getting to replay classic PS1 RPGs on an upcoming console.


While we're still waiting some more concrete news, rumors have been swirling about PS5 being backwards compatibile with every earlier iteration of the console  and the possibility of an expanded digital catalog of PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 JRPGs, though we learned nothing new of that prospect at CES 2020


As someone whose copies of Chrono Cross and Vandal Hearts no longer work because the decades-old discs freeze up regularly, all I can do is plead with Sony to make it happen. 


Octopath Traveler 


Oh man, it's been a long time since Square Enix gave us a game like Octopath Traveler. After those lucky Switch players got first dibs on this modern classic in 2018, Octopath is finally on Steam.


While there's an absurd amount of grind to work through here, it's just nice to see a big name developer finally returning to the original JRPG style and realizing gamers still want classic art and storylines.


For more on why you should play this Square Enix JRPG, be sure to check out our review of Octopath Traveler


Last Dream


Remember picking your party's class options at the start of the original Final Fantasy on the NES? You get that same experience here with Last Dream  except your choices impact the game in more than just the combat lineup. Each class has a different town and overland map abilities.


Choice is a big element in Last Dream. On top of choosing your class options, you can choose from six different difficulty levels, as well as three different combat encounter rates.


With a huge world and lots to do, Last Dream is something you could easily sink 50 to 100 hours into if you love the old-school style but prefer it reimagined with some modern tweaks.


Stoneshard: Prologue


Update: Stoneshard is now out in Early Access on Steam and awaiting the Trollslayer update. Check out our full look at this indie gem over here.


A little different from the rest of the JRPGs on our list, Stoneshard: Prologue isn't exactly a JRPG. Instead, it's more like a turn-based version of Diablo with a hint of Darkest Dungeon thrown in for good measure.


NES, SNES, and Genesis fanatics will still want to make a point of checking out the Stoneshard demo anyway. The game's turn-based combat, classic pixel-art style, dungeon exploration, and dark take on magic and religion will strongly appeal to JRPG fans.


Right now, the short Prologue version is up for grabs for free, while Stoneshard itself launches in Early Access this coming February. I suspect it will turn some serious heads when it's finally finished.


Romancing Saga 3


I'll be honest: I don't think Square Enix is the company it once was, at least in terms of RPGs. I don't expect it will ever return to those heady days of Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy Tactics, but thankfully, many of those old favorites are seeing re-releases and/or remasters.


Granted, some of those amazing games have received appallingly lazy ports over the years, but on the flip side, we're now seeing fantastic RPGs from the SNES-era that never made it to the U.S. Thanks to the digital revolution, entries like Romancing Saga 3 are officially available in English for the first time.


The level of freeform options available in Saga 3 is sort of staggering. You can approach any quest from any angle in pretty much any order. Of course, as a Saga game, you've got to realize there are some very obtuse, very archaic systems implemented here that will be a challenge for modern audiences. That being said, try it anyway! It's one of the best JRPGs on Steam right now. 


West Of Loathing


I want you to take a long, hard look at that image above. Is your first impression to laugh and then smack me for putting a joke of a game in this list?


If you skipped West Of Loathing because it uses stick figures probably drawn in Microsoft Paint, you've made a major mistake. West of Loathing is easily one of the best games of 2017  in any genre.


Yes, it's silly. Yes, it's ludicrous. And yes, it's incredibly awesome. Classic JRPG mechanics in a Wild West setting filled with demon cattle, ghostly pickles, and horses that have seen way too much works so much better than you'd expect. 


Check out my review of the game from 2017


Breath Of Death 7: The Beginning


Simultaneously a parody of and tribute to the Dragon Quest games, Breath Of Death 7 (the first game in the Breath of Death series) goes heavy on both the comedy and strong gameplay.


From party members who are certain that poor villagers are hiding a Bazooka of Ultimate Destruction in their house chests to merchants who are very candid about their pricing strategies, everything in the RPG genre gets lampooned here.


Zeboyd Games improves on this formula and makes quite a few gameplay additions in both follow-up entries, Cthulhu Saves The World and Cosmicstar Heroine. They are both well worth your time as well if you get a kick out of Breath Of Death 7: The Beginning.


Pale Echoes


Not nearly as long as those epic 60-hour games of the past, Pale Echoes is short, sweet, and very different than you might expect.


While this Echoes features all the trappings of traditional turn-based JRPG combat melee attacks, spells, etc.  there's a major twist in its systems. There are no random battles that whittle down your resources as you try to level up before accessing the next area.


Instead, every battle is purposeful and has a limited number of turns to complete. To win a fight against shades of the past, you must materialize memories in the correct order to ensure each party member hits a shade that is weak against a specific attack type.


Not everyone will love such a change, but it does offer something unique instead of the same old experience  and it is well worth trying out. The setting is also worth noting, as even though this is essentially a fantasy RPG, it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with occasional looks back at what the universe looked like before its utter destruction.


Astoria: The Holders Of Power Saga


Featuring Dragon-Quest-style combat Final-Fantasy-esque dialog and exploration, Astoria: The Holders of Power Saga expertly straddles the line between classic JRPG tropes and modern mechanics extremely well.


Astoria knows exactly what it's doing and exactly who its playerbase is, so expect some major throwbacks to the hallowed favorites of the genre. The sound effects, in particular, might bring a tear to your eye if you grew up on early Dragon Quest titles.


However, this is more than just a retro look back at bygone times. From a wealth of entertaining side quests to top-notch music and character models, Astoria is easy to fall in love with you long for a 16-bit RPG.


Celestian Tales: Old North


Instead of the obvious "save the world" storyline, Celestian Tales gives you six different characters to choose from, all of whom are nobles learning about their responsibilities to the world just as war is breaking out.


Despite the diverse cast, Tales' replay value is lower than you might expect since you learn most of the story's twists in one playthrough. That being said, there are some solid changes to the formula — such as picking between different primary and secondary skills — on display that make Celestian Tales worth playing. 


The real draw here is in the interactions between the large cast of nobles working their way into the military, as each has a radically different viewpoint and reason for joining the ranks. There's a religious fanatic getting out into the wider world for the first time, a timid but rational atheist who tries to overcome problems through reason, a happy-go-lucky elf who has never experienced the savagery of war before, and more.


As you might imagine, those characters clash strongly as they are forced to work together. The end result is something quite a bit different than your average JRPG.


Grimm's Hollow


For something well off the beaten path, Grimm's Hollow is almost like a fantasy RPG version of Dead Like Me. Here, you wake to discover you are the latest grim reaper, and you're tasked with helping ghosts move on in the afterlife.


Although Grimm's Hollow is very short, and I badly wish I could turn off the walking steps sound effect that constantly clacks everywhere you go, it is an otherwise fabulous JRPG experience.


It's a quirky, fun, and very different take on the traditional fantasy turn-based RPG. And while the subject matter diverges, it's a good bet you'll dig Grimm's Hollow if you liked Earthbound or anything that pushed the original boundaries of 16-bit RPGs.


Did I mention that it's totally free? Even though it's only a 2- to 3-hour experience, the devs really should set a price commiserate with Grimm's quality and concept.


Ara Fell


Both might utilize a pixel style and turn-based combat, but Ara Fell is a totally different experience than Echoes of Aetheria. On almost every level, Ara Fell showcases how varied the genre can be when indie developers work on passion projects. 


Coming from Stegosoft Games, Ara Fell is a classic SNES/Genesis-style RPG from beginning to end. In some ways, it's arguably better than many of the original 16-bit titles that inspired it.


From its phenomenal soundtrack to its lush colors and intriguing story, Ara Fell hits all the right notes in a symphony of nostalgia. The setting itself is a huge draw as well, featuring people living on floating islands amidst elven ruins, with vampiric creatures lurking down in the Abyss of the surface world.


If you fondly remember getting drawn into classics like Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean, you will absolutely want to play Ara Fell. Not sure if you're willing to drop the $10 on a retro RPG? Ara Fell has a free demo on Steam that lets you play through the prologue and part of the opening chapter.


Stegosoft Games is currently working on a follow-up titled Rise Of The Third Power, and you better believe it's a modern JRPG that should be on your wishlist.


Echoes of Aetheria


We'll start off with a personal favorite: Echoes of Aetheria. It features a strong FF6 vibe, and it's set in a fantasy world with a bit of tech thrown in for good measure. While much more a standard JRPG than a full-blown tactical RPG, Echoes Of Atheria brings big changes to combat by adding a grid.


Area attacks hit specific squares, and there's a good deal of strategy to play with when moving characters around. Another twist sees each character swapping out a range of skills, and you have full freedom to level or de-level skills as needed.


With a robust crafting system included, there's plenty to explore in the realm mechanics, all completely independent of the story.


Adding character, Echoes of Aetheria makes sure to sprinkle in the silly and cheesy dialog that's a staple of the classic JRPG genre. But there's a seriously dark edge to many of the interactions between party members as the story progresses.


The game's characters set it apart, too, as Echoes Of Aetheria really doesn't have damsels in distress. Although it opens with the princess getting kidnapped at her wedding, things take a turn pretty quickly and said princess becomes one of the most dangerous party members in the game.


As icing on the cake, EoA is one of the few RPGs where shifting alliances and regional backstories make some level of sense, and the characters often ask questions that people in the real world would ask about why governments are doing awful things.


For pixel-art JRPG fanatics without an actual retro system, there are only so many times one can replay Chrono Trigger or Breath Of Fire on ZSNES or some other emulator. When we've finished our 200th playthrough of Lufia, it may be time to see what else is available on modern platforms like Steam.


Thankfully, plenty of developers have kept and are keeping the classic JRPG spirit alive through re-releases of Japanese titles that didn't make it to the West back in the day. Supplementing that, others have developed original games in the old-school JRPG style. And, of course, we have the wonder that is RPG Maker.


That latter option takes some getting used to with all its quirks  pressing "F12" dumps you to the main menu instead of taking a Steam screenshot  but the lineup of RPG Maker content on Steam is well worth the effort.


If you go indie, you'll find some interesting and unique takes on combat, level design, and story that you won't see from big-name developers.


Before we dive into the 12 best Steam JRPGs, we have one final quick note: there is an ever-increasing number of hentai RPGs on Steam, and some of them are actually pretty high quality. We'll make a specific list of those, which we'll link back here. 

International Rating Suggests Octopath Traveler Could Get a PC Port Soon https://www.gameskinny.com/nqblx/international-rating-suggests-octopath-traveler-could-get-a-pc-port-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/nqblx/international-rating-suggests-octopath-traveler-could-get-a-pc-port-soon Fri, 05 Apr 2019 10:49:23 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

[Update: 4/11]: Square Enix announced in a blog post that has now been deleted that Octopath Traveler is, indeed, coming to PC sometime this June and will be available for purchase via Steam and the Square Enix store.

[Original Story] The Game Rating and Administration Committee of Korea provided a rating for a PC version of Octopath Traveler recently.

This news comes from Gematsu, though the link provided for the actual rating seems to be faulty, apparently. Bandai Namco would be handling the game's publishing in Korea as well, which is keeping in line with ports of Square Enix games in that country.

Octopath Traveler launched last summer as a Nintendo Switch exclusive and was one of the highlights during the Switch's initial reveal presentation.Social media and fan forums have clamored for Octopath Traveler on other platforms, particularly PC, ever since. 

Most Square Enix titles aren't console exclusives these days, which made Octopath a bit of an oddity.

However, SE did establish a separate division devoted solely to developing Switch games last year. If the original remains an exclusive, it wouldn't be out of keeping with its design philosophy going forward.

Whether this new rating is somehow related to the smartphone prequel, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent, or it genuinely means the original game is getting ported to other systems — nearly in time for its one year birthday — naturally remains to be seen.

With the numerous teases the development team provided starting in fall 2018, it could even be connected to a non-platform-exclusive sequel.

Octopath Traveler has you take control of 8 different adventurers with their own unique skills who eventually travel together across the vast land of Orsterra. Their stories remain separate for the most part, despite traveling together. As such, it divided fans and critics when it launched.

The innovative 2D HD graphics style and engaging combat were universally praised, though the lack of a coherent unifying story left some feeling like the game was missing a key point.

Regardless, it managed to sell over one million copies worldwide within a month of its launch.

Octopath Traveler Hits One Million Units Sold https://www.gameskinny.com/prxyb/octopath-traveler-hits-one-million-units-sold https://www.gameskinny.com/prxyb/octopath-traveler-hits-one-million-units-sold Fri, 03 Aug 2018 13:21:32 -0400 Lee Forgione

Octopath Traveler, the new retro-style throwback to JRPGs of old, has just passed the one million sold mark globally. The news comes via Nintendo of Europe's Twitter, in which they thank everyone for the support as well as showcase new artwork from the developers at Square-Enix. 

Octopath Traveler is not only an homage to JRPGs from the 16-bit era, but it also pushes the genre forward by implementing new battle mechanics never before utilized in JRPGs. The game includes eight short stories rather than the traditional story of one group of characters venturing out together.

Square-Enix did not anticipate how in-demand physical copies of the game would be, leading to wide-spread shortages in retailers across Japan. Square issued an apology for this and has increased production to meet demand. 

GameSkinny gave it a 9/10. Check out our review and find out why we call it "a return to form for Square-Enix."

Octopath Traveler Best XP Grinding Locations https://www.gameskinny.com/3fnmv/octopath-traveler-best-xp-grinding-locations https://www.gameskinny.com/3fnmv/octopath-traveler-best-xp-grinding-locations Mon, 23 Jul 2018 11:26:37 -0400 Zack Palm

In Octopath Traveleryou're going to may need to stray from the beaten path and focus on getting your party members levels in order to face the more difficult foes in the story. The game does not directly inform you about the best way to go about gaining experience points and this means you need to go out of your way to get the job done!

The best areas for you to grind experience points vary based on what chapter you're in. This guide will break down the areas you should visit, depending on what chapter you're on. We'll also include the vulnerabilities of the foes you're going to face, giving you the opportunity to bring along the best party to confront them.

Some areas may not be suitable to certain characters to venture into based on what attacks they have at their disposable. Keep this in mind when you visit a location.

Related Content: 

Chapter 1

Untouched Sanctum

For those not ready to venture into Carrion Caverns, you can head here first! You'll find this location in the North Cobbleston Gap, in the Coastlands. This area is a dungeon, and if you want to do the dungeon you need to first activate the side quest called Noelle, Seeker of Knowledge. The area is designated as having a danger level of 15, so if you come with a party a little bit lower than this you should be okay.

This area is a great location to use as a jumping off point. All of your characters can have a good time!

Enemy Vulnerabilities: Fire magic, light magic, ice magic, staves, and spears.

Twin Falls

This is a great area when you reach level 20. You can find Twin Falls on the South Clearbrook Traverse in the Riverlands region. Some players have reported that you can have a Cait encounter (Caits grant exponential EXP similar to Dragon Quest's Metal Slimes) after every 10 fights, but results may vary. Prepare to run into several of them during your fights.

At this location you find several chests and take on one of the optional dungeons. This is a great place to take the scholar, Cyrus, so you can absolutely destroy any creature you encounter here.

Enemy Vulnerabilities: Ice magic, dark magic, swords, spears, staves, and bows

Chapter 2

Carrion Caves

Hit this location up when you're ready and get an early lead on those levels! You can find this location in South Bolderfall Pass, in the Clifflands region. The enemies in this cave hit extremely hard, even if your entire party is leveled for this area. Make sure you bring plenty of healing items with you and prepare for several difficult fights. You might find it a good strategy to roam around the sign post to ensure you're saving often.

You can grind this area before your finish all of the chapter 1 quests, but it's not recommended. At this location, you'll find H'aanit is an excellent party member to grind with here as her abilities do amazing damage to enemies.

Enemy Vulnerabilities: Wind magic, Daggers, spears, bows, and axes.

The Hollow Throne

This is a pretty tough dungeon area for the Chapter 2 area, but if you succeed here you're going to do great moving forward! To find this location you need to go to the Western Noblecourt Pass, in the Flatlands region. You're about to find plenty of magic users, so equip your party to battle them appropriately, who can also dish it out in a magical firefight. Bring plenty of physical firepower with you, too!

Because the enemies hit really hard in this area, make sure you bring a healer with you who can keep your party alive. You're going to be surprised by how hard these enemies can hit you. If you have trouble here, try hitting one or two encounters before returning to save or bring a lot more health potions than you need.

Enemy vulnerabilities: Wind magic, ice magic, staves, swords, and bows. 

Chapter 3

Captain's Bane

We return to the Coastlands region to embark on another quest of grinding! This time we're heading to the Captain's Bane, which you can find in the previously mentioned region on the West Goldshore Coast. You'll find you will need to have a party of roughly level 35 to do well in this area. 

Spend a lot of time here during your chapter 3 progress. Going the extra mile in this location will make the trek you have going forward far less difficult. Don't be afraid to overspend on replenishing items to keep your party up.

Enemy Vulnerabilities: Lightning magic, light magic, wing magic, dagger, and axe. 

Outside of Marsalim

Travel to the city of Marsalim, which you can find to the far south in the Sunlands region. This is a unique grinding spot because all you need to do is travel just a little ways outside of Marsalim. Go to the exit of Marsalim where you see a small gathering of people outside of it. Run around for a bit, and you should get a small group of enemies to spawn, three scorpions and a lizard-like monster. Defeat them, return to Marsalim, and then exit back out of the city. You can repeat this process consistently until you're satisfied.

The game does not recommend you reach Marsalim until your party is around level 40. If you decide to grind this area, make sure you're able to escape your foes efficiently to avoid party members getting down or using a lot of items on your way there. 

Enemy Vulnerabilities: Ice magic, wind magic, swords, spears, daggers, and axes.

Chapter 4 

Forest of Purgation

When you're getting prepared for the final fights, this is where it all happens. This is the final area you're going to need to explore for your experience points. To find this location, go to the furthest you can to the northeast of Noblecourt and you should arrive there. This is definitely a hefty area of grinding and it's recommended you have a party in the upper-50s by this point.

Because this is the final grinding area, you'll probably take the party you plan to use during the final boss fight. Whose characters you think will serve you best when the chips are down and focus on getting them as high of level if possible. To make it easier, take a dancer with you and hope the Bewildering Grace grants you the random experience boost you need to charge through the levels!

Grinding Accessories

Here's a list of great items to pick up along the way to increase the output of experience points you acquire while you grind!

Captain Badge

Before you can acquire this item, you need to complete Olberic's main story. Once you've done that, head to Wellspring, which is located in the Sunshade region. You'll need to locate a specific guard who has an orange sidequest marker on them. who you can find on the west side of town inside of a home. He'll give you a quest you need to complete, and once you do, you'll acquire the badge.

What does the badge do? It grants you entire party, even those not in combat, +50% experience points!

Badge of Friendship

Much like the previous item, you cannot acquire it until you have completed Ophilia's main story. After you've done this, you can head to Saintsbridge, which is located in the Riverlands region. Locate Emil and perform the side quest for them. When you have completed this, Emil will grant you the Badge of Friendship.

How does the badge help? This grants your entire party +50% JP experience. 


Those are the prime locations you need to visit and grind at to provide the best experience and job points for your party while you play Octopath Traveler!

Looking for more information about Octopath Traveler? Make sure to check out more of our guides and our review here on GameSkinny.

Octopath Traveler Review: A Return to Form for Square Enix https://www.gameskinny.com/81mfo/octopath-traveler-review-a-return-to-form-for-square-enix https://www.gameskinny.com/81mfo/octopath-traveler-review-a-return-to-form-for-square-enix Fri, 20 Jul 2018 18:42:30 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Though the turn-based JRPG genre is far from dead, you'll be hard-pressed to find someone who is able to give you list of ten stellar titles of the genre from the past decade. Doubly so if such a list would comprise of only larger non-indie releases.

Tastes change, and the market changes with them. As the market shifted to FPS games in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era, the demand for turn-based titles seemed to be at an all-time low. For myself -- and many others at the time -- it seemed like JRPGs wouldn't be able to recuperate.

In the genre's heyday, Square Enix (then two separate companies: Squaresoft and Enix) ran amok with creative RPG titles. You had well-known series like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono, and Mana; as well as some lesser-known but still relevant games like SaGa Frontier, Star Ocean: The Second Story, Grandia, and Valkyrie Profile.

The list of titles fans could pick up between the Super Nintendo and PlayStation 2/Game Boy Advance era is nearly as varied as it is extensive. The Final Fantasy series is best known for each game being as different as night and day outside of the battle and exploration elements, but it seemed every series was trying something new with each iteration at the time. And if they didn't, there was another great game with new bells and whistles sitting at your local game shop to pick up and play to keep things interesting.

I mention all of this now because Octopath Traveler seems a remnant from that time, rather than a product from the current market. Steps the genre took forward, for better or for worse, have been reversed in this time capsule of a game in ways that I thought Japanese developers had simply given up on in the quest to satisfy the almighty otaku and its endless spending budget.

Fans of the SaGa series, particularly SaGa Frontier for the PlayStation or Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song on the PlayStation 2, will find much to love in Octopath Traveler. Though this game was promoted as being similar to Final Fantasy VI and the like, Octopath takes several pages out of the SaGa series and binds them into its own book to make for a more approachable variation of virtues SaGa has clung so heavily to over the decades.

How a game like this can break out onto the market and make waves in 2018 is a wonder, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

The virtues of the Octopath

There's no reason to draw comparisons between SaGa and Octopath Traveler throughout this whole review. There is a need to go past the shining virtue they both share: freedom.

One of the first things you're going to realize after you finish your first story mission is that Octopath Traveler gives you virtually no guidance. You'll get some short tutorial screens covering most of the game's mechanics, and you can see where the other party members are located as well as your next story destination but the game doesn't tell you much more than that. It sets you loose and tells you to have fun. I have to tell you, as a 20-year SaGa fan, the freedom granted absolutely tickled me.

Being given no guidance on where smaller dungeons or objectives are is only one part of the openness the player can experience here.

Each character is able to perform Path Actions, which allow them to interact with NPCs in town. Path Actions are generally used to get items off of NPCs, move them out of the way, or find out more about them but they are not that cut-and-dry.

There are technically only four different types of Path Actions, with each type having two variations. For example, both Alfyn the apothecary and Cyrus the scholar are able to extract the same information from NPCs. The difference is Alfyn's Analyze will always succeed, while Cyrus's Scrutinize may fail and reduce your reputation in the town the NPC is located in.

This trend continues with the other characters. Both Olberic and H'aanit can fight NPCs in town, but Olberic fights alone via Duel and will not lose reputation on loss. H'aanit fights using only her captured animals via Provoke and, upon loss, will lose reputation in town if you lose.

This system allows for a couple of things, the first being the ability to essentially ransack a town, and the other being Octopath's side quest system.

Like the SaGa series (I'm sorry, I just can't help but compare), side quests are noted in your journal to keep track but the solution to these issues is almost never obvious. A fisherman's complaining about the lack of fish in the local river, what do you do? There seems to be a guy out in the field catching the fish the reach town, but telling the other NPC won't help. You have to beat the illicit fisherman up via Duel or Provoke to teach him a lesson about sharing.

This is about the amount of information you have when setting out on a new side quest.

These sorts of quests are found all throughout the game, from the first chapter all the way to the end. Much of your time chasing side quest objectives ends up boiling down to talking to NPCs in town, Analyzing or Scrutinizing them, and reading the text to get hints about what to do. Sometimes a side quest's relevant NPC is all the way on the other side of the world. Once you figure it out, it's up to you to take the time to complete the quest or not. It's easy to imagine non-completionists ignoring side quests that are particularly troublesome. There are several potential steps to finish any given side quest.

The ability to traverse and explore the world on your own terms is a rare one among Japanese RPGs, particularly today. Fortunately that's not the only throwback worth mentioning in Octopath Traveler's array of classic mechanics. The game also features a class system reminiscent of certain older RPGs to allow for party and gameplay flexibility, something that's fun in both function and thought. It also features a battle system that some older RPGs would have died for.

Turn-based goodness and random battles galore

You just can't talk about a game like this without bringing up the battle system, particularly since you end up spending so much time in battle.

There are two things to specifically note about the battle system here: much of combat boils down to weakness exploitation, and the default encounter rate is high.

You spend a great deal of your time in combat in Octopath Traveler due to both of those factors. You will rarely do heavy damage to enemies without breaking their guard, and the high encounter rate means you'll be running into them every few seconds when exploring.

This is something I have a hard time finding fault with, even if I want to try. I find myself thinking about skill usage regularly because the game demands you exploit their weaknesses to thrive, which makes frequent random battles fun more than frustrating -- though it would be disingenuous to say that sometimes the high encounter rate is not frustrating. Sometimes, when you're just trying to get a chest on a side path and want to keep moving, it truly is.

You can curb the high encounter rate using the Evasive Maneuvers special skill, which you'll get first on Cyrus. Evasive Maneuvers is great when exploring areas where the enemies are weaker than you are but can be a real detriment when you are exploring the unknown and need the EXP from battle. I recommend using it sparingly. 

Your party characters play very differently from each other in battle, which is a boon to the combat system. H'aanit can capture monsters and use them as skills in-battle, Tressa can hire mercenaries to swoop in and wail on your enemies with a strong attack, Alfyn can concoct restorative and elemental-exploitative skills in battle by consuming herbs; the list goes on.

The variety in gameplay options between each character keeps battles interesting. Though often the solution to easier battles is to let Cyrus or whoever you are using with the scholar subjob nuke enemies into dust, more often than not each battle will be a little different depending on what you have available and enemy weaknesses.

Along with all of the above is the use of BP, or Boost Points. Each character starts a battle with one BP and accumulates one more (up to a maximum of five) each turn. You can choose to consume up to three of a character's BP to increase the effectiveness of the skill they're using that turn. If you use it on a damage skill, it will increase the amount of damage it does. If you use it on a restorative skill, it will increase its effectiveness. If you use your BP on a regular attack, that character will attack multiple times within a turn.

There are a lot of good things to say about the battle system in Octopath Traveler, and the Boost Point system is probably one of the best aspects. It's great that each character has its own unique skills in combat, but the ability to break an enemy's guard and then just tear them to shreds with some BP-enhanced attacks is extremely satisfying at times and adds a whole other layer to combat as a whole. You have no choice but to learn to use your BP to your benefit.

Considering the amount of time you have to spend in battle, it rarely gets boring outside of those times when you really just don't want to fight anything. Though I do have to admit, I've made at least one comment about the encounter rate approaching Xenogears-levels of incessant.

The classic look done modern

I knocked the Final Fantasy VI comparison earlier in this review, but there is one way Octopath Traveler does resemble its classic predecessor. Character and enemy sprites do have the sort of detail one might expect from a modern 2D remake of the aforementioned Final Fantasy titan.

The main party character sprites are detailed and lively, and would not look out of place in a PlayStation-era RPG aside from their high-def pixels. The outfits that come with subjobs are the icing on top of a cake that's already plenty filling.

Enemy sprites are also highly detailed and would fit in right at home with enemy designs of yore, and some bosses... Well, let's just say you should see them for yourself.

Such attractive sprites would almost be wasted on any other graphical style as they mesh perfectly with the game's pseudo-3D environments. The game's environments almost look like pages out of a pixelated popup book. The effect is much more impressive when playing the game yourself than in screenshots or videos, especially if you turn off corner shadows in options.

It would be a disservice to the fine people behind the game and especially composer Yasunori Nishiki not to mention Octopath Traveler's fantastic soundtrack at this point. As with the visuals, the music is a creative fusion of old and new.

The game's music is more complex than the RPGs it takes inspiration from, but that doesn't make the battle themes less memorable nor the town themes less distinct. The soundtrack behind the game stands on its own and is an impressive effort from Nishiki. It would not be a surprise if we see him in the credits for more RPGs in the future. His compositions here are perfectly suitable.

All the praise.. so why a 9?

There are some games you play and you know you will be able to recommend them to everyone you know. I certainly would like to do that, but there's a caveat that comes with freedom in these sorts of games: an inability to figure out what to do.

This isn't something I had much trouble with in the game as a long-time SaGa player, but most people haven't played or even heard of SaGa for a reason. Trying to figure out where to go or what to do can be frustrating, and a lot of people don't have the patience for that.

Octopath Traveler is easily my favorite Square Enix RPG in years but the fact is these sorts of RPGs are not for everyone. Just because I enjoy stealing from and analyzing every interactive NPC I come across in the hopes of stealing something good or getting a hint about a quest doesn't mean the gaming populace as a whole will like it. I like messing around in menus, grinding, and getting lost in RPGs. It's likely you may not.

In addition, the game is not particularly story-focused. There is some party dialogue after story events after chapter 2 (provided you initiate it), but the plot is a big part of the experience for most RPG gamers. It is not an especially large factor in the overall Octopath journey. I found myself not caring about the plot in the least. I just wanted to progress my party and explore, which I did and am still doing with my Switch in sleep mode next to me.

If any combination of facets mentioned here sounds good, you may very well fall in love with Octopath Traveler much the same way I did. It has been so long since I've played a completely fresh Japanese RPG with such freedom, that in my case this game is a completely welcome but familiar experience from start to finish. I did not know games like this could still come out of Japan today sans the odd remake. In some ways Octopath Traveler feels like a return to form, and I am very thankful it's finally come.

[Writer was granted a free copy of the game for review purposes.]

Octopath Traveler Guide: Best Weapons to Make Your Party More Powerful https://www.gameskinny.com/v9a2f/octopath-traveler-guide-best-weapons-to-make-your-party-more-powerful https://www.gameskinny.com/v9a2f/octopath-traveler-guide-best-weapons-to-make-your-party-more-powerful Fri, 20 Jul 2018 15:37:07 -0400 Zack Palm

It's true that you can craft the most balanced party in Octopath Traveler and make it to the end of the game, but they're going to struggle if you don't equip them with the right weapons. The weapons you're looking aren't just any sword or spear -- they drasticly improve the strength of your characters during combat.

Unfortunately, you can't find a weapon early in the game and take it with you through your the end of your journey. Along the way, you'll need to pick up new ones as you face more fearsome foes.

Here's a break down of some of the higher quality weapons you should go out of your way to find!

Related Content: 

Best Early Game Weapons

The Golden Axe

There's a powerful starting axe you can receive in the first few levels. The bad part about acquiring this weapon is you have to start the game in a specific order. As it stands, you want to start with H'aanit, and then unlock Therion, followed by going to Alfyn's starting town.

When you start out as H'aanit, continue through her story as you typically would. Once you've finished up things, make your way to Bolderfall so you can go to unlock Therion for your party. Complete the prologue and continue through as if you were playing the game normally.

After you've completed Therion's tale, head down toward Clearbrook as if you were to unlock Alfyn. You do not want to start unlocking Alfyn when you enter town. Do not interact with him. Instead, when you enter town, look for a woman with a speech bubble standing in front of a doorway. Once you've found this woman, provoke her and defeat her in combat. It's good to know she's weak to swords.

With the woman defeated, you can freely enter the house and you should see an old man wandering around inside. At this point you're going to want to save the game. The reason? The old man is holding the golden axe and you must steal it from him. However, you only have a 3% success rate. Better to reload each time you fail than to gain too much negative reputation.

The stats of the golden axe are:

  • Phys. Atk: +265
  • Critical: +100

An Octopath Traveler Menu Shows the Old Man's Possessions and the Chance of Stealing the Game's Golden Axe

Captain's Sword

In Olberic's starting town, Cobbleston, you can provoke the Captain of the Watch to a fight and win his sword. Some players have reported they can beat him immediately after finishing Olberic's first chapter between Levels 8 and 10, but doing this is extremely difficult and takes a lot of healing items. The Captain of the Watch is classified as a Strength 4 opponent.

A good strategy is returning to Cobbleston between Level 13 to 15 to acquire this item. The Captain of the Watch won't be as difficult and the sword should serve as a great addition to your inventory.

The stats of the captain's sword are:

  • Attack: +60
  • Speed: +40
  • Notes: Occasionally decreases target defense
Elusive Shield

To locate this shield, you're going to need to travel to Atlasdam. When you arrive, head to the city's palace and go to the bottom floor. When you reach the bottom, search for a boy and you'll have the option to purchase the item from him.

However, if you have Therion, you have the opportunity to steal it from him. Make sure to save before you attempt to take it, as you only have a 3% chance to take it, much like the golden axe.

The stats of the elusive shield are:

  • Phys. Def: +21
  • Elem. Def: +24
  • Evasion: +56
Composite Staff

There are two locations you can grab this item. The first is from the boy at the bottom level of the Atlasdam Palace, the one who was holding the elusive shield. Again, prior from taking this item make sure you save your progress. Unless you want to purchase it.

The second location is in Flamesgrace. Head to the town's Weapon Shop and you should see a character called the Witness. They'll have this item in their inventory and if you want to steal it, you'll have a 3% chance to grab it. 

The stats of the composite staff are:

  • Phys. Atk: +18
  • Elem. Atk: +44
  • Notes: Occasionally puts target to sleep

Best Regular Mid-Game Weapon

Wizard's Rod

You can find this weapon in two locations. The first is in Goldshore; an NPC is holding it who is standing outside of the church. You'll have a 3% to steal it, so be sure you're saving before you do so; you can also purchase it for around 60,000.

The second location is in the Archmagus shrine, in a purple chest. This is a Level 45 area and may prove difficult, even for characters at this level. You will need Therion to open the purple chests, you cannot do it with a character who has the thief subclass.

The stats of the wizard's rod are:

  • Phys. Atk: +113
  • Elem. Atk: +300
  • Notes: Occasionally poisons the target

Best Mid-Game Forbidden Weapons

These unique weapons appear in shops roughly around the second chapter. They have incredible stats for your party, though they come at a small cost. Each one comes with an additional stat intended to benefit your opponents. 

Do not let this deter you as these items boost your party's mid game fighting. Unfortunately, you cannot steal any of these items from NPCs. You can only purchase them.

The Forbidden Sword

You can find the forbidden sword in Stonegard. Proceed to the lower part of the town and you should find three shops alongside one another. The shopkeeper in the middle will have the weapon

The stats of the forbidden sword are:

  • Phys. Atk: +310
  • Speed: +120
  • Notes: Occasionally increases the target's Phys. Atk.

A blond boy wearing a tan tunic stands outside of a shop that has a sword sign above its door

The Forbidden Spear

This weapon is located in Quarrycrest. You do not have to purchase this item, but you do need to defeat a guard to obtain this weapon. When you arrive in Quarrycrest, go to the lower level of the town and seek out an individual standing outside a house. You must defeat him to gain access inside, and once you do you'll find the weapon inside.

The stats of the forbidden spear are:

  • Phys. Atk: +320
  • Elem. Atk: +303
  • Speed: -98
The Forbidden Dagger

You will find this weapon in Stillsnow. Much like the first forbidden weapon, you will need to purchase it from an NPC. She's located inside of a small home to the right of the town. You can pick her out by the clothing she's wearing as her attire is similar to Primrose's dancer outfit. 

The stats of the forbidden dagger are:

  • Phys. Atk: 285
  • Elem. Atk: +155
  • Notes: Reduces fire and dark damage dealt
The Forbidden Axe

Head on over to Wellspring to locate this weapon. In order to get this weapon you're going to have to use Olberic. When you arrive in the northern section of the town, seek out a guard standing outside of a home. You will have to defeat him to gain access to the home. When you gain access to the establishment, you can purchase it off the NPC. 

The stats of the forbidden axe are:

  • Phys. Atk: +391
  • Accuracy: -50
  • Speed: +80

A guard with a bubble above his head stands outside a house in Octopath Traveler

The Forbidden Bow

You're going to need to be in Goldshore to find this item. You shouldn't spend too much time seeking out this forbidden weaponAll you need to do is proceed to the bridge to head to the second part of the town. When you load across, the woman on the bridge will have the item for sale.

The stats of the forbidden bow are:

  • Phys. Atk: +282
  • Critical: +121
  • Notes: Increases the chance of encountering enemies
The Forbidden Staff

The final forbidden weapon! You can find it in Saintsbridge. All you need to do is head to the town's Cathedral and on the right side you should see a Cleric. Speak to them and you can buy the item.

Note: You may want to forgo grabbing this item as the Wizard's rod, listed above, comes with superior stats with none of the drawbacks.

The stats of the forbidden staff are:

  • Phys. Atk: -100
  • Elem. Atk: +285
  • Critical: -50

Best Late-Game Weapons (Battle-tested Weapons)

Now we're getting to the good stuff! These weapons will prove invaluable when you attempt to take on Octopath Traveler's final dungeon and boss (once you've gone past the game's credits).

These weapons are the best in the game. You can only acquire these weapons from purchasing them from NPCs or stealing them using Therion. When you purchase any of these weapons, bring Tressa along with you to increase your chances of getting a discount.

Battle-Tested Staff

You'll find this staff in Saintsbridge, located in the town's Cathedral. Go inside and speak to Bishop Bartolo. He should have the item listed for sale.

The stats of the battle-tested staff are:

  • Phys. Atk: +212
  • Elem. Atk: +388
  • Notes: Occasionally slows your target

A map shows the town of Saintsbridge highlighted in gold

Battle-Tested Axe

We're going to the Woodlands and traveling to Victors Hollow for the axe. Head to the town's Arena Gate and look for Ned. He is located at the bottom of the first set of stairs you go down.

The stats of the battle-tested axe are:

  • Phys. Atk: +350
  • Elem. Atk: +250
  • Notes: Increases lightning and ice damage dealt
Battle-Tested Dagger

Run on over to Atlasdam to find the dagger! Instead of finding the weapon in town, you need to leave it to go through East Atlasdam Flats, down to North Rippletide Coast, into the Undertow Cove. Inside of this area you should find the NPC Vanessa Hysel, located to the right of the save point, who has the dagger.

The stats of the battle-tested dagger are:

  • Phys. Atk: +380
  • Evasion: +140
  • Notes: Occasionally decreases target's accuracy
Battle-Tested Blade

You will locate the blade in Wellspring. When you arrive in town, go to the left and keep going until you go down, and then continue left only a short distance. The NPC on the right inside of the establishment will have the blade.

The stats of the battle-tested blade are:

  • Phys. Atk: +400
  • Critical: +150
  • Notes: Augments your character's physical abilities
Battle-Tested Bow

To find the bow you're going to need to travel to S'warkii. When you travel into town go down, to the left and go until you reach the last house to speak to Z'aanta. He should have the item listed for sale.

The stats of the battle-tested bow are:

  • Phys. Atk: +385
  • Critical: +186
  • Notes: Occasionally decreases the target's physical defense
Battle-Tested Shield

You're headed to Marsalim for this shield. Upon arriving in town, head up the stairs to your left and speak to the first guard, located to the right of the stairs. You should be able to purchase this item from them.

The stats of the battle-tested shield are:

  • Phys. Def: +132
  • Evasion: -88
  • Notes: Restores your character's HP and SP following every action
Battle-Tested Spear:

The final battle-tested item is in Noblecourt! When you enter town, proceed directly to the right and keep going under you go down to the set of stairs to arrive to the house next to them. Go inside of the house and start the side quest called Mikk and Makk Make Good. Once you complete it, proceed to the city of Rippletide and locate Leon, the NPC you beat in the quest, and purchase the spear from them.

The stats of the battle-tested spear are:

  • Phys. Atk: +390
  • Critical: +148
  • Notes: Occasionally blinds your target

A well-armored character stands on a dock in Octopath Traveler

Those are some of the greatest weapons you can give your characters to make your party more powerful! Using them should help your party's progress as they continue through Orsterra.

Be sure to check out our other Octopath Traveler Guides while you're here! 

Octopath Traveler Guide: Complete Shrine Locations List https://www.gameskinny.com/uem9l/octopath-traveler-guide-complete-shrine-locations-list https://www.gameskinny.com/uem9l/octopath-traveler-guide-complete-shrine-locations-list Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:18:12 -0400 Zack Palm

Like any good roleplaying game, you're going to find plenty of depth in Octopath TravelerAs you venture further into the game you're going to want to give your characters a wider range of abilities and skills to use in combat. One way to do this is by giving them secondary job classes.

However, in order to unlock these jobs, you need to locate their shrines. The shrine locations are scattered throughout Orsterra and you need to find them. While you may discover them during your playthrough, this guide will break down details about their locations to make locating them easier.

This guide will also list the four advanced job class shrines hidden in the world, each protected by a formidable foe. All of the areas you're going to travel through to these shrines are infested with monsters prepared to take on a party of Level 20 characters. 

Related Content: 

Shrine of the Flamebearer (Cleric)

You'll find the Shrine of the Flamebearer located in the Frostlands, in the northern part of the map on the Western Stillsnow Wilds path. When you're on this road, find the signpost on the eastern part of the area. Once there, head south and you should find yourself going up a small hill and then going down it. At the bottom of the hill, go to the left and you should see small rocks poking out the snow. Continue until you see a small torch outside a cave, which is the entrance for the shrine.

Shrine of the Prince of Thieves (Thief)

The Shrine of the Prince of Thieves is located in the Cliftlands, the western most region on the South Quarrycrest Pass. You'll find this shrine on the left side of the map. When you're leaving the city Quarrycrest, follow the path out of the city and continue going left and stop right before the second bridge. Instead of crossing it, proceed to the left and go down a small pathway. This should take you under the bridge, to the entrance of the shrine.

Shrine of the Lady of Grace (Dancer)

The Shrine of the Lady of Grace is located in the Sunlands, the southern most region of Orsterra on the road called the Northern Wellspring Sands. Start at this area's signpost just outside of Wellspring and go up. Proceed to the left, past the guard, and go up until you see a red flag. Do not continue forward. Go to the left and you should find the entrance to the shrine underneath a small stream of running water.

Shrine of the Sage (Scholar)

You will find the Shrine of the Sage in the Flatlands, the region located at the northwestern section of the map on the Western Noblecourt Flats. It's right outside the city of Noblecourt. When you leave the city, go left on the path a short distance before going down the through a field of grass. This will take your party up a small hill, and you should veer them slightly to the left as they continue. Adjust your party's direction to the right once you pass a character standing next to several rocks. You'll find the shrine's entrance carved into the side of a rocky hill. 

Shrine of the Trader (Merchant)

Let's go to the east! The next shrine is the Shrine of the Trader located in the Coastlands, the region set furthest to the east on the Moonstruck coast path. When you arrive in Moonstruck Coast coming from West Goldshore Coast proceed southwest for all of your journey. Eventually, your path will force you to only go west until you arrive to a dead end. Go up to the rock wall and press your characters against it, taking a sharp right. This will take you into the Shrine of the Trader.

You should be careful around this area as the creatures here are prepared to fight level 30 characters.

Shrine of the Huntress (Hunter)

The Shrine of the Huntress is located in the Woodlands, the top left region of the map on the East Victors Hollow Trail. When you're at the signpost proceed north to Victors Hollow. Follow the path and stop when the path forces you to go to the left. Instead of continuing to follow the path go to the right into the forest. You'll find the cave entrance for the Shrine of the Huntress shortly after.

Shrine of the Thunderblade (Warrior)

Time to get your leg day in. The Shrine of the Thunderblade is located in the Highlands, the region on the bottom right of the map on the North Stonegard Pass. When you're at the signpost of this area, go to the left and follow the path. Eventually, you should see a small flag on top of a rock blowing in the wind. Instead of following the path up, go to the left, which should take you down a small slope. The entrance to the shrine is at the bottom of the slope.

Shrine of the Healer (Apothecary)

The final one! To find the Shrine of the Healer go to the Riverlands, the southern region between Cliftlands and the Sunlands, and go to the area called East Saintsbridge Traverse. When at this location's signpost, you'll find you're in the middle of a crossroad. Take to the right path and proceed down it. The path should take you directly cave of the Shrine of the Healer.

Advanced Job Class Shrines

You'll want to make your way these shrines later in the game. Unlike the eight other shrines, you must face a boss in order to gain access to these areas. Make sure you're ready to face them! These foes do not go easy on your party and are best taken on after you reach chapter 4.

Shrine of the Runeblade (Runelord)

The Shrine of the Runelord is located in the Highlands, in the same region you located the Shrine of the Thunderblade on the West Everhold Pass. When you're at this area's signpost, proceed to the right and follow the path. Stop once you've arrived at the fork in the road, and proceed to the right and then down. You'll follow an unmarked pass and eventually make it to the cave entrance for the Shrine of the Runelord's.

Shrine of the Archmagus (Sorcerer)

Time to return to the north for the Shrine of the Archmagus! You'll need to travel to the Woodlands, this is the same region you found the Shrine of the Huntress and you need to be on the East Duskbarrow Trail. When you're traveling from Duskbarrow on the path, follow it all the way, past the signpost, until you arrive to the entrance of an unmarked path shrouded in mist. This path should have you go upwards on the map. Follow it all the way, and at the end you will arrive to the Shrine of the Archmagus.

Shrine of the Warbringer (Warmaster)

We're nearly done! The Shrine of the Warbringer is located in the Riverlands, the same region you found the Shrine of the Healer on the North Riverford Traverse path. When you arrive to this area's signpost, just outside of Riverford, follow the path left. Stop right before you arrive to the small stone bridge. Instead of going up, continue to the left. You should follow an unmarked path to the left, and then down, a short distance before you find yourself at the cave entrance to the shrine.

Shrine of the Starseer (Starseer)

The last one! The Shrine of the Starseer is located in the Flatlands, it's in the same region you discovered the Shrine of the Sage on the Western Wispermill Flats side. When you're leaving the city of Wispermill, proceed down the path to the left, but only for a short distance. Stop immediately after the cut down trees and go upwards, towards the cow farm, and then to the right. You'll find your view blocked by the rocks, but if you continue forward into the rocks you should find your party entering the shrine.


This covers all of the shrines found throughout the Octopath Traveler! For more tips and tricks, check out our other Octopath Traveler guides

E3 2018 Nintendo Direct Recap: All the Trailers & Release Dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates https://www.gameskinny.com/mlgxy/e3-2018-nintendo-direct-recap-all-the-trailers-release-dates Tue, 12 Jun 2018 19:58:41 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Nintendo going the Direct route for E3 these past few years has been a strange ride, but fans can always count on E3 Directs to have two things: Some anticipated reveals, and a lot of gameplay.

Though today's biggest Nintendo announcements were Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the Fortnite launch, they did reveal a number of other ambitious projects that can find a home in most Switch libraries.

Out of all of Nintendo's showings today, I am most excited to see Kenichiro Tsukuda's DAEMON X MACHINA in action as it's been a long time since we've seen a mecha game from Armored Core's backbone producer. And the Macross guy doing the mecha designs? Yeah, I'll take that.

DAEMON X MACHINA may be my most hyped game out of this Direct, but chances are you're excited about any of the other great titles shown during the conference.

There's something for everyone in Nintendo Direct E3 2018!

Fire Emblem Three Houses trailer

It's been how long since Fire Emblem has seen a release on a home console? Ah, that's right: It's been 10 years since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn was released on the Wii.

Fire Emblem Three Houses
looks to be the most graphically/technically impressive game in the series yet. Look for its release in Spring 2019.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: "Torna -- The Golden Country" trailer

The only expansion in Nintendo's lineup this E3, "Torna -- The Golden Country" is set 500 years before the events in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.


"Torna" won't just be a story expansion; it will also feature tweaks to the battle system, allowing you to play as both Blades and Drivers in combat. This is a sure buy for fans, look for it on the Nintendo Switch on September 21.


We need more mecha games these days. Fact.

from Marvelous! is headed by Armored Core producer Kenichiro Tsukuda, with designs from Macross's Shoji Kawamori, not to mention the other talent involved. It will be making its way to the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Super Mario Party trailer

The Mario Party games have come in a lot of numbers, but none of them have had "Super" in the name.

Super Mario Party
will be able to make use of two Switch consoles for unique four-player gameplay and minigames. For the first game in the series to be Super, you've got to assume Nintendo is confident in this entry to their long-running party game series. Expect to see this one on the Switch this fall on October 5!

Overcooked 2 trailer

Overcooked has swiftly taken over as one of the go-to co-op games for many, so it makes sense for developer Ghost Town Games to keep the ball rolling with a sequel.

Overcooked 2
will feature more recipes, kitchens, and chefs to keep returning players engaged -- and if that wasn't enough, the game will also come with online multiplayer. There's no such thing as too many cooks.

Along with all of the above, Nintendo showed the following games briefly during today's Direct:

  • Hollow Knight (2018)
  • Fortnite (Today)
  • Killer Queen Black (Winter 2018)
  • SNK Heroines (September 7)
  • Octopath Traveler (July 13)
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ (2018)


And that's it! Everything you need to know about the great games shown at Nintendo's E3 Direct! 

As always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on these titles as they develop. 

Square Enix E3 Showcase Roundup: Kingdom Hearts 3, Tomb Raider, and More! https://www.gameskinny.com/h049d/square-enix-e3-showcase-roundup-kingdom-hearts-3-tomb-raider-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/h049d/square-enix-e3-showcase-roundup-kingdom-hearts-3-tomb-raider-and-more Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:53:29 -0400 Ashley Shankle

This year's showcase from Square Enix may not have been long, but it did pack a punch. Fans of their long-running series like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Tomb Raider have plenty to look forward to based on what was shown during their showcase during E3 2018 -- but there's definitely something for everyone among the lineup.

Without further ado, let's get to what was shown during this year's Square Enix showcase.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay reveal

Shadow of the Tomb Raider got a brand new trailer yesterday during Microsoft's showcase, but it seems Square Enix wanted the real hype-inducing meat to be during their own presentation. It's some juicy meat.


The gameplay demo featured above shows some great gameplay footage, especially focusing on stealth combat. The developers claim Shadow of the Tomb Raider will have wall-running, grappling, underwater swimming and survival, and will feature the largest world of the series yet. Laura Croft has really come a long way from the PlayStation, that's for sure.

Final Fantasy XIV Under the Moonlight 4.3 trailer

All I wanted from FFXIV at this point was some Final Fantasy XII-related content and it looks like we're finally getting it. The trailer for patch 4.3 is sure to send FFXII fans up the wall.


The trailer features familiar music, outfits, themes, and even the Bangaa race from the Ivalice Final Fantasy games. These certainly aren't the only things Final Fantasy XIV fans have to get excited about in the above trailer, though. There's a lot going on, and it all looks great.

Final Fantasy XIV x Monster Hunter World collaboration trailer

This was my personal hype machine.


Not much to say, not much to see! But nothing in the world can get you as excited to play a game like the Monster Hunter theme. This seems to be a collaboration that will take place in FFXIV, and will be coming sometime this summer. HYPE!

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit trailer

We got a second look at Life Is Strange developer Dontnot Entertainment's new spin-off for the series called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which they promise will have an impact on the upcoming Life Is Strange 2.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age trailer

Fans of the classic Enix RPG series will be happy to find that Dragon Quest XI now has an official North American release date: September 4, 2018.


As with previous entries released overseas, Dragon Quest XI will feature voice acting not present in the original Japanese release. We may be getting it over a year after it released in Japan, but late is better than never in the case of this classic turn-based series.

Babylon's Fall trailer

A Japanese publisher needs to have at least one Platinum game in their lineup, right? Right, that's what I assume. Even if it's not really the case.

Enter Square Enix's newest game from developer Platinum Games, Babylon's Fall.


The above trailer doesn't show much, but it does show some of that signature over-the-top Platinum style. Hopefully we will hear more about this game during or soon after E3.

Octopath Traveler trailer

Octopath Traveler is looking like the first completely original classic-style JRPG on the Switch and, for all intends and purposes, it looks fantastic for what it is.


This is one game we've known about for some time but we're mere weeks away from its release. Octopath Traveler looks very much like a SaGa game, with cues from Romancing SaGa and even SaGa Frontier. How will it actually play, though? Hopefully it'll play like it looks.

Just Cause 4 trailer

In case you needed some true chaos in your Square Enix presentation, Just Cause 4's trailer is here to give you just that. The off-the-rails open world series returns with a bigger and more varied world than ever.


The new weather system looks to be the biggest introduction in this release, with full-size tornadoes, massive thunderstorms, and more. And let's not even get into the vehicles and open world. Just watch the trailer!

The Quiet Man trailer

There's not much said in the below trailer and it goes lengths to blur the lines between live-action footage and in-game footage, but it does look interesting. It's an understatement to say there are not many games with deaf protagonists.


Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer

It's been how long since we've gotten a mainline Kingdom Hearts game? It's been 12 years since Kingdom Hearts 2 was released on the PlayStation 2. The series has survived in remixes and spin-offs since then and it's gone on strong, but all anyone wanted was a third game.


This time around Sora and the game will going into both Disney and Pixar worlds, featuring Hercules, Wreck-It-Ralph, Frozen, Monsters, Inc., Tarzan, and more. Fans will be watching this trailer over and over for sure, just to get a glimpse of what might be.

That's it for what Square Enix had to offer in their showcase during E3 2018. Later today we have more from Sony, Ubisoft, and more as E3 and its nearly endless stream of reveals pushes forward.

Square Enix's showing was strong, but there is surely stronger to come! Did one of these games make your E3? I have to admit, the FFXIV patch and collab have me worked up. Let us know in the comments!

Octopath Traveler Guide: Best Equipment to Make Your Journey Easier https://www.gameskinny.com/w5cdr/octopath-traveler-guide-best-equipment-to-make-your-journey-easier https://www.gameskinny.com/w5cdr/octopath-traveler-guide-best-equipment-to-make-your-journey-easier Wed, 01 Aug 2018 09:54:58 -0400 Zack Palm

In Octopath Traveler your party needs the best weapons to take the enemy down as quickly as possible. But they also need the best equipment to keep themselves alive if they do take a few hits.

As with most JRPGs, there's a variety of different equipment pieces you should look for, and a lot of them are tucked away throughout the world.

This guide will show you the locations of these hidden treasures and provide you with the best options available to your party to keep them alive and useful.

Best Head Gear

Flying Helmet

This is a great head piece if you want your early damage dealer to have land more critical strikes. You can choose to steal it off of citizens in Capable Culinarian or in Atlasdam. Because this is an early item, it's unlikely you'll wear this forever, but it's a great early game item to make grinding easier when you're starting outDon't dismiss it.

Flying Helmet stats:

  • Phys. Def: +26
  • Elem. Def: +30
  • Critical: +21
Golden Hairpiece

Have a character using far too much SP? This item increases maximum SP, while also providing a decent layer of protection. You'll find this piece at the Noblecourt shop. 

Again, this is another early game item you do not want to overlook. This will protect your weaker party members and ensure you do not have to use as much healing on them. Plus, it makes them more viable as they can use more skills in combat to support the heavier damage dealers.

Golden Hairpiece stats:

  • Phys. Def: +52
  • Elem. Def: +88
  • Maximum SP: +36

Adamantine Hat

Want to give a particular character increased defenses and more elemental attack? This is the best helmet in the game for exactly that. You can find this head piece in three different locations.

You can steal it off of a merchant located in Northreach. You can find it in a chest in Ebony Grotto. And you can find it in a chest in the Maw of the Ice Dragon. This means you might locate it sooner or later in the game depending on your overall progress. 

However, the chests in Ebony Grotto and Maw of the Ice Dragon are purple. This means you need to take Therion with you to unlock them.

Adamantine Hat stats:

  • Phys. Def: +104
  • Elem. Def: +180
  • Elem. Atk: +88
Dragon's Helm

To get this head piece, you're going to have acquire it from a hearty opponent. You can find them in Lower Riversford, standing in front of a home.

They should be the Rank 8 townperson. They're a tough fight, but if you want to take down the final boss, you should make sure to grab this helmet, especially if the tank in your party is having trouble taking physical damage. 

You can purchase this item in Grandport, but that seems like a missed opportunity for your party to gain more experience points.

Dragon's Helm stats:

  • Phys. Def: +152

Best Body Gear

Snowy Cape

During Octopath's early game, you're going to want your damage dealing squishy character to remain out of sight. A  great way to do this is to increase overall evasion.

This is a great item to go after for your party members who have a lighter step. You can find this item in Stillsnow, but you do have to purchase it from the merchant in town.

Snowy Cape stats:

  • Phys. Def: +39
  • Elem. Def: +43
  • Evasion: +51
Obsidian Garb

You can only find this piece of equipment once and you need to think carefully when you try to get it

The only way you can acquire this piece is when you face the Primrose Chapter 3 boss, Albus. You can steal it or take it off of him once you've defeated him, but you cannot do it too quickly. 

Killing this boss too quickly will not cause this item to drop. You have to wait a set of time before it spawns. What determines the correct amount of time is currently unknown.

Obsidian Garb stats:

  • Phys. Def: +98
  • Elem. Def: +112
  • Critical: +96

Sorcerer's Robe

This great piece of equipment would well suit any of your magic-based party members. You'll find it during your travels near the end of the game. You can purchase or steal it off an NPC in the Noblecourt or Everhold area after you've completed Tressa and Therion's storylines

Though this piece of equipment does not offer a special defense of ability, it does include a bonus toward Elem. Atk, which is great for a magic-based character you want to have deal major damage.

Sorcerer's Robe stats:

  • Phys. Def: +107
  • Elem. Def+282
  • Elem. Atk. +50
Robe of the Flame

During Octopath's late game, your magical party members will thank you for picking this item up. It's a great addition to your inventory, but you'll have some trouble adding it to your collection.

You can find it in three ways. The first way is fairly simple, as you can find it on a citizen in Victors Hollow where you purchase or steal it. You can also find it in Marsalim after you've completed H'aanit's story.

The final location is in Wispermill where you must defeat a Level 9 elderly woman. That's right. A Level 9 elderly woman stands between you and a great piece of gear. Are you going to let her stop you?

Robe of the Flame stats:

  • Phys. Def: +126
  • Elem. Def: +317
  • Maximum SP: +56

Best Accessories

Sprightly Necklace

What character in your party doesn't need to move faster? This accessory will add to your favorite party member's speed unlike any other item in the game.

Thankfully, you can find it in a number of different locations. You have the option of purchasing it or stealing it from NPCs in Wispermill, Northreach, and Cobblestone. During the later part of the game, you can also steal this from Noelle. You do need to finish her final side quest to acquire it.

Sprightly Necklace stats:

  • Speed: +80

Critical Necklace

This item has critical in the name, so how can you not want to add it to your inventory? You'll want to pick this item up to maximize the amount of damage you're dealing and ensure you're dealing as much critical damage as possible. 

To find this item, you need to head to Marsalim to purchase or steal it from an NPC at that location.

Critical Necklace stats:

  • Critical: +80
Enlightening Necklace

As the game progresses, enemies get harder and some of your party members won't be able to take a hit. The ones who need to get out of the fire require as much evasion as possible, and this item is the perfect piece to give to your more squishy party members.

You can find this item during the later part of the game in Marsalim and Orwell, where you can purchase it or steal it. You can also locate this item in Grimsand Ruins in a chest.

Enlightening Necklace stats:

  • Evasion: +80
Gleaming Amulet

To find this item, you'll need to go a little bit out of the way. You'll need to travel to Lorn Cathedral, or the Ruins of Eld, and find it in a chest. It may take a little of effort to find, but after some thorough searching, you should locate the helpful piece and add it to your collection!

Gleaming Amulet stats:

  • Greatly reduce light damage


And those are some of the most notable equipment drops you can find during your travels in Octopath Traveler! Did you find any other noteworthy items? Mention them in the comments below!

For more on Octopath Traveler, check out our review of the game and our grinding guide. And as always, make sure to keep it here on GameSkinny!

Nintendo Direct Roundup: Smash Bros. Switch, Splatoon 2 DLC, Mario Tennis Aces, and More https://www.gameskinny.com/0ysmo/nintendo-direct-roundup-smash-bros-switch-splatoon-2-dlc-mario-tennis-aces-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/0ysmo/nintendo-direct-roundup-smash-bros-switch-splatoon-2-dlc-mario-tennis-aces-and-more Thu, 08 Mar 2018 18:51:19 -0500 Littoface

The March 8 Nintendo Direct had plenty of awesome Nintendo stuff to show off: New titles, release date announcements, and one big tease of a surprise. See the highlights below:

First, the big news -- SUPER SMASH BROS. ON SWITCH 

Release Date: TBA 2018

Sure, Nintendo didn't reveal a whole lot in terms of details surrounding the game, but we do know that it's coming sometime this year and will feature characters from the Splatoon series, as well as Smash staples such as Mario, Link, and more. 

Check out the trailer below: 

New Mario Tennis Aces Details Released

Release Date: June 22

Mario Tennis Aces features more than 15 playable characters, each with their own pros and cons, and up to 4-player multiplayer. New details were revealed about the split-second-decision-making you'll be doing as you wage a battle with the controller or the joycon.

Four main types of hits will be available in your arsenal: basic, topspin, slice, and lob. Here are some of the other modes and skills you'll get to use in Mario's upcoming new tennis title:

  • Zone Shot: Aim and shoot to pinpoint any spot using motion controls, then send the ball crashing into your enemy. This powerful shot will hurt the racket unless it is blocked, but blocking it takes skill and timing. This move uses up energy from your gauge.

  • Zone Speed: This skill slows the action down to help you nail that perfect block, or catch up to an errant ball. Using this move also costs energy.
  • Trick Shot: Boosts the energy gauge—if you can time it right.

  • Special Shot: This powerful move uses up a large chunk of energy, but for a huge payoff!

Your energy gauge fills up over time or as you use Trick Shots, allowing you to choose how you play. Will you go for points or a KO? Will you be on the offensive or the defensive? You choose the strategy.

Want to just play plain old tennis? The Simple Rules Mode allows only basic shots. Activate the Swing Mode to use the joycon like a tennis racket. Finally, Story Mode gives tennis a new twist with different objectives, target practice, and even boss battles.

The game will allow online play, and host tournaments where you can earn special outfits and even more playable characters.

Experience the game before it's out with a special online tournament, where players can play 1 vs 1 for free before launch. More details on this will be announced at a later date.

Octopath Traveler Reveals New Characters and Release Date

Release Date: July 13

With the release date confirmed, upcoming unique RPG Octopath Travelers has revealed two more characters from their roster:

  • Tressa the Merchant: Tressa's Path Action is "Purchase," which allows her to get special items from people she encounters on her travels.

  • Alfyn the Apothecary: Alfyn is on a mission to heal others. His Path Action is "Inquire," which worms out info that others won't have access to.

More info about the job system was also revealed: Characters begin with one base job but can equip additional jobs to expand strategic options.

A Special Edition of the game will be available for purchase on the day of release, which will include:

  • A Popup book with art and background for the 8 characters
  • A map
  • An OST
  • A replica coin based on the in-game currency

A free demo is now available.

Splatoon 2 Version 3.0 Update, Octo Expansion

The Ver 3.0 update for Splatoon 2 has been scheduled for release in late April. It will include:

  • 100+ new pieces of gear
  • More stages: Pirhana Pit, Camp Triggerfish, Wahoo World
  • Rank X: an extreme rank, higher than S+ (more details to be announced)
  • Callie will appear in Octocanyon after you fulfill certain conditions

A new video also showed off a brand new mode of play, in the upcoming new Octo Expansion!

The first paid DLC will sell for $19.99 and will feature a huge new single-player story mode featuring an octoling named Agent 8. Lost in an underground subway, Agent 8 must travel to the 8 underground lab facilities to regain her memories and return to the world above.

Expect new missions, stories, and lore that will shed new light on beloved characters. You only think you know everything...

Pre-purchase the DLC now to receive Octo headgear and clothes.

New Titles and Other News:

WarioWare Gold

Release Date: August 3

Everyone's favorite baddie returns with the biggest collection to date: over 300 microgames.

The trailer promises more new goodies as well as new looks on familiar characters.

Dillion's Dead-heat breakers

Release Date: May 24

Action meets tower defense as Dillon protects his home from… what, exactly?

Team up with Dillon using an animalized Mii character—and let your friends join the battle as gunners.

Check out the demo, available May 10.

Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Story

Release Date: 2019

Team up with Bowser from the inside, as you race to find a cure for a terrible new disease. The updated version includes a new chapter, which tells us Bowser Jr.'s side of things.

Detective Pikachu

Release Date: March 23

You've never seen Pikachu like this before. Pre-purchase the game starting today to see the gruff side of the loveable mascot.

A new amiibo is also in the works featuring the detective, with the option to snag an extra-large, 5.3 cm amiibo.

Luigi's Mansion

Release Date: TBA 2018

Experience Luigi's haunting tale of ghosts and vacuum cleaners, remade especially for the Nintendo 3DS. See the mansion map on the bottom screen, or take on a challenge with the new Boss Rush mode.

Nintendo Switch News

Kirby Star Allies

Release Date: March 16

Join the fight and create your own dream-team of kirby fighters, even teaming up with former enemies like MetaKnight and King Deedeedee.

More playable characters will become available over time, through free DLCs. The first free update is scheduled to hit the store on March 28, and will bring the following characters from past Kirby games: Rick, Kine, Coo, Marx, and Gooey.

Free demo is available now.

Okami HD

Release Date: Summer 2018

Use the touchscreen or the joycon to draw brush strokes in this HD remake of the beautiful game Okami.

Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido

Release Date: June 8

Eat sushi to line them up and attack the opposition in this fun-looking game. Join others online in multiplayer mode or fight the great sushi monopoly yourself.

The game will be available on June 8th for both the Switch and the 3DS.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes

Release Date: 2018

Action, racing, and puzzling come together as Travis enters his games and plays through seven different game titles, from the inside. Strike down bugs using combination moves in adventure mode, which tells a new story, or coop multiplayer mode with friends.

Dark Souls: Remastered

Release Date: May 25

Praise the sun! The new Solaire of Astoria amiibo will be available on the remastered game's launch, which will give players access to the praise the sun gesture in-game.

Try out the game before launch during a pre-release network test. More details coming soon!

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Release Date: July 13

Guide Captain Toad through this boxy puzzler as he searches for treasures to uncover. Rotate the world or recruit a friend to provide cover fire. The game will feature some Super Mario Oddyssey levels in this new style!

A Nintendo 3DS version is planned.


Release Date… Eventually.

The teaser didn't give away much except confirm that the indie darling is coming to the Switch. Look out for it!

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Release Date: July 10

The new bundle will include all three Crash games with fully upgraded animations, cinematics, and environments. Includes the remaster of Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and 3.

Little Nightmares: Complete Edition

Release Date: May 18

Adventure through the creepy world of this indie puzzle platformer, revealing two tales in one game. The Complete Edition includes all past downloadable content, as well as an unlockable Paku Mask using the Pacman amiibo.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Release Date: April 24

Nintendo and South Park? Yes, really. The South Park game is coming to the Switch this Spring, as well as the DLC, which can be purchased separately or in a season pack. The 1st and 2nd DLC will be available on launch, with the 3rd (which reveals a new story) slated to be released later.

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

Release Date: May 18

The release date has been confirmed, though no new details were given.


Think you're the best ARMS fighter? Put yourself to the test by joining the US and Canada online open! Prelims will take place March 8-18, during which eight players will be chosen to move on to the finals. Finals will stream on the Nintendo website on March 31. All finalists will receive custom art from the development team.

March 31 also marks a 3-day Testpunch, which welcomes new players to experience ARMS free for three days.

Keep an eye out for the dev team at GDC!


And that's it! Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on Super Smash Bros. for the Nintendo Switch as it develops, as well as news on all the other games coming to Nintendo's newest console this year. 

Octopath Traveler Keeps Name, Launches July 13 https://www.gameskinny.com/8bkcc/octopath-traveler-keeps-name-launches-july-13 https://www.gameskinny.com/8bkcc/octopath-traveler-keeps-name-launches-july-13 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 11:12:23 -0500 Erroll Maas

During yesterday's Nintendo Direct, upcoming Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler was shown, and it will launch on July 13, 2018, exclusively on Nintendo Switch.

Two new characters in the game were also introduced: Tressa the merchant and Alfyn the apothecary. Tressa has the special ability to purchase items from various NPCs, while Alfyn can question NPCs and gain information from them that other characters can't. Every character in the game has a main class as their job but can be given an extra job as well to create different combinations.

Additionally, a  special collector's edition of the game was revealed. This special edition will include a soundtrack, a pop-up book featuring all eight main characters, and a special coin.

Octopath Traveler will release exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on July 13, 2018. A demo version of the game is available for download on the Nintendo Switch eShop but may not be indicative of the final product, as various changes and improvements have been made since.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more information on Octopath Traveler as it develops.