Initial Thoughts on Octopath Traveler Ahead of the Review

AXE OF THE BLOOD GOD | Nadia shares her initial thoughts on Octopath Traveler, and our Top 25 RPG countdown continues.

Article by Kat Bailey, .

Axe of the Blood God is our weekly RPG podcast hosted by Kat Bailey and Nadia Oxford. You can find the previous episodes here.

With Octopath Traveler out later this week, Nadia shares her initial impressions of the upcoming Switch RPG ahead of her full review [download link here].

Nadia, as you might expect, is currently digging Octopath Traveler. She has thoughts on its battle system, its graphics, and which character she decided to start with. Her full review will be ready July 12, and we will do a fuller review on the pod the following Monday.

Our Top 25 RPG countdown also continues this week with number 23 on our list: Nethack! Contributor David Craddock joins us to talk about the deep roots rogulikes have in the RPG genre, and why Nethack might be the best of the bunch. Make sure to read about number 25 and number 24 here.

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Show Description

Nadia shares her initial impressions of Octopath Traveler, including the battle system, the graphics, and more. Then David Craddock returns to talk about Nethack, its remarkable support through the years, and tales of YASDs.

Music from Axe of the Blood God is courtesy of Lena Chappelle, who has also contributed the themes to Active Time Babble and Roleplayers' Realm. I also use music from the RPG Music Pack over at Check it out!

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Comments 24

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  • Avatar for Taborcarn #1 Taborcarn 4 months ago
    Cool, downloading it now. Just an FYI though that the embedded player is pointing to the previous episode.
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  • Avatar for choog #2 choog 4 months ago
    Kat, it looks like you linked the Jul 2 episode.
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #3 Gamer-Law 4 months ago
    I have been looking forward to this discussion for some time. Will download the episode shortly. Thanks, Nadia!
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  • Avatar for cldmstrsn #4 cldmstrsn 4 months ago
    Very excited for this game. I have put at least 10 hours in the various demos and I came away impressed. classic RPG feel.Edited July 2018 by cldmstrsn
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  • Avatar for Drachmalius #5 Drachmalius 4 months ago
    My experience with Nethack is so limited that it's basically nonexistent. I downloaded it 4 years ago and played one game where I died immediately and thought the game was outdated BS. But this was a great discussion, I might give it another shot! Now I at least understand what the appeal is, sounds like it earned its spot on the list to me.
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #6 SatelliteOfLove 4 months ago
    OT will confuse and wash out a ton of Switch fans who ain't ready to tangle with some Kawazu-Ass Kawazu wierdness. Mark my words.
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  • Avatar for FTLMantis #7 FTLMantis 4 months ago
    Nethack is such a great choice. I personally never got into it, but it was an ATB podcast back from the 1up days that introduced me to it, and eventually this led to my discovery of Brogue, which is probably my favorite and certainly my most played game. Where nethack, Angband and their cousins had the potential to be weeks long journeys, Brogue is a little shorter (5 hours can see you to the end, theoretically) and captures the do anything spirit of the genre without holding 10s of hours of your time hostage. It also has a beautiful tileset available from oryx, which makes an already (to me) pretty game even more amazing looking.Edited July 2018 by FTLMantis
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  • Avatar for SatelliteOfLove #8 SatelliteOfLove 4 months ago
    Thank you, David!

    Too many people define genres by what it AIN'T, not what it IS, and Roguelikes are the worst of these. It doesn't DESCRIBE anything, like what I did earlier for Octopath with "Kawazu-Ass Kawazu Game", a very descriptive sub-sub-genre that'll tell you wonderfully what you need to know about said game.
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  • Avatar for Ventifer #9 Ventifer 4 months ago
    My personal favorite roguelite game is TOME(Tales of Maj'yel). It has graphics but it seems very similar to Nethack. I've spent hundreds of hours in that game and I've beaten it maybe 4 or 5 times on the base difficulty.

    I wouldn't of though that Nadia would of picked the hunter as her starter character. I figured maybe the merchant would be her pick. Can't wait to pick up the game though.
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  • Avatar for petersmith72 #10 petersmith72 4 months ago
    From my time with the demo I think the boss battles could stand to be shorter even if someone thinks that is crazy. Persona games have much snappier battles than this, so it's a poor comparison. Suikoden is one of my favorite series and I think most JRPGs could learn from the way those games handle random battles (also FF12). They are incredibly fast, characters can attack simultaneously, and auto-battle will save you work if you set up your team strategically enough.Edited July 2018 by petersmith72
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  • Avatar for riderkicker #11 riderkicker 4 months ago
    Screams like Kirk: SAGAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #12 Gamer-Law 4 months ago
    Enjoyed listening to Nadia’s first thoughts on OT. While she has likely discovered this by now, Cyrus has a skill that significantly reduces the number of random encounters. I have not discovered a way to turn them off entirely, but this should help those who are put off by random encounters.

    The game’s lack of an overarching plot that ties the character stories together does not bother me. From the outset, Nintendo has advertised this game as “eight adventurers, eight unique stories...”

    When I played the first demo last September I was struck by how similar OT and early SaGa titles (especially SaGa Frontier) are. The combat systems in SaGa Frontier and OT have little in common, but the way in which parties are formed and the individual character story arcs are similar. Kat’s analogy to 7th Saga is certainly appropriate as well.

    Looking forward to the final review!Edited July 2018 by Gamer-Law
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  • Avatar for pdubb #13 pdubb 4 months ago
    Man Nethack sounds like a game that would have tanked my high school GPA even more. I think it's one of those games that it's better that I just hear awesome stories about rather than sink my teeth into, before I all of a sudden end up coming out of my house in 30 days unshaved and unwashed.

    But hey, at least I'll have cool stories right?

    No one let me download this game ever.
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  • Avatar for The-Challenger #14 The-Challenger 4 months ago
    Your number 23 pick really makes me curious as to how this list will develop. Will the top ten you choose be nothing more than advanced versions of the bottom 15? I wonder.Edited July 2018 by The-Challenger
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  • Avatar for mrhumble1 #15 mrhumble1 4 months ago
    From what I am hearing about OT, I am starting to get worried. I play RPGs for their overall plot, so if there is not one I will likely not be interested. Take Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for example. Every blade had it's own story, and you could explore those if you wanted to (and some were amazing), but there was still the overall narrative to discover. The two (blade stories/main quests) were handled really well and I loved that about the game. If OT is just a collection of individual quests then I will likely be skipping it (even though I have already pre-ordered the Wayfarer’s Edition). There may be characters that I am not interested in at all so for those I won't bother with their stories. If there is no main quest, and I only like, say, 4 of the main characters, then I will miss out on HALF of the game.
    I'll just have to wait and see what the reviewers say about this. Fingers crossed...
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #16 donkeyintheforest 4 months ago
    Immediately downloaded Nethack as soon as I got home (listened to the podcast in the car). Opened it up and realized I couldn't really see anything because it was so small on my 4k tv haha. Will try it hooked up to an actual monitor or will fiddle with resolutions soon.

    What little I did try of it (I met a cat, walked around an iron skullcap or something) seemed cool. Reminded me of my failed attempt at dwarf fortress, but much easier to understand haha

    best podcast as always
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  • Avatar for link6616 #17 link6616 4 months ago
    Playing the demo of OT, I am honestly a little concerned about the speed of combat. It isn't that slow in a sense, but it feels very artless most of the time, and if you are going to have combat like that you either need to be quick (DQ) or very pretty and snappy (P5).

    Maybe it'll speed up when I have more people but I'm honestly putting buying OT off till a sale because I'm so unsure on it's battle pacing.
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  • Avatar for pdubb #18 pdubb 4 months ago
    @link6616 I thought that at first too about OT, but after playing through the original demo a second time I found my stride a lot better.

    My concern is like another poster mentioned, I really hope there is some real meat to the story cause I have a fear the game is riding on nostalgia for 16 bit, but not offering the substance.

    It's probably just me lowering my expectations as a defense mechanism in case this game isn't as awesome as I want.
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  • Avatar for daverhodus #19 daverhodus 4 months ago
    The late review embargo for OT gives me pause. I'm going to wait for reviews instead of pre-ordering.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #20 link6616 4 months ago
    @pdubb so it's fair to say it's just a failure to understand systems as opposed to actually being slow?

    That's good to know.
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  • Avatar for Gamer-Law #21 Gamer-Law 4 months ago
    @daverhodus - I don’t expect final reviews to deviate far from the initial impressions that we heard over the weekend.

    Those reviewers who were put off by the lack of a overarching narrative will likely continue to feel that way and I suspect that will impact final scores. That aside, I could not be more excited for the game’s release and look forward to starting it on Friday.
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  • Avatar for calvinredburn14 #22 calvinredburn14 4 months ago
    I'm so happy to hear Nethack arrive on any contemporary list as a greatest game. I am one of those masochists who has been playing the game 20 years and never beat it. I had the great fortune to have this game during a time where I did not actually have regular access to the Internet. Being forced to play this game without any guide, having to write down everything by hand and study the game and learn it by organic exploration is one of the most unique and incredible experiences I think a person can have in video games, but it's one that I think can only come with either a lot of self-control to avoid just looking up the answers in frustration, know, a father who stubbornly won't pay for unlimited Internet on a 1998 dialup modem.
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  • Avatar for daverhodus #23 daverhodus 4 months ago
    @Gamer-Law Review embargos the day before the game comes out turn me off. That's really my whole reasoning.
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  • Avatar for hendryjullius #24 hendryjullius 3 months ago
    According to a 2010 study released by the Entertainment Software Association, the computer and the video game industry added the US $4.9 billion to the economy of the United States. There are some estimates that by 2015 the worldwide gaming industry. July 2018 by hendryjullius
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