First Impression: Octopath Traveler

Few games have caught my attention the way that Octopath Traveler did when it was announced. Coming from any other studio, for any other system, it may have been different. But a Square Enix RPG exclusively for the Nintendo Switch sounds to me like the Promised Land I was hoping we would see. The best case scenario for the Switch is exactly this: a blurring of console and handheld, where scale and scope don’t matter nearly as much as variety and purpose. From the moment you see it, Octopath Traveler assures you that the Switch will uphold Nintendo’s tradition of supporting colorful, unique, mid-sized games (mostly from Japan) that would be lost in the shuffle if they were released on a regular console. Yes you can have Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Switch in all of its 3D glory, but you can also have a text-menu-sprite-turn-and-grind JRPG that feels like the 1990’s again. These kinds of games don’t need to break the mold. They need to satisfy an appetite that very few people are catering to.

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Skullgirls gets reviewd by

So Skullgirls has been out for a couple of days, and I did purchase it.  It takes a lot of energy for me to get into a new fighting game, so I’ve only scratched the surface so far, but has put up their own review here.

I was surprised that the control scheme heavily leans towards an “arcade stick” setup, where you play with an arcade control peripheral, with 2 rows of buttons flat on the surface.  Many of the moves require you to hit certain combinations of buttons that don’t work well on a traditional controller, such as all 3 kick buttons at the same time (X, O, and R2 on the PS3) or Light Kick and Medium Punch at the same time (X and Triangle).  These are easy inputs on an Arcade Stick, but they’re very awkward on a controller.

Read the review to get an idea of what hardcore fighting game players think of it, and let’s hope that it becomes successful enough that they can continue to polish, support, and add to it.  I love the creators, I love what they’re trying to do, and I think they deserve the small asking price.

Here’s the Character Guide to download, by the way.  Might help you understand how to use the characters a bit better, learn some backstory, and enjoy the artwork.

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