Posted by: seanmalstrom | July 11, 2018

Email: Octopath

Hi Sean (hope that’s ok).

Hell no, it isn’t. You think this is some normal blog?

I reserved the Wayfarer edition at Bestbuy back in April. The game won’t be available to me and most people until Friday, but you may be able to get a copy from Walmart early if you don’t mind a bit of social engineering. Apparently a few people on reddit have found the game at Walmart. It has a streetdate lock, but in the past inexperienced employees or those that don’t care about games have sold games before street date. Even if it involved scanning another game of the same price to get it. If I didn’t have that special edition pre-ordered with the 20% discount, I’d be doing a bit of driving right now to see if I could get the game early.

Nah, I also have the Wayfarer edition pre-ordered from Best Buy (using GCU of course). In fact, Octopath was what got me to buy the GCU just days after they discontinued people from buying it! So my GCU expires sometime in 2020 haha.

To people who do not understand why customers are going nuts right now over the Octopath, it has everything to do with the value of 8-bit/16-bit gaming.

Once upon a time, in the Blessed 8-Bit Era, the Greatest Game Console Of All, the NES, was there (hush Master System fans). And on this system were many games. Most of these games were action games, platformers, sports games, or some pc ports. But the JRPGs of Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior were quite interesting then. It was extremely unusual, in the West, to play a game just by hitting a button. They were long games. I think they were great when you were sick and didn’t have the stamina for other games. But the thing is that experience was far more potent and stayed with you than other games on the system.

I remember when the SNES came out. One of the games was Final Fantasy II (IV) which cost $90!!!!! “How can a game cost that much?” I wondered. I rented games then. And I rented Final Fantasy II (since I obviously owned the first one on my NES). I was hooked, but got stuck. Then I’d rent it again. And again. And again. I kept going back to the game.

Was it the music? The story? It was something.

I eventually did buy it, and I have never regretted doing so.

I bought Final Fantasy 3 (6) the day it came out. I was so disappointed that it didn’t come with a cloth map (haha, my standards were high even back then!). The game was… odd. Then you come to the World of Ruin and I’m like, “WTF!? The world just blew up!” hahaha.

But the point is that I played the game again, and again, and again. I even bought the soundtrack before buying game soundtracks were cool. And over the decades, I have enjoyed replaying the game.

I have tried several times to get into Final Fantasy 7. I never could. Not sure why. Perhaps it is the ‘OMG 3d!’ rammed at you.

The value of a quality JRPG such as Octopath made in the spirit of Final Fantasy VI is well understood by those who played such games in the 80s and 90s. I think THAT is what is translating to the Octopath hype.

Now, the Game Industry does not see this. “Oh, it is summer. Nothing is coming out. That is why people are buying the Octopath.” If only it were as simple to sell something by releasing it during a slow time! The Game Industry missed NSMB DS and NSMB Wii because they did not understand the value of 2d Mario. Even Nintendo was stunned by their numbers.

Now, I do not know how big the Octopath market is. But I do know there is a huge market desire for this type of game. Hell, an entire GENRE was there back a couple of decades ago. The JRPG didn’t so much die as get killed by terrible 3d, tropes, and terrible writing and world building.

Whether Octopath is a good game or not doesn’t matter anymore. People want this genre to come back. They want well made turn based JRPGs. If Bravely Default didn’t sell, how did it get a sequel?

The Switch is a great place for this genre because…

A) Turn based JRPGs perform great on handheld systems. Look at Gunpei’s system the WonderSwan. Ports of early Final Fantasy games appeared on it causing WonderSwan to sell, which is why Nintendo then locked down publishing rights to early Final Fantasy games on their handhelds.

B) Switch has an install base of Breath of the Wild players. These players enjoy large single player worlds.

C) Many, many Nintendo gamers today were Nintendo kids of the 80s and 90s. If Octopath was on another system, it likely would have been ignored. (Besides, Sony and Microsoft do not want such a game on their system that isn’t utilizing their ‘elite’ hardware.)

The reviews tomorrow are going to be shit. I don’t think they know how to review this game. But we don’t need them anyway. Within 24 hours, people will have the game themselves, and they can use the Internet to communicate the game’s value.

With playable demos, what is the point of reviews?

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