Over the past couple of years, one of the most unexpected yet welcome additions to video games has been a rise in game developers utilizing pinball mechanics in non-traditional ways for exciting new takes on well established genres. Starting with the sublime marriage of pinball and Metroidvanias in 2018's Yoku's Island Express and further expanded in last year's dungeon crawler, Creature in the Well, the love poems to pinball may have reached their peak with the brilliant and addictive Peggle meets Slay the Spire magic of Roundguard.
Finally, after a mere 59 hours and 32 chapters, my main journey in Octopath Traveler has come to an end. Looking back on my time immersed in this stylish 16-bit throwback adventure, I find there's both plenty to love and a lot to be frustrated about. As far as scratching that classic JRPG itch, Octopath certainly does that. It's enjoyable throughout and a solid 8.5/10 or so if you were to grade it. The main problem is that it could have easily been an all-time great game had it tried just a little bit harder.