When it comes to storytelling and attention to characters, Team Asano—a Square Enix division led by video game producer Tomoya Asano—is one of few development teams that do justice to both. One of their best-selling games of all time is Octopath Traveler, an HD-2D JRPG that tells eight separate stories of eight different characters.
Live A Live is a JRPG that’s kind of similar. Developed in 1994, it was the directorial debut of Takashi Tokita, one of the geniuses behind Final Fantasy IV. In fact, the game was created by Development Division 5 (also known as the Final Fantasy Team). It was localized by Team Asano in 2022 with minimal changes to its scenario. At first glance, both use a similar storytelling method. So, you must be wondering which of the two is better.
Which is better: Octopath Traveler or Live A Live?
In our opinion, Octopath Traveler does a much better job of leading you to the true enemy of the game, and we’ll tell you why.
Objectively—and only in terms of overarching story—Live A Live tells the narrative straightforwardly. Simply by playing two to three routes alone, you already know that there’s one dastardly villain meddling across timelines. His name changes, but they’re all a variation of “Odio,” the dark lord’s true name. In the end, you get a complete story of his motives and purpose.
Octopath Traveler is the exact opposite. It doesn’t tell you anything up until the credits. It’s up to you, the player, to connect clues gathered from the eight protagonists’ stories and piece together the history, purpose, and motive of Galdera, its true boss. Galdera doesn’t even appear in the main game. You need to seek it out during post-game and struggle very hard to beat it. Only after that will Octopath Traveler reward you with the last missing piece of the narrative. Discovering the identity of Galdera and defeating it is a more rewarding experience.
With all the clues you discover, the secrets that are revealed, and the villains you have to fight along the way—these eight people were there for them. So, it only makes sense that they are the only ones who can solve Galdera’s mystery at the end of the game—and together, at that.
Live A Live characters lived through different stories with only Odio to connect them. The Octopath party is a group of adventurers who have accidentally discovered a damning evil entity only they can defeat.
It’s not to say that Live A Live is not an enjoyable game, of course. Live A Live’s gameplay is actually more interesting than Octopath Traveler’s, seeing as you’re forced into a specific playstyle every era. The fun of Live A Live stems from the uniqueness of each setting and how each story is executed. When looking at individual stories, we argue that Live A Live’s are executed better. In any case, we recommend playing them both and find out for yourself which is the more enjoyable experience.
If you’re interested in more Octopath Traveler comparisons, check out How is Triangle Strategy related to Octopath Traveler here at GameTips.PRO.