Anyone who’s spent any time in fandom circles knows how a little goes a long way when it comes to filling in the gaps in character relationships. A hand on a shoulder, a passing compliment, a little joke — anything can be fuel for the imagination. There was plenty of time in Octopath Traveler 2, during exploration and combat, when my mind was free to wander and would have done most of the work — if there was any foundation for me to build from. But I can’t help feeling that imaginative fuel wasn’t put into the script to begin with. Without it, Octopath Traveler 2 is beautifully realized, but there’s a hole at its center.
Because even though Pentiment is set in the past, it demonstrates how history is never static, and how it influences places, communities, and individuals. That’s something that’s easily lost when we look back through time, but Pentiment’s living characters and spiraling mystery won’t let you forget it.
Necrobarista realises that there are no objectively correct answers to the questions it raises about mortality, loss, and how to live a good life. In giving these two characters their different resolutions without presenting either as better than the other, it manages to acknowledge that while simultaneously giving both a satisfying conclusion.