Review: Bravely Default



The JRPG genre may not be as influential, or relevant as it once was in the past, but it still houses some of the most amazing games to have been released in recent years.  Bravely Default tries to mix the conventional Old-school JRPG with some present day innovation, the result? Bravely Default finds itself just a few steps short of being the perfect JRPG of this generation.  Bravely Default’s greatest strength is easily it’s battle system, simple as it may seem, it’s risk and reward system involves players to be very strategic in battle.  Bravely Default is one beautiful looking game, with a wonderful cast of characters, that provide an excellent pace in story telling, though it does fall short from time to time.  But what does this game truly offer for players, and is it worthy of picking up?

As I said before this game is amazing, every JRPG fan, and 3DS owners should own this game.  Bravely Default is a very difficult game, and requires players to strategically use Brave, and Default to attack and defend against your enemies.  Using Default allows you to defend, and gain a brave point.  Brave points are essentially your action points.  Using brave allows you to do numerous actions in a single turn, but using brave points you do not have can leave you open to attack.  mixing and matching between characters to find a perfect balance between using brave and default is the difference between life and death in battle.  It’s a risk and reward system that works perfectly to keep players on their toes in battle.  Enemies can also brave and default so the advantage of using this in battle isn’t entirely yours alone.  This is all tied to a deep job system that offers players a number of roles for each character to assume.  there are a total of 24 jobs; such as knights whose high defense and offensive abilities protect the party, or Valkries who use BP to perform a number of powerful skills.  Skills you learn in one Job, however, can be used to support you should you change jobs, for instance a knight supported with white magic abilities essentially, creates a make-shift paladin class, and with 24 jobs to work with there are a number of possibilities and combinations to use.  One thing i really love about Bravely’s combat was no matter how overpowered I felt I was, the upcoming boss would put me in my place and force me to switch my party up, and find better job combinations to work with.

Your party is formed early and you remain with them throughout, which keeps things more focused and allows character growth at an easier pace. Tiz Arrior a young boy whose village has been swallowed up by a huge crater, killing his family and friends. He joins Agnès Oblige, the wind vestal who is tasked with reviving four faded crystals before the world descends into chaos.  Ringabel,  who suffers from amnesia, a ladies’ man who carries a mysterious book that seemingly predicts the future, and Edea Lee, an officer from the enemy army in pursuit of Agnès, who joins the party after realizing the horror of her ways.  The narrative between each character is very well written, and the humor and more intimate scenes steal the show.

Bravely Default is a beautiful game, the hand-painted backdrops of each town look gorgeous, and viewing them with the 3D enabled was a marvel to see.  Each area from a dark and mysterious forest to the beautiful city of Florem is striking with detail.  Much of the game is accompanied with vocals and while the performances are convincing enough, some don’t match the dialogue.

Aside from the main story you are tasked with the rebuilding of Tiz’s hometown, rebuilding the town will grant you access to weapons, armor, supplies, and more.  Using streetpass to populate the village for rebuilding shortens the time required to restore a certain area, or shop.  You can register friends to summon during battles, and combine forces with the Abilink feature, which allows party members to use skills they may not have learned yet.

Bravely Default is the JRPG fans have been waiting for, an excellent story accompanied with a near perfect battle system along with a a fun cast of characters provide players with an enjoyable experience.

Bravely Default earns a score of 9/10

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