Bravely Default 2 Review

Square Enix delivers another sequel to its Bravely series with the recent Switch-exclusive title, Bravely Default 2. While Bravely Second: End Layer offers a direct follow-up to the events of Bravely Default, the This ambitious new sequel takes place in an alternate world of sorts, and invites players to an entirely new adventure. However, once there, the adventure is not quite as “new” as it might seem. Bravely Default was first created as a sequel to a 2009 Final Fantasy game, so it makes sense that Bravely Default 2 and its Bravely counterparts rely heavily on Final Fantasy design elements. Many of the game’s featured characters are depicted as detailed watercolor portraits over static images, while in-game characters appear as condensed “chibi”-like caricatures. The game design and unique combat system (which relies on the “Brave” and “Default” commands) are two of the most notable features of the Bravely series, and the sequel continues to build on those this. Bravely Default 2 may be very reminiscent of Final Fantasy, but it takes inspiration from some JRPG. As with previous titles, players will explore the world of Bravely Default 2, known as Excillant, as a sailor named Seth as he embarks on a journey with a runaway princess named Gloria, a powerful intellectual named Elvis, and his hired grunt. named Adele. In other words, these four adventurers were quickly revealed as “The Heroes of Light,” destined to protect the world’s four elemental crystals. Throughout Bravely Default 2, they will effectively fight an ancient evil that is chasing The Crystals. While it may sound familiar, it’s not a direct sequel to Bravely Default, but rather, a sequel-in-spirit of sorts. square enix brave ii villain diorama In the overworld, the player appears as a small figure amidst amazingly detailed backgrounds and scenery. The music evokes games like the Dragon Quest series, though the overall style and tone also call to games like Golden Sun. Towns and cities are presented like dioramas, combining 2D “layers” with vivid 3D elements – this is easily one of the game’s strong suits; the Switch’s larger screen and generally more powerful graphics help a lot with detailed landscapes. While traveling through the overworld, or within dungeons, players will also encounter various creatures that they can face in battle. These battles are initiated by engaging monsters, but approaching players can use the Y button to strike monsters early for an advantage in battle. The battles themselves are turn-based, and while they evoke many JRPGs, they’re also quite unique. The two main combat features are Bravely Default 2’s job system, rooted in “Asterisks,” and its eponymous Brave and Default mechanics. Characters can equip weapons and armor, but in terms of abilities, characters in Bravely Default 2 are given two Jobs. Each character can choose a primary job, which levels up as they fight, along with a secondary job, where they can gain existing abilities. So if a player levels up the White Mage job for Gloria, they can choose to use the White Mage abilities they unlocked while leveling up the Black Mage job. square enix brave ii creature battle This can be done in any number of combinations across the game’s 20+ jobs and four playable characters. Most of the game’s jobs are unlocked after receiving Asterisks as a reward from memorable boss battles. As for the Brave and Default system, this is unsurprisingly one of the game’s standout features. Players will see a number to the right of each character’s health gauge that indicates the character’s current number of Brave Points, which must be used to act in battle. On their turn, characters can continue to take actions until their Brave Points drop below 0. That said, the Brave and Default commands allow players to manipulate their Braves. Points to strategically win against rare enemies like the Coral Emperor. Players are allowed to be “Brave” and essentially borrow extra Brave Points on a given turn, or alternatively, “Default” and accumulate extra Brave Points for the next turn. RELATED: Why Final Fantasy 7 Remake Integrade Changed Yuffie and Sonon’s Appearances If a character chooses “Brave,” they may end up with a negative number of Brave Points, and as such, have to wait before acting again. So, if a character in Bravely Default 2 Defaults for two turns, they find themselves with an additional 2 Brave Points on that third turn, allowing for three total actions of zero in total time consequences. Or conversely, if they are “Brave,” the character has to wait until their points rise back above 0. For these reasons, Bravely Default 2’s somewhat tedious boss fights and those that are repeated -repetitive combat feels more engaging and rewarding than not. While the frequent overworld battle encounters, or long-form boss fights quickly tire, the Brave and Default features coupled with the highly adaptable job system make for a dynamic time throughout. square enix brave ii landscape example Outside of combat, players will find themselves engaging in the usual gamut of RPG sidequests and the like; though Bravely Default 2 also offers a fairly basic “Exploration” system. This is similar to features like Genshin Impact’s “Expeditions”, which allow the player to send characters on exploratory journeys that can bring back valuable loot. While the feature isn’t impressive, it’s something players can do without having to engage with the social features, which was a common complaint with the original Bravely Default. It may not be an exploration feature, but players hoping to (re)populate a town in Bravely Default are forced to use the 3DS’ StreetPass. However, for all the new JRPG-inspired fun that Bravely Default 2 brings to the table, it doesn’t expand on its predecessors as much as it should. Despite being an “alternate universe” sequel to Bravely Default, the plot points and general premise and framework are all incredibly similar to those of the original game (and many other Final Fantasy-inspired RPGs). The notion of chosen warriors collecting and protecting magical elemental crystals is one that RPGs tirelessly explore. But despite the familiar territory it treads, Bravely Default 2 is a superb JRPG whose environment and monster design stand out. Also, its original score will remind gamers why it’s sometimes nice to play with headphones. For fans of role-playing games, especially JRPGS, this game will come as a breath of classic RPG air. Turn-based battles with a twist, an intricate and intersectional job system, and a ragtag team of heroes are all key components that make the experience unforgettable. Bravely Default 2 is now available on Nintendo Switch. Today Technology was provided with a code for this review. MORE: Octopath Traveler is coming to Xbox

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