When the primary Bravely Default launched in 2014, it represented a return of types. Developer Sq. Enix made its title with traditional turn-based roleplaying video games like Closing Fantasy, however these finally gave solution to larger, extra cinematic experiences. With Bravely Default, Sq. was going again to its roots. It might have technically been a brand new franchise, however the recreation was pure traditional Closing Fantasy-style adventuring. It even launched a novel battle system to assist it from retreading an excessive amount of new floor.
So the place does that go away a sequel? Bravely Default II — technically the third recreation within the collection, following 2016’s Bravely Second: Finish Layer — does the entire similar issues that made the unique so fascinating. However seven years later, it doesn’t have fairly the identical affect. Bravely Default II is solidly made, and the battle system remains to be a number of enjoyable to mess around with. Nonetheless, it additionally does little or no to face out — this isn’t a recreation you play for an engrossing story.
First, let’s clear up the naming scheme. Bravely Default II isn’t a direct sequel to the unique recreation however as an alternative a brand new story, with new characters, set in a brand new world. That’s why Sq. Enix began over with the title. (Consider it like Closing Fantasy: X-2 was a direct sequel, whereas XI was a brand-new expertise.) In case you haven’t performed any video games within the collection earlier than, the different factor to know in regards to the title is that, ridiculous because it sounds, “Bravely Default” really makes some type of sense.
The turn-based battles are based mostly round two distinctive instructions referred to as “courageous” and “default.” It’s basically a danger / reward system. Being courageous means you may take a number of turns directly, however this additionally means you forfeit upcoming turns. Defaulting, in the meantime, allows you to skip a transfer with a purpose to stack up turns for future use. It’s a intelligent setup that provides a number of technique to battles, notably bosses, as you must make arduous selections about when to go all-in and when to be affected person.
The setup is buoyed by the job system, a long-running Closing Fantasy characteristic that allows you to customise your characters by becoming them into particular roles, like a white mage or monk. You unlock new talents over time and may even combine and match jobs to create your best squad. It takes a number of time, however I actually get pleasure from experimenting with totally different mixtures of jobs and talents. The copious battles and grinding in traditional RPGs could be a turn-off in some video games, however in Bravely Default II, I felt invested in just about each encounter.
Having fun with these methods is essential to liking this recreation — as a result of in any other case, there’s not rather a lot right here to dig into. Sure, Bravely Default II technically takes place in a complete new world, nevertheless it’s very acquainted, notably when you’re a Closing Fantasy fan. It’s actually arduous to say something distinctive about it. You’re as soon as once more exploring an enormous fantasy realm, trying to find highly effective crystals, whereas controlling the well-known heroes of sunshine. It’s not precisely memorable. And after Octopath Traveler, which was developed by among the similar crew and featured an bold multi-character narrative, this blandness is especially disappointing. At a sure level, I began skipping cutscenes that ran lengthy.
Actually, what you’ll get out of Bravely Default II is determined by what you’re searching for. The fight remains to be among the many most fascinating that I’ve skilled, and the job system — which dates manner again to Closing Fantasy III — has but to develop previous. Tinkering with character builds after which unleashing them on monsters stays extremely satisfying. If that’s what you’re into, that is the sport. It’s particularly good enjoying on the Change, which is ideally suited to this sort of recreation, as you may chip away at a dungeon whereas mendacity in mattress.
The remainder of the expertise isn’t precisely unhealthy, per se, it’s simply… there. A bland fantasy realm with characters I can barely keep in mind. In Bravely Default II, the grind isn’t the fight — it’s listening to the entire dialogue.
Bravely Default II launches on the Nintendo Change on February twenty sixth.