Well for many Final Fantasy fans, the series has been in the toilet for the last few games, but the spirit of the franchise is still alive in the form of Bravely Default. It should be noted that this review is by someone who has not played any game in the Final Fantasy series.
Bravely Default has two different art styles; the 3D world environments that are shown in battles and character models and this picture style used in all the towns. The towns are like beautiful paintings being brought into the 3rd dimension slightly. Surprisingly, these two styles don’t clash and with the chibi-like character models for the 4 main heroes it comes together to give you a beautifully done feast for the eyes.
The story starts with one of the game’s protagonists’, Tiz Arrior, hometown of Norende get swallowed up by a Great Chasm, leaving him the only survivor. Tiz will go on to meet the Wind Vestal, a young girl with a thirst for justice, and a perverted amnesic. Together, they will fight to close the great chasm and protect the world from an incoming evil.
The story is presented in a way that’s easy to understand and allows the player to get to know the characters so a sentimental attachment can be formed. It also allows the player to get immersed into the story and the mythos of the land. There is a lot of social commentary on religion, government, choice, and many other themes that are touched upon throughout the adventure.
The story does it’s job well, but around the halfway mark in the game the pace is relatively shot and this is due to the lack of any interesting story bits for a while so the story temporarily loses its steam.
The characters are entertaining enough to push the player over this somewhat steep hill and the battle system is so good that it’s possible to ignore the story.
Although, the pay off feels like a tease more than anything else.
Bravely Default is a turn-based RPG. Take turns between the heroes and the enemies attacking each other. It has the standard RPG fair, weapons, classes with different abilities, leveling up, specials, etc. The standout feature for this game is the Brave and Default system. Brave allows the player to attack up to 4 times in one move, the drawback is that the character can’t do anything till the amount of turns have passed. Default is the opposite, it puts the character in a defense state, but saves and extra move. This allows the character to save up on future attacks, brave them in one move and come out without having to wait again to attack.
This a beautiful risk-reward system that allows for creative strategies and allows the player to control the pace of the fights. Bravely Default gives the player complete control to customize a personal experience. From being able to change the difficulty at any time to and auto battle function to help with grinding sections, bravely default can be picked up by anyone.
Bravely Default is a very fun and customizable game. It gives the player so many options, it’s guaranteed that everyone will have a different experience playing it. This game was made for everyone which is one of the best qualities a game can have. The characters are fun, the story is engaging minus a slightly annoying pace shift around the middle of the game, and beautiful visuals with stellar sound. Any JRPG fan should have this game and be excited for the upcoming sequel.