The Ninjabot

Bravely Default Preview: JRPG Done Right

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 9:01 am by Victor Chaves

bravely default game

Coming in the next month is Silicon Studio’s Bravely Default for the 3DS. It’s a Japanese Role-Playing game similar to classic Final Fantasy entries, which is interesting because Square Enix is publishing the game. The demo recently came out in the 3DS eShop, and this preview is based on that demo.

bravely default game

Did you know the 3DS can have pretty games? Because Bravely Default really proves it. The first thing you’re going to notice is that the environments are breathtaking, specifically the town and battle locations. The first moment the camera pulls away to show the entire town took my breath away, and I can guarantee that if you collect art books, Bravely Default will be a must-buy. The characters themselves are simplistic and harken back to character designs reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics; but the game differentiates their looks by dress and class, giving each character a personal style attached to their class. Whether you play with 3D on or off, there’s a lot of detail to admire.

The flow of the game, like any standard JRPG is to wander a sizable overworld until you encounter a town and fulfill the quests involved to earn more story and rewards. As Final Fantasy as this game is, the battle system is closer to Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne or the Persona series where manipulating multiple acts in a turn determines victory. The number of acts possible is represented by Battle Points that start at zero; by selecting “Default” the character defends and increases that number by one. This allows you to get up to 3 Battle Points; and by using “Brave,” a Battle Point is spent to allow multiple acts in a single turn. There are limitations, of course, but the extra moves and the fun character class combinations make for some powerful specializations.

bravely default game

One of my favorite class combinations was “Multitask,” a Swordmaster ability which allows for a chance to strike again; the “Two-Handed” Knight ability, which causes a weapon to double its power when held with both hands; and equipping the Ninja class ability to use “Ikkikasei” to raise my number of attacks by 100%. Using the “Brave” feature, I pulverize the landscape with stronger attacks that hit multiple times, often taking nearly half a boss’s life in a single turn. Crafting this class set was a blast, and knowing that there are several more classes to experiment with in the full version makes me an excited gamer.

There’s also a neat feature involving StreetPassing on the 3DS. The story in the game mentions that you must rebuild your town. By assigning people, you can build and upgrade shops over time, and when it’s finished, you can purchase new items from that shop by talking to a traveling merchant. When you make contact with another 3DS owner, you StreetPassing allows you to acquire a resident in town who can help with building. By adding these new residents, a shop that takes ten hours to build can be reduced to two hours. It’s a fun feature, and although it’s not required, you can bet it will have some nice items.

bravely default game

I love that this demo is an original story that exists outside of the full game. There’s no risk of spoiling, and the demo provides transferable bonuses when you beat all the bosses and finish the StreetPass village. I completed the demo and maxed out the village in ten hours, and I can safely say I will be buying Bravely Default. Come February 7th, we’ll see the game out in the United States, although Japan and Europe already have it. Jerks.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see rave about football teams that are not the Buccaneers.

View the trailer for Bravely Default below:

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