(3DS)

Game Review

Bravely Default Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Robert Hughes

A Critical Hit

If there’s one thing famed RPG developer Square Enix cannot be accused of, it’s failing to change over time. The early Final Fantasy titles were an exercise in optimistic grandeur, their idyllic landscapes serving as the stage for huge, epic quests filled with wonder and discovery. As of late, however, the company seems to have shed this motif for something broodier; angst-filled characters battle in bleak, futuristic settings, arguably eschewing that wide-eyed sense of exploration to focus on flashy cutscenes and edgy narratives. It surely comes as a relief to some, then, that Bravely Default harkens back to the JRPG genre’s wide-eyed roots, but with enough modern twists to keep the experience fresh.

At first glance, Bravely Default appears every bit the archetypal RPG adventure; four stalwart heroes travel the land to reawaken four magical crystals, honing their abilities by battling any woodland creature or monster foolish enough to cross their path. However, Bravely Default’s simple yet unique tweaks to the standard turn-based formula, gorgeous visual presentation and engaging gameplay flexibility make the title much more than a simple nostalgia cash-in for RPG aficionados.

Battles are entirely turn-based; actions for each character are selected from a menu, a target adversary is chosen, and the melee unfolds once every character has been assigned an action. However, the game’s distinctive twist is the eponymous Bravely Default system, a series of player choices that allows for much greater nuance than the standard JRPG's rigid fare. Each action a character takes costs at least one 'Brave Point', which is automatically awarded at the beginning of each turn. If the number of BP a character possesses is in negative numbers after this point is bestowed, they are unable to act until their BP total reaches nil. A player can choose to ‘Default’, both bolstering their defence for a single turn and costing zero BP, effectively granting them an additional Brave Point once their next turn rolls around. Conversely, a combatant can choose to claim their Brave Points in advance, allowing them to take up to four actions during one turn but immobilising them until their tally reaches zero once again.

If this sounds complex, take heart – the developers masterfully ease the player into this system, allowing them to grasp it at their own pace. Very early portions of the game can be cleared by simply ignoring the Bravely Default system, the player able to succeed simply by using the BP as they are bestowed and taking one turn at a time, à la traditional JRPGs. The game then provides helpful mini-quests to introduce the mechanics of the Bravely Default system, rewarding the player with restorative items or money for using the ‘Brave’ and ‘Default’ commands for the first time. This allows even RPG novices to master the mechanics and before long utilising the system to its fullest comes naturally, introducing a strategic risk/reward element to what could otherwise be tedious battles.

In a nod to Final Fantasy, each character is assigned a ‘job' which determines their current skills and stats, with more unlocked as the story progresses and side quests are completed. These jobs are levelled separately to the characters themselves, encouraging experimentation and combination of several different roles to see what works. In conjunction with the Bravely Default system this flexibility allows for a myriad of different strategies to be implemented - failure rarely feels unfair or a result of insufficient grinding for experience points, but rather an invitation to rethink the current party setup. Several bosses may at first seem unassailable, but a quick review of each character’s role and equipment is normally enough to secure victory.

If the game does prove too challenging at points, however, an option to alter the difficulty mid-game is helpfully included, along with the ability to increase or decrease the random encounter rate when necessary. Battles can also be sped-up during play, alleviating the boredom of battling several of the same enemies in quick succession, which proves to be an extremely useful function during a particularly lengthy play session. It’s this thoughtful design that sets Bravely Default apart from its lineage – the game may be thematically similar to its early Final Fantasy cousins, but is careful to avoid any of the frustrating or tedious trappings associated with those titles.

Visually, Bravely Default is stunning, the subdued watercolour vistas an incentive for players to explore and see as much of this gorgeous world as possible. Traversing one of the towns is akin to walking through a painting, every pre-rendered alleyway and hand-drawn building imbuing a sense of magic and nostalgia. Character models take on a super-deformed style, the cute and simple aesthetic working well for the game’s setting, whilst cutscenes and special attacks are a dazzling display of graphical horsepower. The 3D effect works well, to a point, but cranked up to the maximum it can prove to be rather overpowering – moderation is definitely key here. The music is sufficient if a little unmemorable, with the battle theme being charming enough that it (thankfully) does not begin to grate. The game contains full voice-acting, which is by and large given at least proficiently; some melodramatic deliveries by dutiful protagonist Agnes can be somewhat groan-inducing, but are more than balanced by the excellent self-assured quips of amnesiac lothario Ringabel.

Without going into specific detail, the plot of Bravely Default is entertaining if somewhat cliché, a fitting tribute to RPGs of bygone days, with protagonist hometowns destroyed and other similar tropes in full force. The game flits effortlessly between the dire seriousness of our heroes’ task with the comedy of their dysfunctional party’s dynamics, resulting in a story with an epic scope but a sense of fun to match. The adventure itself lasts somewhere in the vicinity of 40 hours; it’s pleasing to note that Square Enix has elected to consolidate the experience into an entirely entertaining length, rather than pad the game with superfluous time-wasting in an effort to increase the duration of the game. It may not be the longest JRPG available, but when an entire game is as entertaining as Bravely Default is, it proves difficult to complain.

In all honesty, the only genuine gripe that can be aimed towards Bravely Default is regarding its unfortunate implementation of micro-transactions, but even these are fairly unobtrusive. Players can pause a battle at any moment to take extra turns, expending SP rather than BP and potentially changing the flow of the encounter. SP are accrued by leaving the system in sleep mode, with one point gained for every 8 hours the system is in standby. However, for a nominal amount of real world currency players can purchase ‘SP Drinks’, replenishing their total and allowing for more frequent use of this powerful ability. This will no doubt causes alarm bells to ring for many ardent RPG fans who will see this money-making ploy as a type of ‘pay-to-win’ service, and admittedly it is hard to see this strategy as anything other than a cash-grab on Square Enix’s part. Thankfully, the game has not been designed to be so difficult as to outright require using this service, and most players can disregard this system as soon as it is introduced. As leaving the system in sleep mode also allows progress on rebuilding the protagonist’s razed village, in turn providing access to more items and abilities, SP genuinely accumulates without much intervention from the player regardless.

Conclusion

There’s much to be said in praise of Bravely Default, perhaps too much to fit into a single review. What must be relayed, however, is that Bravely Default stands as an absolute triumph of both game design and the reinvigoration of old concepts, claiming its rightful place as a giant in the JRPG genre that will surely be remembered as a classic in years to come. Any 3DS owner with even a fleeting interest in role-playing games and a desire to get lost in an incredible, engaging adventure would be doing themselves a huge favour by picking up Bravely Default without delay.

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User Comments (143)

StephenYap3

#2

StephenYap3 said:

Thank goodness I preordered the Collector's Edition at GameStop!

Oh wait, what am I saying? I WANTED THIS GAME UPON HEARING ABOUT IT!!

:D

Kyoto

#3

Kyoto said:

I can't wait! Playing great JRPG's during the winter is a standard for me and it won't be broken this year :)

Gioku

#7

Gioku said:

I haven't played a whole lot of RPGs, but this one sounds pretty cool! Comes out in February in the US, huh? I'll probably get it to tide me over through what I like to call the "gaming drought" that always occurs after Christmas... :)

Peach64

#8

Peach64 said:

I'm really excited about this one. I think I'm going to pick it up along with Tearaway as my Christmas games :)

MF_MaxiMillion

#9

MF_MaxiMillion said:

Wow, you guys got it really early. I've been thinking about doing a review for this one when it comes out in the stores, but I wasn't to keen on the demo for it.

Seems like a pretty good game after all!

StephenYap3

#10

StephenYap3 said:

@TheOneHacker

1) I wanted to see the game's art in the artbook.

2) I wanted to see the AR cards since I have never gotten back into AR for a long while (I got bored of AR Games and Kid Icarus: Uprising).

3) I wanted the CD since I listened to a pinch of its soundtrack on YouTube. By getting the CD, I can listen to it anywhere :)

However, I could have just gotten the game itself, but because of the enough amount of cash I had, I wanted the Collector's Edition, so I preordered it.

Spoony_Tech

#11

Spoony_Tech said:

Aww great. You just increased my hype meter all the way up and now have to wait another 9 weeks to play it. Where's that demo when you need it?!

Shiryu

#12

Shiryu said:

Looking quite forward to this. "Xenoblade Chronicles" rekindled my JRPG passion and this will feed that hunger quite nicely.

Justaguest

#13

Justaguest said:

I cant get into it.. :( but I know I will at some point so I am going to get the full version of this.

WiiLovePeace

#15

WiiLovePeace said:

Awesome review! Too bad even if I got this game now I simply wouldn't have the time to play it. Still got a ton of games to finish. I'll try to buy it soon if I can but we'll see.

BenAV

#18

BenAV said:

I was pretty excited for this until I played the demo.
From what I played of that, it seemed fairly average.
Still plan to pick up a copy next week though and give it a go regardless.

Nico85

#19

Nico85 said:

if 40 hours the length of the game if you stick just to the main story or is it including side quests?

kokirii

#20

kokirii said:

Why does everything have to be sexualized? Can we just have a fairy that looks like a fairy and isn't sitting in an alluring position with a dress so short it barely covers her junk?

Memeboy3

#22

Memeboy3 said:

@kokirii That's one of the Many reasons i don't like Square Enix, it uses Fanservice as a Desperate attempt to get your attention, i don't read many fairy tales though so i'm not sure, but If you seen Spoony's review of the Final Fantasy games, He comments on the unnecessary sexualization of Characters and sadly, Square Enix made Rikku..an underage 15yr old girl, to be an ideal sex symbol.
That's pretty sick!
Square Enix, just wow...

CanisWolfred

#24

CanisWolfred said:

@kokirii because it's rated T for Teen, and Teenagers like that sort of stuff?

@Memeboy Britney Spears. That is all.

Anyways, I'm finding it hard to find any faults with this game judging from the reviews I've read, so it'll most likely be a 10/10 in my book. I've been waiting 3 years to play it, and in a few months, I finally will!

kokirii

#26

kokirii said:

@CanisWolfred

Thanks. And you're right about teens, unfortunately. As for the game, it does look quite good. Can you comment as to whether the sexualization is just in the cover art/advertisement or is that how the art is done throughout the game?

CanisWolfred

#27

CanisWolfred said:

@kokirii it refers to the in-game costumes as well. Sometime for both genders. Plus if you're weird you can look up girls' skirts in some instances, but you really have to go out of your way to do it. I don't know much more than that, but I'm sure the reviewers can answer your question better if there is more notable instances to point out.

Yokodera

#28

Yokodera said:

THIS GAME IS AWESOME! For me its one of the best games that i played on the 3DS. And ofcourse the best JRPG i played on the 3DS.

kokirii

#29

kokirii said:

@Bliquid So I'm against the sexual objectification of women in video games, especially characters that look awfully young, and I'M the bigot? Can't say I follow you.

@Kmno Why would I be disappointed that she's not a fairy? I haven't played the game so I don't know who she is.

skjia

#31

skjia said:

Lol yes, because Square Enix is the only video game company that objectifies women.

Looks great. This review has encouraged me to go ahead and preorder the collector's edition.

SpriteKing

#32

SpriteKing said:

Oh dang.

Didn't actually think this would be good. Maybe I'll give it a try when it's released

Diddy_kong

#33

Diddy_kong said:

Solid review. Once I finish my new game plus of Tales of Xillia I think I am going to need to take a break from the JRPG scene, but I'll definitely keep this game in the back of my mind.

Marks

#34

Marks said:

Huh, this is the first time I heard of the micro-transactions. But it doesn't seem too bad according to the review. Can't wait to play this~

kupo

#35

kupo said:

FINALLY!!! This is the reason I bought a 3DS way back when. Pity the collector's edition is only available through Gamestop. Last time I ordered something from those idiots, it never got to me.

EDIT: Collector's Edition is also available on the website NewEgg!!! And it ends up cheaper since they don't apply tax :0

ricklongo

#36

ricklongo said:

I'm almost relieved this won't come to the Americas until next year. I'm having trouble finding time to dedicate to both 3D World and A Link Between Worlds as is.

Either way, as a huge SNES JRPG fan, this is a day-one buy.

Spoony_Tech

#38

Spoony_Tech said:

For all of you offended by the outfits Square Enix is using don't really pay attention to Japanese culture. If you think they are the only ones then try looking at just about every Japanese company or any anime ever made just about. Just cus we don't understand it doesn't make it wrong to them for now anyways!

Ralizah

#40

Ralizah said:

I don't know, the cover doesn't make me think: "sexy." It's neat looking. Fantastic colors and lighting. Some people will just look for any opportunity to be offended.

I'm glad the U.S. is getting the gorgeous Japanese cover art. The P.C. Police will just have to deal.

I cannot wait for this game. I've been drooling over it before it even came out in 2012. SO happy I invested in a 3DS.

Spoony_Tech

#41

Spoony_Tech said:

Wonder why Metacritic has this releasing in December. Never seen them use a Europeon release date before. Wonder if they got mixed up on the date for NA?!

unrandomsam

#42

unrandomsam said:

So nothing at all is mentioned about the Street Pass functions. Is that what they ripped out in order to add the MIcro Transaction part. (Does the Japanese version have the Micro Transactions ?)

Still rather have Dragon Quest VII (Reasonable 100 hours main story). Fair price at £40.

belmont

#44

belmont said:

I am tired of those stupid looking chibi like deformed characters. I prefer realistic or anime style. 3DS has better capabilities. I don't know if I will pass the game due to this though. I will try the demo later.

rjejr

#45

rjejr said:

I want a black 3DS XL with that photo on the cover. Not the game cover, the photo on top of this blog post. Though the boxart is good too, but it's a fairy, fairies are a dime a dozen, the top photo reminds me of all the artwork my grandparents had all around their house back when people were aloowed to have things like this w/o people claiming exploitation or sexualizaton or whatever. I mean, she's fully dressed, you don't see anything you arne't supposed to, but people are freaking out. I only wish Miley would wear that many clothes.

Nico85

#49

Nico85 said:

@unrandomsam the street pass function is still there, you have a town to rebuild , every shop you rebuild and then upgrade gives you more items/equipment to buy. Each shop takes X amount of hours, the more people you street pass the more villagers you'll have in your town = shops get completed faster.
The original Japanese version did not have micro transactions, this however is based on the "for the sequel" version, where the developers tried to implement new features according to what the fans had suggested. I believe the SP drink system was included in the game as a way to "help" those players who found the game to be too challenging to finish it.

1upsuper

#51

1upsuper said:

Good grief at these comments. Sex appeal isn't limited to Japanese media - watch any movie or commercial produced today. It's a result of being humans. Unfortunate, perhaps, but not really escapable. Deal with it.

Reynoldszahl

#52

Reynoldszahl said:

@belmont: Agree with chibi as a whole but the artstyle in this game isn´t that much chibi. Played the demo a bit and I liked the challenge and I have to say that the micro transaction bullpoopiedoodoocacapoopsiedoodlepoopiedoopie isn´t that big deal I thought it would be. So my apologies if I was too harsh at first glance.
Please watch the profanity — TBD

sevex

#53

sevex said:

This sounds like it'll be a lot like The 4 Heroes of Light, which means I'll definitely pass.

Spoony_Tech

#56

Spoony_Tech said:

@sevex I didn't play the Four Heroes of Light but this looks way better. From what I'm hearing its everything that game should've been and then some. You owe it to yourself to at least check out the demo when its released!

bizcuthammer

#58

bizcuthammer said:

I'm excited for this. It comes out 2 days before my birthday, so i'll grab it then. I loved Final Fantasy IV-X, but the series kind of lost some of its magic with XI, XII and XIV. XIII was okay, but not as good as the older ones. Bravely Default reminds me of FFV, VI, and IX. Looks great. Cant wait to play it!

StephenYap3

#61

StephenYap3 said:

@TheOneHacker Oh...that's what you meant.

GameStop was the closest game store and they pretty much give me what I wanted in terms of preorder bonuses (most of the time, but no biggie).

unrandomsam

#62

unrandomsam said:

If it is as good as VI and not unreasonable to play without the pay to win option I might pick it up. (Never needed to grind in any of the decent JRPG's before).

Just got Deus Ex Human Revolution : Directors Cut for £3.25 for Steam so they have a bit more good will than they have had for quite a while from me. (Was going to just get it at £12.99 which is the RRP).

Still think I would rather have Dragon Quest VII though.

AJWolfTill

#64

AJWolfTill said:

"The music is sufficient if a little unmemorable"

I obviously haven't played the game yet, but if the music is consistent with what they used in the demo then I would be amazed, as I love what I have heard of the soundtrack!

CanisWolfred

#65

CanisWolfred said:

@AJWolfTill Did the review really say that? I must've missed that part. That is literally the understatement of the year. REVO is one of the greatest artists of our time, and this soundtrack does nothing but further that truth.

Ralizah

#66

Ralizah said:

Every in-game track I've heard online had been stellar. This game has an awesome ost.

Galenmereth

#67

Galenmereth said:

I tried the demo, and while I really liked the visual style and the music, I found the battles to be awful. The "Bravely" and "Default" mechanics did nothing to alleviate the boring turn-based combat that I've been playing ad-nauseam in every Final Fantasy game.

I was hyped for it, but the demo pretty much convinced me that it's not worth getting.

Pit-Stain

#68

Pit-Stain said:

I need this!!! I'm a huge RPG fan and I totally got excited when I heard they're making a spin-off of Final Fantasy! Too bad I have to wait till February. :(

Dpullam

#69

Dpullam said:

I'm glad to see that this game has been given high regards. I always love playing new RPG games, and since my Nintendo 3DS is my go-to system, I am really looking forward to trying out the demo for North America once it gets released over here. My impressions of the game demo are sure to sway my purchasing decision one way or another. I have a good feeling about this game though.

audiobrainiac

#71

audiobrainiac said:

I HATE that we have to wait until February. Guess there are plenty of other games to keep me busy. Its only time.

Spoony_Tech

#73

Spoony_Tech said:

@Galenmereth The one thing I learned about demos is they can give you a false impression of the actual game. I've played most of the demos for 3ds games and found very few helpful. The Monster Hunter one was horrible!

I believe this one is the first part of the game however and the data can be transferred to the actual game. If that's true then the review clearly said early on battles can be won the traditional way. Its not till later when the battles need some thought!

chiptoon

#74

chiptoon said:

whether or not the micro-transactions are an in-game issue is irrelevant to me. I just can't pay full price for a game with micro -transactions. This is not the business model we are looking for.

Henmii

#75

Henmii said:

Nice review and nice score! I already ordered this game! I am not entirely sure if I like it, but this game has been hyped for a long time! And we get the stronger version! Also, there aren't that many great third-party titles on the 3DS (in my opinion, you may disagree), so it may not be a bad choice! But the game goes on the backburner since I have other games to play!

andreoni79

#76

andreoni79 said:

I know I'm boring, but this is becoming always more ridiculous: at Gamestop this game is $ 40 in USA and $ 62 (€ 45) in EU; collector's edition is $ 55 in Usa and $ 135 (€ 100) in EU! Considering that if your lucky enough to find a job here in Italy, you'll get paid max €7/h...

Zael

#77

Zael said:

emhhh.... Square, some new jrpg for wii u?? No sorry, I really can't,

fluggy

#78

fluggy said:

Not my cuppa tea (hate turn based - is there anything more unnatural than LETTING something attack u), but its a great Xmas for Ninty systems ... Totally puttin the next gen to shame!!

JaxonH

#80

JaxonH said:

Music to my ears! Now just tell me where to pre order, cause I'm still waiting for the listing to appear on Amazon (I'm in the US, waiting for an early 2014 release). I was going to buy this game anyways, but oh how I love the hype of an epic review!

Judging by this review, and the scale of epicness described within, I was actually surprised it didn't receive a 10. I understand some would have cried foul, and bias, due to so many perfect 10's on Nintendo's behalf lately, but hey, when the game's a gem the game's a gem...

retro_player_22

#81

retro_player_22 said:

Now I'm more confident knowing that the game I pre-order will be a great game. Sorry Lightning but you're not getting my money this time, I could care less how many times you return.

JaxonH

#82

JaxonH said:

@Memeboy3
I'm not defending this practice but um, don't act like Square Enix is the only one doing such things. Matter of fact, this is being done EVERYWHERE now. Even your PG-13 movies now have teenage female leads, and you can't tell me the outfits they wear aren't just as, if not MORE, promiscuous. TV ads, music videos, even in everyday life you see some young girls dressed with even less.

Personally, I became desensitized to it a LONG time ago from the constant bombardment of sexualization we see in every form of media. I will say this, it's one thing when it's a real person who's underage, but videogames- doesn't really bother me to be honest. I know the women in these Japanese games look young to westerners, but to be fair, that is how the eastern culture portrays females. You see it woven within every fabric of their art, from videogames to anime.

I understand the particular style used does in fact make the women look young, but also understand that Japanese women look alot younger too, and furthermore, who are we to judge the age of a digital representation of a female? Unless there are CLEAR indicators, we have no way of knowing whether that female is "under age" or 35 (especially nowadays, women are retaining their youthful looks via artificial means such as makeup and hair dye) What I'm trying to say, is don't be so quick to judge another culture by the standards of your own. They never mesh well.

SpookyMeths

#83

SpookyMeths said:

Yeah, dunno about ya'll, but I've never seen a "young girl" with child-bearing hips like those. I'm convinced some people don't know what an actual woman looks like, especially Japanese women, who tend to be petite and youthful.

People need to understand though that it's just the art style that makes these characters appear younger. Larger eyes and soft, clear skin are just common characteristics of Eastern art.

As for Rikku, Square-Enix didn't put her in revealing clothing until X-2, where her character was 2 years older, and perfectly appropriate for the game's target audience. It's a game made for teenage boys filled with teenage girls to look at. What's the problem? No different than your typical high-school themed anime.

Galenmereth

#84

Galenmereth said:

@Spoony_Tech What I've learned from demos and playing games for over twenty years now, is that while demos far from representative of the full game, they do give you a good indication of the core gameplay mechanics you can expect from the game, as well as sound and visuals.

Unless Bravely Default is a completely different game than its demo, it will still have the turn based battles and random encounters, and after playing around with it for about two hours, I can see that the bravely default mechanics just aren't that game changing. When I also read SE has added microtransactions to this, I know I'm going to bail – I've been burned by that scheme from them on iOS already, and I don't trust it combined with the bravely default combat mechanic either. But even without microtransactions, I wouldn't find this interesting. And I love the old Final Fantasy games, but that nostalgia isn't enough to let me overcome it.

Frank90

#85

Frank90 said:

Next year here in America! But it's good after all, I can't stop playing Pokémon and Zelda right now!

nathatruc

#86

nathatruc said:

@andreoni79 so true, I wanted to buy the collector edition but it was at 100€ on amazon and the normal edition is 37€. When I saw the price in the usa..... 55$ really!!! So no collector for me what a rip-off in europe

ueI

#87

ueI said:

@nathatruc The European collector's edition comes with a figurine, though I know I wouldn't be willing to pay an extra 45 euros for that.

Spoony_Tech

#88

Spoony_Tech said:

@Galenmereth Fair enough! I for one won't miss out on this as it looks epic! As for the micro-transactions it doesn't even affect the game. You have the option not to use it. It will just be the for the impatient .

Windy

#90

Windy said:

@Spoony_Tech Man you need to get Heroes of Light Right NOW! LOL It's pretty cool. It was one of my favorites on DS.

@Spoony_Tech just a heads up we are playing ATV Wild Ride Tonight at 6pm Pacific time. We are going to start doing that every Saturday Night again :)

element187

#91

element187 said:

I still have time finish SMT IV before this comes out in the US.

I'm level 54, about 50 hours in, am I near the end?

Spoony_Tech

#93

Spoony_Tech said:

@element187 I'm level 82 100+ hours in and almost done but stuck on a really hard boss for me. How far you are really depends on the path you're on?!

@Windy I would love to join but I work till almost midnight here. As for Four Heroes of Light its on my to get list along with 999, The World Ends with You, and Strange Journey. There is actually many more DS rpgs I would like to play as well but they fall a tier below those 4!

Nico85

#94

Nico85 said:

@Galenmereth i don't think the brave/default system was meant to radically change the whole genre of turn based battles, from what i've played it does add an interesting element. What I did like is the adjustable encounter rate. But i guess that if you're not into turn based battles, this game won't be for you...

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#95

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

I hate you EU a-holes! lol jk. I love you. I do wish that this game was released here in the US right now, however.

sinalefa

#97

sinalefa said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd

Well, I know I would have gone absolutely insane if I had to wait an extra week for Super Mario 3D World, so I will cut the Europeans the slack on this one.

Zael

#98

Zael said:

square you haven't brought ff versus 13 to wii u
square you have lost my respect

TheGZeus

#100

TheGZeus said:

@Nico85 there are many different ways of doing turn-based combat.
SMT is different to DQ is different to Chrono Trigger etc.
Not every style is for everyone. I started on CT back in the day and still love it, but could never get into FF. I got SMT4 because of the fire emblem bonus... then bought every main game in the series. (luckily I speak Japanese).

just saying that you can love I've kind of combat and hate another.

Galenmereth

#102

Galenmereth said:

@TheGZeus I like turn based combat, actually. I'm loving Pokémon Y, and I played almost 200 hours of Dragon Quest 9 on DS. But when it comes the Final Fantasy style of turn based combat, I seem to have grown bored of it. When I go back to play the SNES ones, and 7/8/9, I just find the combat tedious. I used to love it, but not any more. Bravely Default felt like more of the same, and I just didn't find it much fun at all. It's a shame, because it looks like the story might be good and the visual style is gorgeous, but if the meat of the gameplay bores me, then I can't be bothered :)

@Nico85 I actually am into turn based combat; I've just grown really tired of the FF style of it.

Nerevar

#103

Nerevar said:

I live in Australia and own both a Pal and a US version 3DS. My US 3DS accesses the Canadian eshop, and I can purchase games from it with my Australian credit card. I just change my location to Canada and it allows me to use my Australian credit card to buy games from that eshop.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#104

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

@Kokirii I agree man. She should have more than a slip of a dress on, kind of stupid of square enix to do that. Collector's edition looks lame too. $15 more for a little art book, lame cards and a CD D

Looks like a good game though as I loved 4 Heroes of Light too. :)

ecco6t9

#105

ecco6t9 said:

I really want to buy this game but can't help get the feeling that after Nintendo does the grunt work Square Enix will pull a Judas and move the series to phones.

Nick255

#106

Nick255 said:

@Spoony_Tech : Yeah, though only being able to play it for a few hours each week because you need to let your SP build up (unless you want to buy SP drinks) will be kind of annoying. But yeah, if you are really patient you shouldn't have a problem.

Galenmereth

#107

Galenmereth said:

@Nick255 Are the timers really that bad? Because that sounds like you're paying 55$ (in Norway, at least) for a game where you get to pay even more money if you actually want to play the game at your own pace.

I really hate this IAP timer crap (it's mainly ruined mobile gaming by now, and it's seeping onto consoles), and I wish more people would boicott the whole concept...

CanisWolfred

#108

CanisWolfred said:

@Galenmereth @Nick255 You don't even need to use SP at all, so there's no reason to rely on it and pace yourself simply to utilize it. It's just supposed to be a cheap and easy way to score more hits, it's not the only way to progress in the game.

Weedy

#109

Weedy said:

I was really looking forward to this until I played the demo. The Bravely/Default mechanic kind of breaks the random encounters since you can just max brave (x4) and oneshot everything you run into. Put the fast forward option ontop of this and you may as well not have random encounters and just give experience for walking around!!!

Shambo

#111

Shambo said:

I fell in love with the artwork, the city design, the demo, and luckily the game itself as well, even more luckily quite a while back. Limited Edition preordered as soon as it was available for preorder.

Galenmereth

#112

Galenmereth said:

@CanisWolfred I understood that from the review, but when it's included in the game, the game is balanced around it in some shape or form.The argument "you don't have to use it" for IAP boosters is the a given, but I've yet to see an example where it doesn't actually impact the gameplay design as a whole in some way or another.

While I know it comes off as stubborn, I have ethical qualms with this kind of business mentality. I drop games because of it, and I don't feel any loss; there's plenty of other games to keep me entertained. I don't want to support it, simple as that. This time it was an easier choice to make, because the demo did not work for me, so I'm not interested to begin with. But I would've dropped it even if I'd found it enjoyable.

CanisWolfred

#113

CanisWolfred said:

@Galenmereth no, you don't understand that from the review. Because the review specifically states that the game is not balanced around it. Stop hating and start reading.

Galenmereth

#114

Galenmereth said:

@CanisWolfred Maybe you should take your own advice to heart; in the review it states: "Thankfully, the game has not been designed to be so difficult as to outright require using this service, and most players can disregard this system as soon as it is introduced." While I am certain I would manage without it, the fact that it's there and not cosmetic in nature (you can pay to make the game easier) is exactly the kind of business strategy that I talked about. It's shady, and it's especially ridiculous in a full priced retail game. Not to mention it wasn't there in the original japanese version; they tweaked difficulties (made it easier, afaik) and added this mechanic with microtransactions for the western market.

I'm not hating; I just strongly dislike this business practice, and my only actually effective (in some miniscule way) method of showing my dislike for it is to not buy into it.

Nick255

#115

Nick255 said:

@Galenmereth : Does it require the use of SP at all though? Because I assume there will be something like a boss (or bosses) with a full party instant death attack that can only be interrupted by using SP (either gained via sleep or via SP drinks).

WYLD-WOO

#116

WYLD-WOO said:

Missed this review last week for some reason. Just read it the review and expected nothing less tha a 9/10 based on the demo. The review mentions nothing about spotpass/streetpass and/or abilinks/friends feature. Like the demo is this still part of the game?

Windy

#118

Windy said:

@Spoony_Tech Ive been playing through 4 heroes of light again to get pumped up for Barely default. I'm also starting to chomp at the bit for Mario Golf. It better have heavy online gaming or I'm going to go berserk! Lol

Spoony_Tech

#119

Spoony_Tech said:

@Windy The thing is we haven't heard anything about Mario Golf since they pushed it back. I've been saying it for a while now that I think they are making A Wii U version and they will be some tiyp of cross play between the 2.

FrostFlare

#120

FrostFlare said:

I have been looking forward to this game since it was announced in Japan (as Bravely Default: Flying Fairy)!! This upcoming February is going to be pretty epic, considering the last Professor Layton game is also being released.

DarkKirby

#123

DarkKirby said:

*Falls to knees and raises fists into the air.
"Damn you Nintendo and your region locking!"

zipmonStaff

#124

zipmon said:

Question for @RType88 or any of our lovely European readers who've picked this up: does the UK version include the other European language localizations on the cart? (Specifically, Italian?) Or is it just English & Japanese?

Platypus101

#125

Platypus101 said:

@Memeboy3 yeah... But young boys won't find that gross. I don't believe they are trying to hook us older folk in with 15 year old girls... And btw most music videos show very young (not under aged mind you, but 18-19 year old) women scantily clad, video games are the least of your worries in that regard. :) (as in, many games have a single sex theme for some reason)

McHaggis

#126

McHaggis said:

@zipmon: not sure if this helps, but the demo says the final version is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. I'm not sure if all those languages are present on the UK version of the retail game, but that usually is the case, IIRC.

MikalM

#129

MikalM said:

@zipmon Just wanted to confirm for you:- UK version has English/Japanese options for spoken dialogue, and Jap/English/French/Italian/German/Spanish in-game text options.

3MonthBeef

#133

3MonthBeef said:

How can the micro-transactions be a complaint when its not at all mandatory to complete the game? It would be a valid complaint if the game required you to use real money to buy in-game weapons/armor/potions to actually play the game.

KittenKoder

#135

KittenKoder said:

I love the game, and it's good to see Square-Enix finally returning to the more classic style adventures. Getting tired of finishing RPGs within a month of buying them.

JD1000

#136

JD1000 said:

To anyone who isn't certain about buying this game: I think you should.
Even though I read all the (excellent) reviews, the past wasn't kind to JPRG's in general, and I didn't want to get hurt again. I'm happy I gave love another chance.

AdanVC

#138

AdanVC said:

Damn this game wasn't on my radar but looks like it's getting great reviews everywhere and with that awesome collectors edition... I think I might bite and get it haha.

aperson123

#140

aperson123 said:

i downloaded the demo, but i didn't like it. it's either because i don't like the genre or maybe the demo just isn't as good as the actual game

soma

#141

soma said:

Loved the demo, played it foir 6 hours straight. I'll be getting this game soon.

Fandabidozi

#142

Fandabidozi said:

Started the demo a while back and couldn't get in to it.
Uploaded it again today and have not been able to put it down! Will definitely be buying this ASAP, I'm hooked :)

ricklongo

#143

ricklongo said:

Rereading this review (and wholeheartedly agreeing to the 9/10 rating), I came across something funny:

"it’s pleasing to note that Square Enix has elected to consolidate the experience into an entirely entertaining length, rather than pad the game with superfluous time-wasting in an effort to increase the duration of the game."

Well, it seems quite obvious the reviewer didn't play though the last few chapters of ENDLESS GRINDING THROUGH THE SAME BATTLES OVER AND OVER. Phew.

Still a great game, but the late game grind is quite unfortunate.

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