Sunday, 1 November 2015
Bravely Default is one of those games that I heard people talking a lot about back when it was first released but because of the 3DS region locking I was never able to actually play it. Eventually, I got my mother to bring a EU copy with her when she came to visit me in Japan and I jumped right in.
The game follows the adventures of 4 characters who have to go around the world of Luxendarc and revive 4 elemental crystals. On their adventures they have to fight an evil empire and as you defeat the generals you gain asterisks which allow you to change into their job. That's the general plot of the game but each area for each crystal has its own arc that plays out so you aren't just jumping from dungeon to dungeon.
It's very easy to sum up Bravely Default's game play because it's just classic Final Fantasy. It's SO classic Final Fantasy that it would have made more sense to call this game Final Fantasy 15 and call that game something like Men's Fashion Model Adventure or something. Your party of 4 never change but as I mentioned before you have a job system with a pretty wide selection of things to choose from once you do the side quest to unlock it.
The combat is also pretty much classic Final Fantasy but the BP system does manage to go a good job of making things a little more interesting. Each turn you are allowed to "Default" which is the games way of saying defend and doing this will raise your BP count by 1 and you can stock a max of 3. Then on your next turn you can "Brave" which is where you expend a BP in order to make another action that turn. So if you brave for one turn then the next turn you can make 2 attacks or you can use a skill that requires BP without having to wait for the count to go up back to zero from whatever minus figure you end up at. Going negative BP means that the character can't act until his counter returns to 0 and you get 1 BP at the start of every turn.
The game also makes use of something called Sleep Points which build up as you close the lid on your 3DS. Every 8 hours you are granted 1 sleep point for a max of 3 and these allow you to make a free attack at any point during combat. Hitting start will freeze time and you can just do whatever the fuck you like. If you have more than 1 SP you can even brave during the time freeze and really ruin someones day.
There are also features using street pass where you can send people moves from your party for them to summon and use in combat. Living it Japan is awesome for this because walking round town for a while means that I'm pretty likely of passing someone with the game and being sent some insane full power special attack for me to use at any time. The game also has a feature where you build a town which grants you special items and the like to buy at save points. Putting multiple villagers on a building project lowers the time it takes to build and you gain more villagers by street passing. The town can also come under attack from optional bosses called Nemesis but they don't do any damage they just kind of fly there until you decide to take them on. Not taking them on doesn't mess you up in any way.
As much as I love the game and find it hard to mention any real stand out problems with it, the method for getting the true ending is complete and utter bullshit.
After you revive the 4 crystals things get fucked up and you end up in an alternate world where the crystals aren't revived. So you have to revive them all over again but this time you can break them and breaking a crystals puts you on the path of the normal ending. To get the true ending you have to revive them all like 4 or 5 fucking times and the whole thing gets pretty fucking tedious because nothing really changes except the bosses get ever so slightly stronger.
It's fucking bullshit busy work and I swear to god this true ending better be worth all that goddamn hassle. It's a huge tarnish on an otherwise really good game.
For RPG fans, Bravely Default is one of those must have games for your 3DS collection. It's well polished, has a good length and apart from some dodgy English voice work there isn't a hell of a lot wrong with it. Go play it, now, it's awesome.