Crystals, Heroes of Light … It was in 2010 when a Square Enix, experimenting more than ever, released one of those classic turn-based RPGs on Nintendo DS: Final Fantasy: 4 Heroes of Light.
It was a nice looking RPG with simple but nice characters and a little forgiving difficulty. Its premise was something that the Bravely Default witness would pick up on 3DS and that is now exploding again on Nintendo Switch with a Bravely Default II that JRPG enthusiasts were looking forward to.
What’s new about Claytech Works’ Team Asano is an RPG that fits certain general themes of the genre, especially if we look at its origins, the same ones that Heroes of Light honored. And it’s not that we like to draw parallels just because. The fact is that in BDII there are also our protagonists Heroes of light. And look where, there are also crystals in between.
Seth (Zubi for server), Gloria, Elvis, Adelle … This quartet of characters is the one who takes the lead in an adventure that sounds like a story, but from those stories that start with “Once upon a time … “and in which there are very bad bad guys, very good good guys and hopefully a surprise.
I can’t deny that I wasn’t excited about Bravely Default’s return, but its story is far from what I expected. It has certain twists that may surprise you. However, its evolution is still the pretext to get to know each protagonist better in each chapter and to guide you from one crystal to another.
But step on the brakes because it goes beyond that. Anyone who has played a Bravely in the past knows that these games do not correspond to normal progress in the narrative. We can say that things happen that take you a lot more hours into than you imagine, but we can’t get into detail for two simple reasons: spoilers and embargoes.
Does the formula work? The truth is, yes, but it gets a bit boring to develop until the real surprises arrive. I can’t say the same about the main cast because it’s charming, because it invites you to dive into all the conversations that arise and because they even like the accent. Too bad their expressiveness is limited by the artistic direction of the game because the truth is they are the big pillar of this story.
The protagonists are the key to this plot, which is interwoven through a journey between cities and discoveries in which four elemental crystals must be collected in order to save the world of Excilan from a terrible catastrophe. As this headquarters are the works and the sistema Brave / Default You are the mainstay for what is really important in this game. It’s strange to say this in an RPG, a genre where the story usually carries a lot of weight, but what makes Bravely Default II really appealing and addicting is the gameplay.
In our impressions, we have already talked about the switch from the lap system to curves and how this affects the pace of the fight. We also detailed how the Brave and Default system works (check out these for a good “dunk” as it is key). Now that more hours than a watch have been invested in BD2, I can only say so These changes have made the experience more fun and challenging.
The original base was good, especially due to the gameplay that Braves have added moves and standard reserves. also for the huge jobs tree and its abilities. This installment has gathered this witness and expanded it with the appropriate nuances. Each character can have two jobs that combine the skills of both, but develop only one in battle.
Additionally, any passive skill you learned as you progressed a job will be put in your pool so you can equip them however you want in the future, albeit with a limited number of slots. It’s a very simple idea and it opens the doors to a huge world of strategies. Give your white mage MP regeneration per turn, empty MP with every attack or even reduce magic consumption. Set your bard to sing to make the whole team better. Make your barbarian counterattack and you can always make two attacks instead of just one …
These are just some of the configurations I’ve experimented with using asterisks, magical items that unlock these jobs and are generally obtained by defeating their wearers. But there’s a lot more to explore, and that’s the most fun part of this game. Since you can configure your entire team down to the fingertips, you can customize it to match your style of play like a glove, or create the craziest combinations. A bard, a dragon, a painter, a Tahur? Why not?
And it is important to take advantage of it because I have already warned and I repeat it. Br avely Default II isn’t easy. In addition, relying on an important battle usually always has the same result: frustration, screaming, and a surprised face as you watch your team fall one by one before the enemy’s attacks. Interestingly, another point in common with this Final Fantasy I talked about at the beginning. When inheritance is undeniable.
Its difficulty makes it a game that invites you to “grind” and master your skills. You have to spend time training, although it does have resources to make this task easier with the chained battles and bonuses they give. These are no longer times to lengthen the duration of struggling to improve your team in the evenings, and Square Enix knows it, but they don’t want to get rid of that mechanism entirely.
That is why Bravely Default II also includes a small online function for expeditions in the background. Ideal for getting objects to get more experience with, PT for Jobs or even other benefits. A replacement for what the Street Pass offered in the previous one that isn’t bad but loses the charm (and extreme ease) friends had to call out of your 3DS in the middle of a fight.
I have to look at the world, another of those cornerstones in a classic RPG. The locations look great, although the overworld isn’t up to date at all. The feeling of playing with small characters in environments that appear to come from a living canvas is interrupted when you step into a completely three-dimensional and much less stylized open world. Bravely Default is much better off flirting with 2D and 3D.
Keeping that combo would have been great for amplifying this classic story essence and catching more in his world. The jump to HD has done you a favor overall, even if it’s thin at times. There is much more detail in clothing and armor, magical effects that fill the screen with fireworks and particles in battle. But there are also very crude animations, even in more critical moments for the story.
It is the same, but not noticeable, although it looks best in portable mode. It’s time to go back upstairs and remember that. What really falls in love with Bravely Default II is its protagonists and their mechanics. It’s surprising to be involved in the menu of skills combined here and there, staying in that little part of it all and enjoying it so much.
It’s surprising in music and sound too. The synchronization is really good and a place where accents should be carried over into the dialogue in the best possible way (read Elvis and you will understand). But the soundtrack, despite being from a Revo that manages to get epic even against the nth snail, doesn’t have the same power as the first game.
I think there is no better way to explain what happens to Bravely Default II than with its soundtrack. It is a game that dares to make changes in the face of a scheme completely established for the IP, which sets new accents through its gameplay and its varied ideas, see its card mini-game.
But…? However, it doesn’t match the size of the previous two installments. He’s strong, but not strong enough. It’s surprising, but its story sometimes becomes too predictable. It’s strange to approach an RPG and not let yourself be captivated by what it counts but by the mechanics that it evokes. And that’s exactly what I’m keeping away from my adventure in Bravely Default II, because right inside, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a classic RPG.
Although times change and no matter how many changes and daring he makes here or there, in the end he doesn’t manage to penetrate as far as the story of Agnes and this fairy. You need more to be as outstanding as the previous ones.