This is an odd review as I can’t tell rather I liked or disliked this game. To tell people not to buy or buy this game does not feel right at all.
Bravely Default starts out simple enough. I came across Tiz, a country boy who’s village was turned into a huge crater. Then there was obvious love interest MATYR for Tiz, Anges the wind vestle, who wanted to roam the world and awaken the crystals because it was her duty. Along came Edea, a young woman who betrayed her group easily in order to join my party. Lastly, was the amnesia ridden Ringabell because why not have a character with memory issues?
If you’re unimpressed by these character’s short descriptions then you’re not alone, because these characters are one dimensional and live up to their tropes. I spent hours watching these characters repeat the same conversations over and over and over again. Not even halfway through the story, I correctly predicted who was going to say what and when they were going to say certain dialogue.
This would not be an issue if Bravely Default did not only require a lot of time to get through the main story but also provided me with a lot of side quests. While enjoying the benefits of completing the side quests, I endured hours upon hours of the same conversations!
Where Bravely Default really shines is the game play mechanics. I had only four party members throughout the game but, with the ability to changes jobs, my character took on new stats and new skills. I could even assign a secondary job to help benefit my main job on a character!
Edea’s main job: Valkyrie (an acrobatic job which excels at using spears) and Spell Fencer (an elemental sword based job) as the secondary job.
As I level up each character’s main jobs, I earn abilities which I can put on to the character.
When Edea attacks an enemy after using the Valkyrie’s job move jump, I gain health because I also used Spell Fencer’s drain move a few turns back.
Ringabel’s main job: Vampire. Sub job: White Mage. Ringabel supplies health to the party while having the option to drain health from the enemy and give it to himself. Unfortunately, the stats of this combination earns Ringabel numerous one shot KO’s on my party. With an ability I earned from the Vampire job, Ringabel revives himself at the end of each turn if he is KOed.
I had a lot of fun leveling up these jobs and seeing the results. The game play of Bravely Default is highly rewarding and can be highly punishing. Bravely Default was not a game that I could breeze through easily.
That’s where the middle half of Bravely Default made me really excited and irritated to play the game. This section contains minor and obvious spoilers. When I was done completing the “last” temple, time repeated itself.
Bosses I met on previous side quests were the same with slight alterations to their personalities. Then as time repeated itself again, I came across different scenarios with the same bosses. Sometimes these bosses were fighting alongside other bosses. While characters in Bravely Default were still one dimensional, these different situations gave them some depth; which was appreciated.
The boss teams really challenged me to understand my job combinations, how I used my turns, my party, and got me to want to explore Bravely Default’s world more. I could have easily ran through the game but I’m glad I did not. The repetitive twists in the story was frustrating at first but I began to appreciate it in the end.
On the other hand, the repetitive twists also gave me the impression that the developers were lazy with their assets. The bosses inside of the temples were the same. Some conversations were also the same, word for word. Giving the story, this made sense and I was fascinated with these design choices while frustrated reading the same conversations over and over again.
Bravely Default takes advantage of the Nintendo 3DS and provides more than a hundred hours of optional content. For fans of Final Fantasy or turn based Japanese Role Playing Games, Bravely Default is worth the purchase. For others, I’m sure the later half of the game might be a huge turn off.
The choice is up to you. Buy from Amazon? Or from the Nintendo 3DS store?