Bravely Second: End Layer—the sequel to the superb 3DS JRPG Bravely Default—is coming to Europe on February 26th, 2016.


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Frosted Mini-Wheats

By what metric was Bravely Default an excellent JRPG? The way I see it there are three ways a game in that genre can be great. Great story, great world, and great mechanics.

The story, obviously, was terrible. Convoluted time travel AND one note characters AND requiring extensive journal reading to put it all together... it’s not a good scene.

The world fails to impress also. It’s about as generic a JRPG world as you’ll find. Four crystals, desert city second, evil empire, airships... Just very by the numbers.

And then the mechanics... the game almost made it with mechanics. Brave/Default is a good system that makes for some fun boss battles. But 99% of the battles are NOT boss battles. And it makes random grinding battles mega boring. You can roll through the whole game just going all in on braves at the start of every encounter. On top of that the leveling up is dumbed down from other class swapping games. You don’t gain stats based on your class when you level up, so there’s no reason not to turn your mage I to a Pirate or whatever. There’s no building a team through strategizing different character builds and making a unique team. Every Bravely Default party maxes the exact same way. Even FF III on the NES did better than that. It offers all these fun classes but then I can’t go all FF Tactics and create my perfect death squad. It’s dumbed down so that no choices have permanent consequence.

It’s a bummer. 0 for 3.