Review of Bravely Default (3DS)

What would you do if the simple life you always knew suddenly blew up in your face? Literally?

Well, you might have an idea of what Tiz Arrior experienced the day the Great Chasm appeared. A shepherd from Norende, Tiz and his brother Til were out in the fields when the entire town of Norende erupted, a huge pit appearing in its place. Tiz tried to save his brother, but his grip slipped and Til fell into the pit with the rest of Tiz’s family and life.

This happens at the beginning of Bravely Default. You are introduced to the four main characters of the game: Tiz Arrior, Agnes Oblige, Ringabel, and Edea Lee. The four are all young adults in the world of Luxendarc.

I stumbled upon this game while on the lookout for a new RPG series to play, and I have to say, I was not expecting what I found. Bravely Default is an incredible game, and I loved every minute of it. I fell in love with the characters and world immediately, and I didn’t put it down until I had won. It instantly became my favorite game, and I can honestly say that it is the very best video game I have ever played.

Pretty high praise for a game that came out in 2012. Let me show you why I love it so much:

The controls are simple and easy to learn. You have an open world to explore, and your disproportionate figure will run through mountains and trees to get to new places. Pretty common for a JRPG, and I appreciated the familiarity.

Along the way, you will be met with a lot of battles. The encounter rate can actually be changed, which was a very nice touch, which I used a lot. I turned it all the way up so I could get some grinding done, and I still had a tough time defeating the bosses.

During battle, you can actually hit ‘Auto’ to repeat your previous actions. So, if you have everyone doing an attack, then hit Auto, everyone will repeat the same action over and over each turn, allowing you to sit back and watch instead of select those controls yourself each time. I really loved this mechanism, as I always get a bit sick of selecting the same attacks over and over in other RPG games. This made battles run so much faster and smoother!

Something native to the Bravely series is ‘Brave’, ‘Default’, and ‘Bravely Second’. These are extremely useful techniques in battle.

Battles run like this: you have two kinds of points: Brave Points (BP) and Sleep Points (SP). Brave Points can be spent to give you extra attacks/turns, but they are not unlimited. If you start with 0 BP, you can use ‘Brave’ to spend 3 BP, attacking four times, BUT you will then lose your next three turns.

If you start with 0 BP and ‘Default’, you will defend for a turn and earn 1 BP. You can have up to 3 BP, and spend them at any time to deal additional attacks, without losing a turn. Using Brave and Default is very useful, and you will become reliant on them throughout the game.

Finally, SP points. Sleep Points are earned while your 3DS is in sleep mode with the game on. Every eight hours you will earn 1 SP, and just like BP you can have up to 3 SP. SP points are spent very much like BP, with one major difference:

Using Bravely Second spends SP, and this action will actually freeze time. You will then be able to attack 1-4 times without any counterattacks or other repercussions. While you can play the game without ever using it, you should keep in mind that you can potentially deal a great deal of damage if you use it during battle.

In addition to the wonderful battle system, the story behind Bravely Default is incredible. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t talk about specifics, but let’s just say that the story is surprising and interesting, tragic and hilarious, and so much more. This game truly is an emotional roller coaster.

This game is challenging without being impossible, and has a lot of replay value. I loved it so much that when I first finished it, I turned around and started a new game right then and there. I can guarantee that any true RPG fan will be playing this game over and over throughout the years.

One of the other features I loved were the graphics. Normally I don’t really care about the graphics in a game, but Bravely Default was stunning. It has two AR movies, thirty-four AR cards, and I had fun with each and every one of them. This is the only game I have a real AR card deck for.

The graphics in-game were beautiful and mind-blowing as well. Not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting something between Final Fantasy IV and Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, but this game is more on par with something like Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia or Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. I’ve never seen a JRPG that looks this good. It was a very pleasant surprise.

The sound effects and music in Bravely Default are amazing too. Normally I don’t really care for the music in games, as it can be kind of repetitive and annoying, but for this one I didn’t mind it at all. I actually really enjoyed it. I honestly may change my ringtone to some of those soundtracks in the near future.

In conclusion, I have to say once again that Bravely Default easily steals a 10/10 from me. It is absolutely the best game I have ever played, and it actually makes me consider calling it my favorite game (I’m hesitant to because Golden Sun has a special place in my heart, and currently holds first place). But even without being my absolute favorite, it is a standard and a must. I cannot recommend it more.

Bravely Default was challenging, addicting, and although I predicted some things, it has a remarkable and unique story. Sure, it could be a bit repetitive, there are a lot of useless jobs, and you have to do a LOT of grinding, but this does not detract from the fact that Bravely Default is an amazing game and you need to play it RIGHT NOW. Seriously. Man, I love this game.

A prophecy is being fulfilled, and Luxendarc is in grave danger. Will you lead the four Warriors of Light to save it? Or will their world and ours suffer at the hands of an ancient monster? Pick up your copy of Bravely Default and find out right now.

Copyright 2018 Ammon Hansen

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