|RPG; 3DS; Square Enix; 2014|
If this all sounds familiar, then it should. Four Crystals, Four heroes, this sounds like classic Final Fantasy, and that is precisely what Bravely Default is. Bravely Default is Final Fantasy back when Final Fantasy WAS Final Fantasy and not some weird pseudo sci-fi story. And while everything seems like it is just repeating the same story that was in Final Fantasy I, III, IV, and V, Bravely Default takes it in it's own direction. The story manages the near impossible feat of both being so familiar that it is nostalgic, but also fresh and new enough to warrant it's own identity. The story is on the whole excellent with a fantastic cast of both heroes and villains and manages to perfectly capture that old school flavor. There is ONE major down fall to the story, but since that is also a major gameplay failure I'll leave that for when I talk about the negative.
|Well said Agnes.|
Remember when I mentioned the good helping of Final Fantasy V? Well as I said, Bravely Default is classic Final Fantasy, and what is classic Final Fantasy without a robust Job System (Well, it would be Final Fantasy IV or VI, be besides that). Building on the foundation laid by previous FF games (namely V), Bravely Default boasts a sizable 24 jobs including classic jobs such as Knight, White Mage, and Black Mage, but also new jobs such as Merchant and Templar. Each job not only have it's own proficiencies and stats, but also abilities that you can mix and match with other jobs. For each job there is a command list associated with it, and you can assign another command list from any other job as a back up, as well as fill in slots for all the passive abilities that you learn as you level up with each job. While some are okay on their own, the real trick for this system is to find wicked combination of skills, like combining a Red Mage's BP gaining passives with a Valkyrie's BP burning attacks. When not fighting monsters, you are building a town with help of people you street pass, gaining items and new Special attacks along the way. You can also call on the help of people you street pass to unlease their special attacks.... or just throw you a potion. There is a LOT in the game, and a lot of use of the 3DS's features, including AR movies and a sequence where you have to move your 3DS around to look around a room..... Also, there are hidden passage ways that you enter by walking into walls. Everyone who has played the original Final Fantasy IV is now smiling.
|MY BUNNYGIRL! SHE HAS FAILED ME!|
Despite the SP debacle, and last leg of the game going on for WAY too long, Bravely Default is still one of the best RPGs to have come out in a LONG time, especially from Square. Lately, Square has gotten it into their heads that they need to pioneer RPG into the next gen by doing away with archaic mechanics like random encounters and player control, and that mind set has made for some very polarizing games and an overall lack of vision from the series that had come to be synonymous with RPGs. And finally we have an RPG that reinvents the genre, but rather than build something new from scratch, it takes the solid foundation of RPGs of the past, and adds to that. It has been said before, and I will say it again: Bravely Default is the BEST Final Fantasy game in a long LONG time, and if it wasn't for the microtransactions and the overly lengthy final act, it would have gotten a Must Play. As it, it is Highly Recommended.
Until Next Time.