Today I’m reviewing a game that has been taking up the majority of my free time recently.
The story, while somewhat generic, is well written with some interesting twists and added depth keeping it interesting. The characters are also a little on the safe and generic side, with each of the standard jrpg tropes being represented. They are again however well written with none of them feeling superfluous to the story, and with the addition of the optional Party Chat conversations they are given enough depth and personality that they don’t feel flat.
The gameplay is fairly standard jrpg fare, you explore dungeons, visit towns, traverse the world, and fight lots of battles, or not many battles as this game comes with the wonderful option of switching random encounters off. You can also increase them and switch on auto-battle for grinding made easy. The battle system in this game is a fairly traditional turn based one, but with the interesting twist of the Brave and Default options, which allow you to defend and save turns for later use or use turns in advance. This game also has a job system very reminiscent of Final Fantasy V’s, allowing for great variety in party composition and for some very fun combos. Aside from the main story quests, there are also a great deal of side quests and the streetpass based village rebuilding, which offers unique items and optional bosses.
The game has a very pretty soundtrack and excellent voice acting, with many of the scenes being fully voiced. My only complaint about the sound would be the lack of variety in the soundtrack, as while it is good, it gets very repetitive about 20 hours in, and as this is a game that could easily go past 60 hours for a single playthrough a few additional pieces of music would have been much appreciated.
Bravely Default is a very beautiful game, the background art for the game’s towns is particularly outstanding and detailed. When I initially saw the first town, I was quite stunned by how pretty it was and the level of detail. The dungeons, world map, and battle screens, are also very well presented and pretty, though the battle screens do lack somewhat in variety and I would of liked if the inside of shops and inns were shown.The character models in this game are another thing it does well, the art-style is cute and well fitted for the overall aesthetic of the game. The huge range of different costumes is also quite impressive, with each character having a unique costume for the 24 different jobs.
Overall I’d say that Bravely Default is an excellent game and definitely worth picking up. While it does play it safe in some areas, it is a great deal of fun and an great callback to the earlier Final Fantasy games.