Has Bravely Default Saved The JRPG?
We think it’s fair to say the last couple of Final Fantasy games haven’t had the same impact as earlier titles in the series.
They’re very good games, and we love them. But the bar has been set so incredibly high for so long by classic titles that a lull in the genre was bound to happen at some point.
Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, and Ni no Kuni are perfect examples. The last generation had some great, imaginative role-playing games hailing from the east that were great titles not really taken up as much as they deserve.
So, what’s the problem? It could be down to any number of reasons. Maybe MMOs and free-to-play games have attracted attention over time, or turn-based games need more exciting hands-on action elements to draw in crowds that have seen it all before.
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Ni no Kuni especially won a lot of praise for its rich, involving story – little wonder since Studio Ghibli had a hand in it. But there’s little doubt that from a retail perspective it could have done a lot better.
So isn’t it a bit dangerous for Square-Enix to release Bravely Default on 3DS with the genre being so hit and miss, especially with the company unhappy at so many titles doing poorly at retail over 2013?
Not in our eyes. Bravely Default is a fantastic RPG that’s right at home on 3DS and tweaks the traditional turn-based formula to offer something exciting and fresh.
The familiar is there in the form of mages, job classes, potions, phoenix downs, and more. Turn-based battles also make up the spine of Bravely Default, but it’s the incredible tactical depth combat brings that makes the game truly unique.
You can go all-out in fights with the Brave command, choosing up to four moves to immediately overpower your opponents. Use up all your Brave points in an opening barrage though and not finish the job then you’re open to attack.
Choosing Default lets you accumulate Brave points ready for a strong counteroffensive later on. But will it be worth the wait, and do you risk a full-on battering before being able to answer back?
The system leads to a lot of mulling over your options during battle and really got us thinking during our time with Bravely Default.
The combat’s complemented with some of the most beautiful visuals we’ve seen on the 3DS so far. Monster designs are especially impressive with the 3DS giving an enormous level of grandeur to each and every encounter.
Characters’ stories are rewarding and fun to delve into with side missions helping each character to blossom in their own right thanks to a tight, expertly-woven narrative.
It’s the finest JRPG we’ve seen in a while and we heartily recommend Bravely Default as a deep, involving adventure for 3DS owners’ Christmas stockings.
Bravely Default is out to buy on the Nintendo 3DS right now! Order online today with Grainger Games and get free delivery!