Video Game Review: Bravely Default

Bravely default

(Image: Gamestop.com)


Platform
: 3DS

Rating: T

Genre: Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG)

First Released: October 2012

Part of a Series? Yes
Bravely Second: End Layer (release date yet to be announced)

Brief Synopsis: “Explore Luxendarc as Tiz and other memorable characters on a visually stunning quest to restore balance to the world.” (Gamestop)

Other Neat Info:

The Nintendo Store on the 3DS has a free demo for those interested! I highly recommend playing it because if you complete the demo (which is more of a chance to explore the battle system than the actual in-game story), you get some extra items when you start up the actual game file!

Spoiler-free Commentary:

After that lackluster description from the publisher, I bet you’re wondering why you should play it.

LET ME TELL YOU.

The Story

The oceans are rotting. Volcanoes are erupting. The wind is no longer blowing. Do you have what it takes to save your world? If not, too bad! Screw your courage to the sticking place and team up to save the world from seemingly inevitable destruction. That’s as much about the story as I’m willing to tell you for fear of revealing any spoilers.

Gameplay

While the story is extremely captivating (and not to mention hilarious), the gameplay is the biggest draw. I can go on and on about how wonderful the gameplay is in this game.  Bravely Default does a lot of things that are hard to find in JRPGs.

I’m not going to go into every awesome feature because that would just be tedious on both our ends but there are three that are especially awesome.

Say Goodbye to Random Battles Ruining Your Life

bravely screenshot 1The most important feature is you can turn random battles off. Yes, you heard me correctly. I’ll say it one more time for those whose brains just broke: you can turn random battles off. This fact alone makes this game one of my favorite JRPGs. No more taking half a step in a dungeon and getting into fifty bajillion encounters you didn’t want to deal with. If you feel confident enough in your character’s levels and you want to grab all the treasure in a dungeon before fighting the boss, you can turn off random battles and goodbye frustration!

The random encounters setting in the config menu (that you can change at any time) is a slider you can set between 0% and 200%. 0% being no encounters and 200% being double the amount you normally find while exploring.

No More Tedious Level Grinds

My other favorite feature is that when you press the “Y” button, it will have your characters complete the last move you previously selected for each one. This lets you automate your battles! Turn encounters up to 200%, and you got yourself a match made in heaven for leveling! (Tip: make sure you’re in an area where your characters will not get decimated, otherwise I don’t recommend completely automating everything. In too high level of areas, that can result in a game over! Another option is to have at least one character heal while the others attack.)

Bravely Default Rewards You and Your Friends for Having Nothing Else to Do

bravely screenshot 2Last, but not least, Bravely has a great linking “friend-to-party member” mechanic. If you have a friend who plays this game, make sure you add each other’s friend codes to your systems! If the game recognizes that you both play the game, you can link your friend to any one member of your party and any abilities your friend learned, you will now know for that linked character! You can only link one character per friend at a time, so choose wisely and convince all your friends to play! It doesn’t hurt you to not link your characters (it is entirely optional) it is just extremely helpful for when learning abilities early on in the game. You can also summon your friends in battle once per day if you’re getting a bit stuck! By the power of friendship, you will save the world!

With those three features, Bravely Default easily soars near to the top of my favorite game list. It makes exploring the game’s overworld extremely fun and enjoyable rather than a chore, which is the exact opposite reason of why you’d be playing a game!


The Big Question: Where can I find it in the library?

This will be on the second floor to the left of the media reference desk with the 3DS & DS games

Call Number: YAGAME 3DS BRAVELY

Bravely is a great game for newcomers to the JRPG genre and seasoned veterans. Check it out today!

Stuck at a level? Visit Gamefaqs, Prima Games, or IGN for help! (Beware of spoilers! Tread carefully!)


Ashe

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