Bravely Default II is the sequel to the original Bravely Default on the Nintendo 3DS. It’s published by Nintendo and developed by Claytechworks Co. Ltd. That’s the same studio that made the ever popular Bravely series games and the epic HD-2D RPG, Octopath Traveler.
The game takes place in a new world with all-new Heroes of Light on a brand new adventure. With Bravely Default on the Nintendo 3DS being one of the best JRPGs on the handheld, Bravely Default II on the Nintendo Switch has some big shoes to fill. Let’s find out if the 7 year wait has been worth it.
Bravely Default II Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Claytechworks Co. Ltd.
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Fairly cliche story with a few twists and turns
The game starts out in classic role-playing fashion. A sailor, Seth, shipwrecks and washes up on shore in an unknown land. Not knowing where he is or really much of what has happened in the last few days, Seth awakens to the voices of Princess Gloria and royal man-at-arms Sir Sloan.
The two are on a quest to recover the four magical crystals in an effort to restore Princess Gloria’s kingdom’s glory. It’s not long before Seth becomes Hero of Light and meets his other companions Elvis and Adelle. They two are out on quests, Elvis is searching for Asterisks and Adelle is looking for her missing sister.
While the story may all seem cliche, it’s the chemistry between the characters that makes the game quite enjoyable. Each has their own personalities that play off each other and make things click and develop through cutscenes. Making their return are party chats where you and your party members talk about the main story or side quests you are on. It’s here where things really come together and each character’s personality really comes to life.
Turn-based combat with a strategic twist thrown in
Similar to previous games, combat in Bravely Default II is virtually identical to its Nintendo 3DS predecessor. It uses a turn-based combat system with a surprisingly innovative strategic twist thrown in. The strategy comes in the form of Brave and Default. On one hand, Brave allows you to borrow turns in advance to either attack, use items or use magic. And, on the other hand, Default allows you to take a defensive stance and store an extra turn. Did I mention that bosses and enemies you fight can use this system as well?
As a result, every battle must be thought out strategically. If you go all in and use all your Brave at once, you are left volatile until your BP (Brave Points) return to zero. Is your armour good enough to withstand any enemy attacks? Do you have enough health to survive? Do you use other members in your party to heal you instead of attacking the enemy? These are just some of the many things that you have to take into consideration each and every battle.
Tough but rewarding battles
The game’s difficulty really starts to show its face somewhere through the second half of the first chapter. Dungeons get noticeably longer, enemies and bosses get tougher, and save points become less common. As a result, it’s a good idea before making your way into a dungeon to visit the town’s local merchant to get the best weapons and armour for your party. And, getting as many health and magic potions that you can afford is not a bad idea.
When you do fight and beat bosses, you are often rewarded with Asterisks. In turn, these unlock various Jobs that you can assign to your characters. These range from Black and White Mages to Beastmasters to Bards and more. This means there are almost countless combinations that you can assign in your party. And, some jobs are better suited for certain characters than others. Furthermore, jobs have passive abilities that can be assigned to your party members. Taking all this into consideration, I spent a considerable amount of time grinding and getting my character’s levels up to face some of the game’s most gruelling bosses.
Fairytale like visuals
Bravely Default II is not a technical marvel by any means but for the most part looks great. Each region you visit has a distinctive look and feel along with the dungeons. For those that have played the first game, you’ll notice visually that Bravely Default II‘s world has been inspired by it along with Octopath Traveller. Towns are hand-drawn in meticulous detail that look great but can get pixelated when zooming in and out.
The game’s soundtrack was composed by Revo of Linked Horizon. Its major motifs are excellent, such as the main overworld theme, which changes as you travel between different regions. However, I would have liked to see a little more variety in the dungeons. Their themes are often reused, and at times made me want to mute the volume. Overall, the soundtrack helps set the game’s scene well such as when fighting challenging monsters and boss battles.
Bravely Default II offers challenge battles with rewarding gameplay
In the end, Bravely Default II offers countless hours of fun-yet-challenging battles, charming and unique characters and an interesting story that’s filled with numerous side quests along the way. Without a doubt there are times when boss battles can feel overwhelming and even frustrating. Though, the game’s unique combat system makes for satisfying and rewarding victories.
That game’s story has its fair share of twists and turns but what really shines is the commroderary between the members of the party. The game’s visuals are fitting and the soundtrack perfectly compliments the on screen action.
If you are a fan of the series and turn-based combat, I highly recommend Bravely Default II. On the other hand, if you are new to the series and this is your first game, you might be put off by the steep learning curve that you start to face half way into the first chapter. When all is said and done, if you are willing to stick it through, you’ll be rewarded with one of the Switch’s best RPGs to date.
Come check out my YouTube channel to see the first 30 minutes of Bravely Default in action.
+ Unique, charming and loveable characters
+ Cliche story that is has its fair share of twists and turns
+ Strategically unique combat system
+ Tough, yet rewarding
+ High replayability factor for those who want to experiment with different jobs
– Steep learning curve
– Loading times
– Easy to get frustrated with some enemy and boss battles
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF BRAVELY DEFAULT
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5