Observe the Heroes of Gentle as they journey by means of the kingdoms of Excillant in Bravely Default II, whereby the destiny of the world rests within the stability of 4 elemental crystals. With an interesting storyline and an enthralling watercolour 3D diorama-esque artwork fashion, Bravely Default II could also be much less refined than its predecessors nevertheless it stays an fulfilling journey for these seeking to scratch a JRPG itch.
Developed by Claytechworks and revealed by Sq. Enix, Bravely Default II delivers an intriguing new story arc that’s stuffed with sorrow, hardships and merciless manipulation. That includes Seth, Gloria, Elvis and Adelle, the 4 Heroes of Gentle set out on a quest to reunite the fundamental crystals after they have been taken by power by the hands of the Holograd Empire. But there’s a foul stench hanging within the air brought on by dying, destruction and malevolence, which could be felt in every of the 5 kingdoms of Excillant. Between the royal ramparts of Halcyonia to the snow-tipped mountains of Rimedhal, the individuals of every kingdom are struggling. This deception has brought about harmless ladies and youngsters to be slaughtered by the hands of misguided faith, has pushed mages to insanity for creative advantage and has proven how political affairs can rapidly flip into acts of murderous revenge. In Bravely Default II, struggle isn’t simply coming, it’s on the doorstep.
From the second Bravely Default II begins, there’s a actual sense of urgency captured within the storyline. Maybe it’s this depth, mixed with its chilling storyline, that makes it simple to really feel compassion for the sport’s characters. When you’ll develop to adore Elvis and Adelle (as with Ringabel and Edea in Bravely Default and Magnolia in Bravely Second) in each the primary storyline and facet quests, you’ll additionally construct affinity with husband-and-wife mage duo Roddy and Lily, alongside the child dragon Gwilym and guardian Martha. And though the voice appearing was initially hampered by distant working points because of the ongoing pandemic, there are not any qualms with its high quality. The English voice appearing is superb and distinguishes every kingdom with its personal dialect and quirks.
Apart from one dour chapter in Savalon, as talked about in our preview, Bravely Default II’s story is actually partaking, setting the suitable tone and tempo all through the sport. It’s a disgrace, then, that the gameplay feels much less refined than that of its predecessors. Slightly bizarrely, the sequence feels prefer it has taken one step ahead and two steps again. On the one hand, the wide range of job courses and skills opens up the sport to electrifying and strategic boss battles, but on the opposite it units itself up for failure with technical glitches (together with one problematic system crash) throughout cutscenes or battles, and a less-than-favourable person interface from overlaid menu textual content. Whereas Bravely Default and Bravely Second gave gamers a straightforward option to regulate the sport’s parameters, so they may expertise the sport in a versatile means, Bravely Default II seems like it’s shoehorning gamers into a selected subset of guidelines.
This inflexible play fashion could be a problem in areas the place the participant often has extra freedom to discover, typically when levelling up characters. The fantastic thing about Bravely Second’s seen enemy encounter fee share adjuster meant that gamers may freely select what number of – or how little – enemies to struggle and string these battles collectively to simply grind ranges. In Bravely Default II, gamers are required to buy ward lights to keep away from enemy encounters and are reliant on ‘monster meals’ obtained by means of adventuring (relatively than purchased in metropolis shops) to chain consecutive battles collectively. This transformation would have been simple sufficient for gamers to adapt to if the sport’s dungeons or overworld have been designed in such a means that enabled them to just do this. Nonetheless, dungeons are typically unimaginatively constructed as lengthy corridors, mixed with massive lifeless areas or round mazes. This makes it far more troublesome to come across the identical varieties of enemy with the momentary results from monster meals. And whilst you can connect equipment to your characters to take away expertise good points from battles, it’s not so simple as switching it off within the settings menu.
Given how a lot time is spent levelling up your characters, mastering the wide selection of job courses, and adventuring by means of forests, dungeons, swamps and extra, it’s a pity that the eye to element right here is sorely missing. With that stated, the flexibleness of the sport’s fight system does make up for these seemingly arbitrary choices. Whereas the courageous and default instructions stay unchanged, enemies and characters now carry out one-by-one, as a substitute of as an ensemble as was the case within the earlier video games, creating far more fluid and intense battles. After all, this makes for strategic boss battles, the place the problem lies to find the perfect mixture of main- and sub-jobs for every character in both informal, regular or onerous issue modes. Particular assaults proceed to depend on gamers performing a sure variety of actions earlier than they are often activated, although SP – associated to the time mechanic within the unique video games – sadly doesn’t make a return. Nonetheless, the animations throughout these sections are fairly darn cool – a terrific bonus in our ebook.
Exterior of the primary components of gameplay, Bravely Default II additionally brings a card minigame to the desk. Activated as a facet quest in Savalon, Bind & Divide – often called B&D for brief – is a tactical buying and selling card sport that may be performed with NPCs in every kingdom. Though it could not enchantment to everybody – myself included – it’s a neat additional, nonetheless. Along with B&D, the sport additionally options on-line capabilities by the use of boat. Out there from the prologue, gamers can ship their boat out to discover the seas for a most of 12 hours and hyperlink up wirelessly to different gamers’ video games to retrieve booty (comparable to cash, expertise and job level orbs). Merely put your Swap console into sleep mode with the sport taking part in within the background and you’ll simply receive these from any metropolis boat retailer. Though there’s not a lot to it, it’s a easy ‘tick field’ characteristic for people who have a Nintendo Swap On-line membership.
For gamers that wish to spend their explorative downtime finishing facet quests, Bravely Default II has an honest vary in its arsenal. Apart from the usual fetch quests, there are additionally a handful that construct on the camaraderie between the 4 heroes. Particularly, the comedic banter between Adelle and Elvis throughout their meals escapades is an actual hoot. You may even uncover a brand new job class throughout a facet quest in Enderno, which takes place in an alternate dream universe. And whilst you can solely label three facet quest markers at anyone time, these are simply switched within the travelogue menu. It’s additionally price noting that the sport is completely suited to taking part in in handheld mode – in reality, I really favoured it. Maybe it’s the 3DS nostalgia speaking, however nonetheless it’s a terrific benefit for Swap Lite gamers.
Clearly, Bravely Default II will not be with out its flaws. A beautiful artwork fashion, pleasant OST and intriguing storyline can solely go to date, particularly when technical glitches, odd UI mechanics and dungeon crawling make up a lot of the RPG. There is a component of frustration right here too, the place followers of the franchise could really feel much less compelled to sink 80+ hours right into a sport that feels considerably off key. So, whereas it doesn’t fairly attain the fantastic heights of Bravely Second, Bravely Default II unfolds as an honest third entry to the sequence with fulfilling, albeit chilling, twists and turns.
A evaluate copy of Bravely Default II was offered to My Nintendo Information by Nintendo UK.