It’s time to get brave.
Bravely Second: End Layer was released for the Nintendo 3DS on April 15, following in the footsteps of the wildly successful Bravely Default.
But wait… what’s Bravely Default? “Why should I care?,” you might say. Good. Ask those questions. Because I have answers.
I’m a little late-to-the-party myself on the Bravely Default hype train–I just played the game over Christmas–but it’s easily one of the best RPGs to be released in awhile, and it combined the old-school roots of the genre with modern sensibilities. If you are looking for a deep, engrossing RPG to delve into, or are just looking for a new game to play, here’s some reasons why you should check out Bravely Second: End Layer, Default’s sequel.
The Battle System
Battle system is one of, if not the, most important part of any RPG experience. Bravely Second takes the successful battles of its predecessor and builds upon them while keeping what works from the first game intact.
First of all, it’s turn based, which is good news for fans of classic RPGs. It’s the same style as Final Fantasy: you control a cast of characters and take turns whittling away at the enemies’ life until one side has nobody left standing. There’s no button prompts for extra damage or reactions you have to worry about, just tried and true turn-based combat mechanics.
In a twist on the classic mechanics, Bravely Second utilizes the somewhat titular Brave and Default system, which returns from the first game. By using the Brave or Default options in battle, you can either gain or use up Brave Points. For example, if you wanted to attack twice in one turn, you could do so by using up an extra Brave Point. Want to attack four times? Same idea. You’ll get one of these points each turn, or you can use the “default” option, which puts your character in a defensive position and earns an extra Brave Point.
The Brave/Default system is a unique change that mixes up how you think about turn-based battles. Want to go gung-ho and try to storm the enemy? Give it a shot… but remember you’ll have to wait a few turns to gain back BP to attack again.
There’s also some new additions specifically in Bravely Second. Love RPGs, but aren’t a fan of having to grind against weak enemies just to level up? Worry no more! Bravely Second has a new option that lets you choose to continue a battle after you’ve won with a new and stronger wave of enemies… but your health stays where it was from the first fight. Each battle you chain together gets harder and harder and offers more experience. Watch out though; if you die you lose everything. There’s no reward without a little risk, right?
I’m going to just let this speak for itself. If art style and design is your thing, well, here’s a look at some of the locals you’ll be visiting in Bravely Second.
There we go. You get the idea.
OK, let’s get one more in here.
Jobs?!? This is a video game, I don’t want to do work!
Don’t worry. Bravely Default’s (and now, Second’s) job system is a way for you to change what skills and abilities your characters learn and throw them in new costumes, to boot.
This time, a bunch of new and (shall I say, unique?) jobs have made the cut. There’s 30 classes in all, some returning from the old game, some new to Second, like wizard, bishop, fencer, charioteer and… wait for it… Catmancer.
Yup. You heard me right. The Catmancer, as the name implies, is a class that summons cats and uses them to learn abilities from the enemies you battle. So… if you’ve always dreamed of being able to actually control cats, well, there you have it. It’s a bit on the silly side, if you ask me, but people sure do love their cats in everything these days.
It’s old school meets new school
Bravely Default took turn-based RPGs and brought them to the modern era on the 3DS. Bravely Second looks to continue in that tradition, adding new classes, continuing the story, and giving 3DS owners another marathon-length RPG adventure for fans of the genre.
If old-school RPGs are your thing, then it’s long-time you check out what Silicon Studio is doing with the Bravely series. It may not be called Final Fantasy, but it’s certainly cut from the same cloth. And if you like the classic Final Fantasy games more than the newer ones, then Bravely is going to scratch that RPG itch, that’s for sure.
On the fence, but curious? There’s a free demo available on the 3DS eShop that lets you give Bravely Second a spin in a side story that’s not part of the main game. Bonuses from the demo also transfer over to the main game, so there’s a little extra incentive to try it out before you buy it.
What games are you currently playing that you would recommend to your friends? Be sure to let us know in the comment below.
Photo Credits: Nintendo PR