Bravely Default - 3DS

Release Date:

06 December 2013

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


Bravely Default offers gamers a classically styled RPG with a few twists on traditional turn-based combat. Players take control of a quartet of heroes as they go on a quest to reunite powerful elemental crystals, exploring dungeons and engaging in battles along the way. Each character has a set of BP points for use during combat, and players can use the Default command to shield themselves and bank points for the next round, or the Brave command to do extra damage by moving twice in one turn. There are 24 job classes from which to choose, including White Mage, Thief, Pirate, and Vampire, and characters gain new skills and level up their abilities as they engage in combat.

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Super Gamer Dude



In the past few years, we've been seeing less and less of the traditional JRPG. Even Square Enix, who were once the biggest proponents of this specific genre have more or less completely abandoned turn-based strategy games in favor of the more action-oriented Final Fantasy games that have been coming out as of late. Bravely Default marks a return to the old style of Japanese role playing games for Square Enix as a publisher, but does it hold up to the very standards that the same company set some 20 years ago?

The most noticeable thing the first time you boot up Bravely Default is how much the game looks like the Final Fantasy remakes that were put out for the DS. The visual style isn't the only similarity, though. Bravely Default's combat system ends up feeling like a mix of the combat of Final Fantasy 3 and the job system that lay at the core of Final Fantasy 5, but with one major modernizing difference.

One of the biggest innovations that Bravely Default brings to the table is actually revealed within the game's own title. During battle, you have two options in addition to the standard options that most gamers have come to expect in a JRPG - Brave and Default. The Default option functions as a sort of defense, but it also grants you something that the game calls a battle point. This point can be used to activate the Brave option, which grants you an extra attack for that turn and can be used up to 4 time per turn depending on the number of battle points that you have accrued.

Even despite this somewhat revolutionary change in Bravely Default's core combat system, it still makes many of the same mistakes that many JRPGs made in the past, from a very sluggish start to a convoluted story and a lack of detailed instruction on how the entire genre works. Of course, most of those problems are no issue if you are a veteran of the genre, and that is really who Bravely Default was made for.

I really hate saying that "fans of the genre" will like these games while others won't really like them at all, but in the case of Bravely Default it has never been more true. Those people who have remained devout fans of the JRPG genre will absolutely adore this game - it hits all the notes that a good RPG needs to hit - but as a result of its unwavering adherence to that same old formula it has a bad tendency to make many of the same mistakes that those old games made as well.

Bravely Default is by no means perfect, but if you're looking to get your old-school JRPG fix, there are a lot worse options out there, and Bravely Default will keep you entertained for its entire duration as long as you are ready for a slow start and a few issues that persist throughout the genre.

Submitted by Cheat Title Rating
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May 25, 2014

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