Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bravely Default

Last summer, I started playing Bravely Default. I was stuck on bed rest for 3 weeks solid, so I needed something to occupy me during that time. I made it a little over half way through the game before I was allowed off bed rest. Yes, I am a slow player. I like to take my time and explore things as I go. I finally finished it last month. Being a slow player combined with having a busy life means it takes me forever to finish games.

I have to say, this game was amazing. It was a well done game in classic JRPG style. It probably doesn't hurt that JRPG's are my favorite genre of video game. I loved the characters. I loved the character design. I loved the costumes. I enjoyed the story. I loved the mechanics. I admit I was skeptical at first. I like RPGs, but I usually have a harder time getting into the ones that involve job changing, and Bravely Default's game strategies center around effective use of different jobs you collect. I was pleasantly surprised, however. Unlike most games I've played in this vein, you don't just pick one job per character. Each character gets a primary job. Then they can pick secondary powers and passive effects from other job classes. This encourages you to level up most of the jobs and explore different combinations. One of my favorites was Ninja and Samurai skill combinations. Another involved using Red Mage passive skills with the Templar. Those are hardly the only effective skill sets; there is an immense range of customizability built into this system.

I also liked how much of this game was a throwback to the earlier Final Fantasy games that I love so dearly. Since Bravely Default and Final Fantasy both belong to Square Enix, they could get away with overlap of themes and terminology. Did I mention I liked the costume and character design? That was a big thing for me too. I found the job list somewhere online before I started playing the game. It was pretty much a given that I would play it when I had added 2-3 designs to my want-to-cosplay list before I even had half a clue what the game was about. My favorites include: Conjurer, Vampire, Pirate, Red Mage, Spirtmaster, and Salve-Maker. I also really like Agnes's starting costume. Yes, I am a sucker for this kind of thing.

So, I've spent most of this post raving about the game. Were there any negatives? Yes. For one, I was not particularly thrilled with the ending. It was mediocre. I wanted a little more closure, and I wasn't entirely happy with what they did with some (well mostly one) of the characters. I didn't care much for the Groundhog Day narrative style that began around Chapter 5, but it did improve. Having finished the game, it is I think one of the best done of that type of story. I won't say much more on that because spoilers (not that most of you haven't already played through it and finished it ages ago--also I know that involved a double negative, and I don't care. =P). Leveling up the different jobs did get a little tedious at times.

Overall, though, there aren't that many negatives, and the positives far outweighed those negatives. If you like JRPG style games and have not played Bravely Default yet, then you need to play this game. Seriously. Go do it now.

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