Are you a fan of JRPGs? Do you own a 3DS? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then chances are you've already bought Bravely Default. What if you answered no to these questions? What if you’re on the fence and wondering if you should pick up the game? Well, you could check out our review, or you could ask yourself some more questions.
Do you enjoy making strategic decisions in combat?
If you do, then you should get Bravely Default. It’s not just about assigning actions to your party in combat. You’ll have to decide when its right to Default and store up battle points and when its right to finally unleash that Brave for multiple attacks. You’ll have to decide when it’s time to use your customized job abilities (more on that later). Then, of course, there’s the line of thinking that comes with any turn based combat game: who do I attack? Is it time to heal? Am I overthinking this?
Speaking of turn based combat…
Do you like turn based combat?
If you don’t then, you shouldn’t get Bravely Default. While the game’s combat system has been revamped to provide a spark to turn based action, it’s still turn based combat. For some, that’s enough to avoid the game. I can understand where they’re coming from. Sure, there’s plenty of tactics involved as you make your decisions, but there’s not enough action to please everybody. It’s a matter of personal preference and some people just don’t enjoy turn based combat. Bravely Default won’t change that.
Do you enjoy customization in your RPG?
This isn’t an Elder Scrolls game, but at times it feels like it when it comes to the job system. You’ll start as a Freelancer and work your way to a total of 23 other jobs, where you can cherry pick various skills to use in combat. The days of the classic party make-up are long gone. You’ll play the game as you see fit, whether it’s with a party filled with magic casters, melee fighters, or ninjas. But just because you’re a ninja doesn’t mean you can’t use skills from another job. Some of the most enjoyable aspects of the game involve combining abilities from various other jobs to better suit your needs.
Do you need a deep, involving narrative?
Stop me if you’ve seen this in an JRPG before: you’re a young hero who’s fallen on hard times from dangerous forces and somehow you’ve involved yourself in a conflict that will change the future of the world blah blah crystals blah blah destiny yadda yadda.
Bravely Default isn’t going to change the way stories are told. It’s not going to rock your emotional core. It’s not going to win any writing nominations. It will, however, leave you rolling your eyes and chuckling in delight at its cheese. That being said, it’s shallow and unoriginal. If you’re looking for something more from your story, you shouldn’t get Bravely Default.
While it’s a fantastic experience, Bravely Default isn’t for everyone. Hopefully this “guide” was able to sway your opinion on the game. If it’s something you’re looking for, then it’s absolutely worth your hard earned money. If you feel like Bravely Default isn’t a game for you, then here’s to hoping you find a game that’s worth buying.