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165 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Square-Enix Has Offered In a Long Time
The Good:

+Very unique combat system
+A lengthy quest that'll keep you busy
+Return of the job system allows for lost of customization
+Charming characters overall
+A lot of old school charm
+Great soundtrack
+Stunning visuals

The Bad:

-Pretty straightforward story (though this is definitely intentional)...
Published 10 months ago by S. Rhodes

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What would have been a great game is nearly ruined by awful later chapters
When you start playing Bravely Default, you may definitely enjoy the visuals. The towns are rendered very well. The graphics are actually pretty good overall. You may also end up liking the optional mini games like town building, or can skip doing those if they're not your cup of tea. You don't even have to spend on the SP points but it's an option for people who...
Published 9 months ago by S. Jenkins


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165 of 173 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Square-Enix Has Offered In a Long Time, February 7, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
The Good:

+Very unique combat system
+A lengthy quest that'll keep you busy
+Return of the job system allows for lost of customization
+Charming characters overall
+A lot of old school charm
+Great soundtrack
+Stunning visuals

The Bad:

-Pretty straightforward story (though this is definitely intentional)
-Some players are probably not going to like that the game will sometimes get bogged down in grinding for hours

Back in the 90's and early 2000's, Square was the king of the RPG. In particular, Final Fantasy was once revered as one of the greatest JRPG franchises of all time. In recent years Final Fantasy has had something of a mixed reputation. So, in fact, has Square-Enix. Yet Bravely Default comes as a surprise. It harkens back to what made Square so great in the first place. It is an old school RPG right down to the core. If you were a fan of Final Fantasy back in the days when they were known as Squaresoft instead of Square-Enix, you may very well love Bravely Default. It's overall a fun game.

There isn't much to keep track of in terms of story in Bravely Default. Compared to the rest of the game, it's fairly simple and straightforward. You control a band of adventurers who are out on a quest to revive the four crystals. If you're familiar with Final Fantasy this is all pretty familiar and straightforward. The good news is that the cast of characters are actually quite likable. You'll meet them all pretty early on in your quest. The story may not be what will entice you about Bravely Default. Though the characters are likable there are quite a few "by the book," moments. Rather what is likely to excite you about Bravely Default is the battle system.

The battle system in Bravely Default is a good one. It's a simple turn based affair. Your allies on one side of the screen while your enemies populate another. What separates this battle system from others is the Brave/Default mechanic. Every character has a set of BP. Those who choose to Brave can expend them and get an extra turn during combat. The sacrifice is that if BP drops into the negatives they lose the chance to attack the next turn. If you default, however, you'll store BP that you can choose to expend or not within the following turn. So let's just say you decide to default for a turn. The next turn, you'll have an extra BP which will allow you take one extra action. And it can be anything. Utilizing this system you could say... prepare for a powerful attack by having a character default and then the next turn they could attack AND heal if they wanted to. You can play around with the system in many ways. If you keep defaulting until your BP is maxed out you can perform several actions in a turn. A mix of healing, boosting stats and attacking can be done by every character if you so choose.

This is more than just a gimmick. The game's battle system has been designed around this mechanic. Bravely Default is not an easy game. You can't simply ignore the Brave/Default mechanic and hope to win in the traditional sense. In some fights, for example, attacking twice is probably going to be the best way to defeat an enemy who insists on healing. You may find in some battles the need to boost your defenses before launching into attacks. The enemies sometimes hit hard. Bravely Default is not going to hold your hand through it, either. Comprehending and mastering the battle system is key to getting through Bravely Default. If you don't take the time to really get it down the game is happy to punish you for it.

The job system is in play here as well. Final Fantasy fans who played through Final Fantasy V will instantly recognize and understand the system. You'll select a job which already has its own innate abilities. Black mages cast black magic, white mages heal while warriors are apt fighters and ninjas are fast. Final Fantasy veterans will know all this stuff already. As you master abilities, however, you'll be able to mix and match. So it's possible to have a black mage that will also know white magic if you're trying to build a good sorcerer. In many games with a job system there are plenty of ways to take advantage of it and learn the best abilities and just keep going with those. Bravely Default isn't always like that. In many cases you'll find yourself forced to rethink your strategy against a powerful boss every now and then. Mixing and matching abilities gives the game a lot of customization. This isn't like so many RPGs with a job system where you can find a good set and keep it going for nearly the entire game. Bravely Default has such a wide variety of ways to customize your party that you'll probably want to experiment and learn as many abilities as you can to build up the best party that you can.

Of course doing all that involves grinding. And this is where Bravely Default certainly shows its old school charm the best. A lot of JRPGs are designed in such a way now that you can coax through them with ease. They're balanced in a way that the levels typically tend to come around as you go. Bravely Default doesn't do this. There are times when you'll need to spend LONG periods of time grinding. Either to learn abilities with jobs or to gain levels. You'll often take a break from the story to do this. In part because Bravely Default demands it.

The good news is that the game is rarely that punishing and you can actually choose the pace at which you grind. You can speed up battles to make them go faster if you want (or select a handy auto-battle command that actually serves you well). The best part, however, is that if you're feeling tired from grinding or battling and just need a break, you can set how high or low the encounter rate is. This is something the JRPG has probably needed for a long time. No abilities, accessories or items necessary to it either. You can always go into the configuration and set the random encounter rate to 0%. This is especially nice if you ever find yourself backtracking or just exploring a dungeon for the sake of exploring. For those looking for a challenge you can also opt to turn off experience, gold and job point rewards. There really doesn't seem to be any real point to this other than for the hardcore JRPGer who likes to challenge himself or herself.

It's nearly impossible to talk about Bravely Default without mentioning Final Fantasy. The game itself is most definitely a spiritual successor to the famed franchise. It deals with the elemental crystals and the job system is ripped straight out of FInal Fantasy V. Many spell names sound very familiar and the graphics and art style are reminiscent of the remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV. And it all makes for a glorious package. Bravely Default is a beautiful game through and through. The world is lively and feels alive. There's plenty to explore and a lot of things to do. It'll probably keep you busy for hours on end. The music is also very good. It's a game that easy on the eyes and the ears.

The only thing that might keep Bravely Default down is that the old school charms aren't for everyone. The story is fairly slow going at times and is also pretty predictable. The emphasis here is definitely more on the gameplay, exploration and grinding than it is the actually story at hand. That doesn't mean the story is actually bad. It just means that Bravely Default plays it straight. Likewise, some gamers aren't going to like the emphasis the game will put on grinding. Especially when it comes to earning abilities The game makes the process of mastering a job take a long time. And with so many classes to choose from you'll be busy for a while learning abilities. For some gamers this is the charm that some of us have to come to appreciate from the genre over time. For others it might be seen as a way to pad out the length of the game. Indeed, a lot of hours spend on Bravely Default will come from you running around looking for a battle.

Neverthless, I still happen to think this is primarily why Bravely Default works. It is a game that knows its audience. And knows them very well. If you are fan of the JRPG and you've got a 3DS and you loved Final Fantasy, then Bravely Default is for you.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing JRPG experience that evokes nostalgia for the Squaresoft of yesteryear, February 8, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I don't know about you, but I have sure missed the kind of PlayStation JRPGs, and specifically the Final Fantasy games, that Squaresoft published in the 90's. The many classics from that era had an intangible magic that is fairly rare in the industry these days. Thankfully, Bravely Default is a lovely gem that could easily be mistaken for some long-lost Squaresoft gem from that period, and playing it reminds me of the way it feels playing Final Fantasy IX and Xenogears. This is a special treat. Warning: somewhat long review incoming, either buckle up, or jump ship now if that's not your thing. Having become intimately acquainted with the eshop demo, as well as putting it quite a few hours into the main game by now, I feel confident in my ability to give an informative, honest assessment.

The story in Bravely Default features four protagonists, all of which have backstories that any veteran of the genre would regard as painfully cliche at first glance. You get Tiz Arrior, a young man recently beset by horrible tragedy and great loss. He is joined by Anges Oblige, a sheltered priestess girl who must save the world by healing huge crystals through prayer, Ringabel, an amnesiac ladies man with a magical book, and finally Edea Lee, a spy for an enemy nation who joins the heroes at a later point (try to guess why she does this. Here's a hint, it's cliche, lol). Of course, political intrigue, giant elemental crystals, and world saving shenanigans ensue. It almost sounds like a "Four protagonists walk into a JRPG" bar joke, doesn't it? Thankfully, what Bravely Default's story lacks in innovation, it more than makes up for in execution. The writing in this game is, for the most part, very well done. The story is mostly coherent and moves along at a good pace with memorable events that make sense. The characters are all generally likable and developed well. Plenty of endearing humor offers a nice counterweight to the serious moments. There's a nice balance between freedom and structure, so you never feel strangled by linearity or lost with no guidance. Overall, Bravely Default is a very charming, well-written JRPG adventure. All of this is more than I can say for any Final Fantasy from the last several years (sadly), so Bravely Default gets a big thumbs up from me in its plot and story structure. It's very enjoyable to take in. It's a definite throwback to the classics of yesteryear and makes for a good adventure.

To aid in the sense of adventure of the story are the visuals, all of which are influenced by hand drawn art, water color paintings, and old-timey children's fairy tale books. It's very unique, full of imagination, and quite beautiful. The visual designs of the settings in this game are nothing short of brilliant. Wondering around the various locales, all of which are quite unique, really reminded me of how I felt playing Final Fantasy IX for the first time. Amazing. The 3-D effect does even more to add dynamic impact to the visuals too. It's no stretch to say the awesome settings add a lot to the game's story. Akihiko Yoshida, known for his work designing characters in games like Vagrant Story, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the recent Final Fantasy DS remakes, did the character designs in this game. To be honest, this aspect will probably be a love-or-hate thing for people. His stylized art tends to be. While some characters are kind of silly looking and clumsy (more on that later), I personally like the character design for the most part. All-in-all, Bravely Default is an undeniably gorgeous 3DS game.

Let's talk about sound for a moment, and specifically the soundtrack. Let me put it this way... If you told me that the soundtrack in this game was some long-lost collaboration between Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu from the 90's, I'd probably believe you. Seriously, Bravely Default's soundtrack is amazing. It has the striking emotive melodies characteristic of Mitsuda's music, and the lovely sophistication and elegant refinement of Uetmatsu's work. Every song fits its purpose perfectly for every situation/scenario/circumstance. Indeed, "Revo" nailed the soundtrack in this game. Other than that, most of the sound effects in the game are appropriately nostalgic. There's a surprisingly large amount of voice acting in the game, and thankfully most of the time it falls between acceptable and exceptional (keywords there being "most of the time").

As a JRPG, Bravely Default works very well mechanically. All of the basics in the game are very well refined and play as well as any classic Final Fantasy game would. However, there are a couple twists in place that make this more than just an adequate FF clone. For one, the battle system features an "action point" system wherein each action, be it attack, use an item, etc. costs you 1 "Brave Point." In "Brave Mode," you can go all out up to a deficit of 3 BP, meaning you can attack an enemy four times in a single turn if you want. Beware though, because if still standing, the enemies get to wail on you for four turns in a row. Then there's "Default Mode," which is basically a turtle-up move that allows you to accumulate BP for later use, while greatly increasing your defense for that turn's duration. This system has a fantastic feeling of risk vs. reward that encourages and prizes smart strategy, and I appreciate that.

The other unique aspect in this game is its robust job system. Anyone who has played Final Fantasy V will know what I'm talking about. Each distinct "job" or class has different stats and abilities and most (but not all) fall under archetypal roles (ie. White/Black/Red/Time Mage, Monk, Thief, Ninja, Knight, Swordmaster, etc), and you can change any character's class on the fly under most circumstances. There's a huge number of team combos you can achieve with this that not only allows for deeper strategy, but guarantees that every player can have a unique experience catered to their tastes. It's really great fun. Usually, I find bare-bones turn-based RPGs to grow rather boring shortly. Thankfully, the job system and Bravely Default combat modes makes this a very engaging RPG. Throw in unique streetpass features and an incredibly large amount of options that makes the game experience tailored to virtually any player, and you get a cocktail of smart design choices. All of this makes Bravely Default a unique, deeply refined JRPG that makes the experience stand out among its source inspirations.

For the sake of being fair and all that, let's talk about some criticisms for the game. Like I said earlier, the character style will be a love-hate thing. Since the job system changes character outfits, the only constant distinguishing feature of the main characters is their face and their hair. Unfortunately, two of the main characters, Ringabel and Edea, have hair styles that look stupidly ridiculous, even for an anime character, which is a shame. Again, I usually really enjoy Yoshida's work, and it's *mostly* great here, but some designs fall short. Also, some "job" outfits look ludicrous in certain cutscenes. Try imagining a serious scene playing out while Ringabel is wearing the Las Vegas Elvis suit (complete with aviator shades) that the Performer job has, or the fox-mask wearing Ranger... You can't do it without laughing. Kind of ruins the serious vibe in those scenes. The pre-rendered cutscenes, while having stunning detail, feature characters with a bizarre, somewhat unappealing combination of chibi and realistic proportions and details that I'm not a huge fan of. It's a little off-putting if you ask me. The mechanics of the game are awesome except for one admittedly small thing that still really sticks in my craw. There's a special sleep ability you can use to make battles much easier. You replenish your supply by putting the 3DS is sleep mode for eight hours (pain), OR, pay REAL money in a micro-transaction. Now, to be fair, the game is balanced so you don't *need* it, but still... Call me old fashioned, but if I pay this much for a game, I expect every feature to be included, no strings attached. Micro-transactions in a game like this is just plain ugly in my opinion, and glaringly so in a game meant to salute past classics. You stay classy Square Enix. This sort of stuff is why people these days call you an evil/incompetent out-of-touch corporation. None of these issues are "game breakers" per se, some are admittedly very nit picky (except for the microtransaction aspect), but they are worth mentioning for the sake of fairness.

Bravely Default is, by and large, a great 3DS game, despite some nit-picks here and there. If I could be more specific, I'd rate this game somewhere between an 8.5-9 out of 10. In many ways, this game is a wonderful salute to the kinds of JRPGs Square made for the PS1 back in the day. In fact, I'd say that Bravely Default is to PS1 JRPG masterpieces what Radiant Historia is to SNES JRPG masterpieces: a nostalgic homage while still offering enough new ideas to feel like a genuinely unique and fresh JRPG for the modern age. All things considered, I'd highly recommend Bravely Default to the majority of RPG fan/3DS owners who, like me, miss the kind of quality JRPG releases of yesteryear. Buy it, gather up your trusty four protagonists, and prepare to save yet another world in a new (but not final, sequel already confirmed) fantasy.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravely enjoying this game - WITH UPDATE, February 7, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I have heard rumors about this game and when the demo came out, I tried it and immediately reserved the collectors edition from a game store. I am only a couple of hours into this game, and already it blew my mind, the first AR movie looks good both in standard and in 3d, the backgrounds are gorgeous, and the story thus far is amazing. It takes a lot of the elements from the old style RPGs but adds a twist - a risk/reward combat system which allows you to choose early combat, or save up brave points by defending and then going whole hog on an enemy (its fun to take out an enemy of you store up enough points in one shot) or using a special ability to Speed up your turn, but to do this you either need to use money to buy potions, or let your system sleep for 8 hours, the job system reminds me of the Final fantasy tactics games where you can level up the current jobs, or switch out and gain levels learning new things, and making each character unique. Also the streetpass and friend list comes into effect, you can use powers and abilities others have by passing them while your system is in sleep mode and also use them to rebuild your town, a good benefit for those like me who enjoy extra things to do. The soundtrack is reminecent of old FF games, haunting and beautiful. Overall I say this game deserves a place in any players library and while the story may be linear, the ways to get there are immense. Enjoy.

UPDATE(WITH LITTLE SPOILER) - for those who have not beaten it, or beat it without trying, I only am in chapter 5 - but I discovered there is an alternate ending. When you do the Rite after Airy says stop keep pressing the x button and keep going until the crystal shatters - you will unlock another story when beaten will get you an outfit for Anges, but then you will go back to before you shatter the crystal (usually suggested to do the final Crystal), there will be changes to the story and to the opening screen shot. Enjoy
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What would have been a great game is nearly ruined by awful later chapters, March 4, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
When you start playing Bravely Default, you may definitely enjoy the visuals. The towns are rendered very well. The graphics are actually pretty good overall. You may also end up liking the optional mini games like town building, or can skip doing those if they're not your cup of tea. You don't even have to spend on the SP points but it's an option for people who would.

You might enjoy trying out all the different jobs the game has to offer. The characters aren't much other than Ringabel and Edea who will probably have the most enjoyable dialog going on in the game.

When I played the demo it was enough to get me into the full game. So I bought it. I loved it...then Chapter 5 and the rest happened.

Let me go into the mechanics of the game. In fact, people really enjoy these features. You have the ability to change difficulty and random encounters during the game. This is in fact fantastic. However, people probably don't realize why in recent localization it was put into the game.

Those later chapters I mentioned, are the reason these mechanics have been put in the game. Imagine having to be forced to repeat all your quests and not be able to turn off random encounters or you're stuck on a difficulty level that just makes you lose interest in the game.

I will try to keep it spoiler free but while I do understand on one level why the later Chapters go into a repetitive mode, I also feel like it was lazy development because of budget reasons. It should not feel like the last disc of Xenogears (if anyone gets the reference). When you play it you realize it doesn't feel like storytelling but more like lazy gameplay.

One other thing that is a bit baffling is when you are revealed more of the story, it makes you go "Really?" with some of the characters, even as entertaining as they may be. I mean you can pretty much read quite a bit of a spoiler by just reading D's journal.

If you can put up with that or are just very forgiving then you may feel my rating is a bit harsh, but I can't see in all honesty why so much wasted development in the later chapters of the game.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, wastes a lot of time, May 4, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
This won't be the most thorough review ever, but this game really, really annoys me. Spoiler alert.

The game repeats itself! And then IT REPEATS ITSELF AGAIN! Do you want to fight the same bosses over and over again? Do you find that fun? I don't, but Square Enix thinks you will.

I will say that I like the characters in this more than most of Square's other games and the battle system is fairly good with up to 4x speed.

The button mashing to wake up the crystals is annoying.

Also, this is quite the nitpick, but Square's naming sense always annoys me these days... A character named "Ringabel (ring a bell)," a fairy lazily named "Airy," etc.

Another annoyance - and I'm not sure if this applies to all DS/3DS games or just some (I know it's not just Bravely Default at least) - but why can I only use one save slot per game? This game has multiple endings - who are you to tell me I can't start one game and then save to multiple slots if I want to branch out? Why should I have to replay the entire game to get a different path? I don't think Nintendo should be enforcing this. They should be allowing gamers to save their games the way they want to. I own my 3DS and I own the software I've purchased for it and I should be able to use it in the way that I want to.

Edit: The game lets you save game-clear data after you get an alternate ending and if you resume the save, it starts you before the branching point. I'd still rather be able to save to any slot, but this is less bad than I previously thought. You do not need to replay the entire game.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations, even after completing the demo., February 8, 2014
By 
T. Paslay (Sour Home Chicago) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Like many of you portable RPGers out there, I had been looking forward to this title for a long time. I've been a bit... put off... by Square-Enix's recent titles, but I can't refuse a free demo. The demo, if you haven't played it, wasn't taken directly from the game. The main mechanics and characters are the same, but the world and quests in the demo were created specifically for the demo to give players an idea of the gameplay. The demo was fantastic and definitely reaffirmed my decision to pre-order the game. However, after playing about 8 hours into the full version, I can tell you that the demo was a mere shadow of what to expect.

Bravely Default is a sequel to 4 Heroes of Light in that Final Fantasy II is a sequel to Final Fantasy. The overall design and themes are very similar but the characters and world are different. Genre-wise, it walks a thin line between classic RPG and Dungeon Crawler - a formula that works extremely well.

The story is, essentially, 4 young people from different walks of life coming together through adverse circumstances to restore order to the four elemental crystals (hmmm, this sounds familiar) and save their planet. I realize that I just summarized the plot of several Final Fantasy titles, but - as always - they've made it unique and added enough character and story to make it its own. 99% of the dialogue is voice acted and it is done well. I will admit, I am not a voice acting aficionado, so people may disagree with me on this point.

Gameplay is very interesting. Square-Enix got a bit experimental with the mechanics which I find very exciting. While the SNES era of Squaresoft will always hold a special place in my heart, I loved how innovative they were during the Playstation days. I felt that they really pushed the envelope and attempted new things, something I don't feel they have done much of over the past few years... at least until now.

Bravely Default (yes, I think it's a stupid name too) gets its name from the battle system. Combat is turn based in the traditional sense, but you can select the Brave command up to 3 times to take up to four turns at once. The downside of this is that every time you select Brave, your taking away your next turn. This means you may have to wait through several enemy turns while your turn gauge catches back up. So, if you don't defeat your enemy, you may be forced to watch - helplessly - as your team gets slaughtered for up to four turns in a row. Fortunately, the Brave/Default command is per party member, so while you may max out your Brave on your Monk so he can hit four times in a row, you can let your White Mage take their turns one at a time so they can dole out the cures and eliminate status effects after each attack.

The Default option is essentially Defend, only it allows you to save your turns as well(up to 3). So, using the White Mage as an example again, I max out Brave on all my offensive party members. The boss is still standing and their turn gauges are all at -4 meaning they have to wait through four turns before they can act again. I opt to let my White Mage take their turns one at a time, taking each turn as it comes, healing my party. The boss makes his next attack and misses, there's no need to heal anyone. Instead of attacking with my White Mage for paltry damage, I'll select Default. My White Mage will Defend and my turn meter will increase by 1 (meaning I have an extra turn saved up). Let's say this happens twice more, now my White Mage has 3 turns (the maximum) saved up on top of their standard turn. Then the boss unleashes a massive attack that blinds my Monk, kills my black mage and deals heavy damage to everyone else. No worries, my White Mage has four turns saved up! I hit Brave three times to use up my saved turns on top of my current turn and cast Raise on my Black Mage, Blindna on the Monk and Cura twice. These actions all happen in succession and now my party is now fully restored. Because I had turns saved up from Defaulting, I'll be able to take my next turn as usual because Brave didn't put me into a deficit.

It probably sounds complicated, but it really isn't. It's a unique twist on turn based combat that adds an element of calculated risk to the equation. It's a great spin on turn based combat that allows you a little extra control over the flow of the battle. Keep in mind though, the enemies can also use Brave and Default, so you may get a boss that will attack four times in a row, but remember they'll have to wait four turns to act again as well. There are also job abilities that can add brave points to your teammates or subtract them from your enemy which adds an additional element of strategy, allowing you to act sooner or keeping the enemy from acting longer.

Another new mechanic is called Sleep Points. You have a gauge that fills whenever the game is put in sleep mode. For every eight hours you get one SP or Sleep Point, these points can be used to get an extra turn in the middle of battle regardless of your brave or default status where you act immediately. You can also buy sleep points with real world money if you feel that they're necessary. I'm never a fan of micro-transactions, but the game is perfectly playable to its fullest extent without buying additional Sleep Points, so this doesn't bother me.

There are 24 jobs (classes) in Bravely Default and you can switch your character's job on the fly, as long as you are not in battle. Jobs are obtained by defeating key bosses that represent the job. So, for instance, everyone starts out as a Freelancer. Shortly into the story you will fight a Monk and a White Mage. When you defeat them, you obtain an item called an "asterisk". This item unlocks that job for all your party members. You party members will level up with experience points as per usual, but your job will level up independently of your party member's level with job points collected from each battle. Each job level grants you additional abilities and attributes for that job. For instance each level of a Mage job will give you access to more powerful spells.

Attributes are passive abilities. These are gained by leveling up jobs. Once you unlock attributes, you can set them to the party member even if they change jobs. For instance, the Valkyrie attribute - Piercing - can be set to a Ninja to make them more effective against armored enemies. Each attribute has a numeric value and each party member has a maximum value their slotted attributes can equal. For instance, if your party member's attributes can't equal more than 5, you can't slot in 3 attributes that have a value of 2. Using the right Job and Attribute combination can make for a REALLY powerful party. It's a nice element of customization and strategy that rewards experimentation that's really rewarding.

Lastly, you can use one set of existing job abilities in addition to your job specific abilities. An example would be, if you mastered the Black Mage job on one of your party members and you want to have them start the White Mage job. You can select Black Magic as their extra ability set and still have access to the spells they learned. It's essentially a sub-job. This can also make for powerful combinations and support opportunities.

Traveling takes place just as a standard RPG, you enter towns and dungeons via the world map and either run on foot or use vehicles (depending on where you are in the story) to navigate around the globe. Random battles take place both inside and outside dungeons. The encounter rate didn't seem too extreme either way.

Part of the game centers around rebuilding a town. You collect townsfolk via Streetpass tags. Each time you get a tag, even if it's the same person, an additional townsperson will be added. Building shops, upgrading shops and clearing paths take real world time for your townspeople. When you want to complete these tasks you can select how many of your townspeople you would like to work on it. Increasing the townspeople assigned to a task greatly increases the speed in which it is completed. You can put everyone on one project and get it done quickly, or spread the townsfolk around more strategically and get several tasks done simultaneously. Rebuilding shops gives you access to purchase their goods when you're at a save point. Upgrading shops increases the quality of the goods offered. Clearing road blocks gives you access to previously inaccessible shops. As you upgrade shops, rebuild and repopulate your town you will receive care packages from your townsfolk including potions and items. Upgrading shops also grants you different abilities based on the weapons you're using. Once you have assigned your townsfolk work, you can return to the gameplay and they will let you know when they have finished.

Every once in awhile a Nemesis may arrive in your town, usually piggybacked on a Streetpass tag. These are powerful enemies you may choose to fight for exp. and items. Only 7 can be present at a time (check their level first so you don't find that you're in over your head) the oldest ones will age off as new ones arrive unless you choose to "protect" one, saving it for later. You can choose to send select Nemesis with your Streetpass tags to other players.

Speaking of Streetpass, you can also send your party's information via Streetpass to your registered friends. While in battle, they can call on your to jump in and execute an attack. You can also pass along special moves to your friends and each of their party members can slot a single special move received from you.

Graphically, this is the prettiest game I've seen on the 3DS. The hand-painted backgrounds are beautifully done. Details like waterfalls and moving objects are plentiful. I've wandered around the city in day and night just examining the details. The 3D was expertly handled and you can tell they put some real thought into it instead of just making the moving stuff come forward and sticking everything else in the back. The demo looked good, but the finished product looks amazing!

Sound is beautifully done. The 3D sound is executed well and the gorgeous music pairs perfectly with the breathtaking scenery. This game is aesthetically brilliant.

The Collector's Edition (as long as it wasn't smashed by Amazon) is well worth the fifty bucks. You get the game, obviously. It also comes with a very nice/large - softcover - artbook. The artbook has paintings and detailed sketches, character designs, etc. It's one of the best CE artbooks I've seen in a long time. The soundtrack is great, 10 tracks total. The AR cards come packaged like a deck of cards and allow you to see interactive cut scenes. The art on the cards is pretty cool as well. The packaging is just about twice the size of the SMT: IV packaging. If I had to do it over again, I would definitely still buy the CE, which is more than I can say for several other titles released over the past few years.

Overall, Bravely Default is one of the most refreshing RPG experiences I've played in years. The amount of customization and strategy included in this title make gameplay a blast! It is extremely robust! There is so much put into this game, it's a bit overwhelming at first. However, the learning curve and tutorials are done very well and you'll be on your way in no time. Graphically it is gorgeous. The story is well done and very much an active experience, things are constantly happening to advance the story and provide insight to the world around you. Traditional RPG and Dungeoncrawler elements are fused seamlessly and perfectly. It really reminds me of the kind of innovative game Squaresoft put out on the PSOne and I love every second of it! This is a must buy for any 3DS owner!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haven't played a game this addicting since Civilization 2 came out., February 26, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I'm an old person. I grew up playing games on the Commodore 64 and Atari, later it branched out into turn based strategy games like Civilization. Last year I got a 3DS to play with the kids. I got about 3 hours into Professor Lawton, and then I kind of forgot about it. Enter Bravely Default - I read the reviews and it reminded me of some of the turned based D&D games I played as a kid. So I took a chance and bought the CE addition (i had a coupon at BB) and I haven't been able to stop playing it ever since. It is very addicting. The skills/jobs/ability combinations keep me up at night, trying to figure out the best combination for each. yes, it is that addicting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was alright., April 21, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
Bravely Default is a game I was looking forward to quite a lot. I loved and enjoyed Square's older Final Fantasies that included the Job system. Mainly Final Fantasy 3, 5, Tactics and the not-so-well-known Four Heroes of Light. I have not tried their newer efforts other than Four Heroes of Light, though.

When I heard there was gonna be a game based on all of that, even so far as being a spiritual successor to Four Heroes of Light, I was a bit excited. Even pre-ordered the collectors copy. Since I'm only talking about the game, I felt it was better to post my review here. Let's get started.

Pros:

Graphics. Beautiful on the 3DS screen. I've heard it's better with the 3D on, but my eye strain can't really handle it. The town environments are detailed and fairly nice to look at. The monsters are classic Final Fantasy and the effects are flashy and work really well. The world map and dungeons are just "okay" though, nothing entirely lovely about them.

Gameplay (for the most part). It has a fairly in-depth Job system where like Final Fantasy Tactics can switch in and out skills and passive skills at will. The jobs are found over time, so for the first parts of the game you try to work around your limited skillset. Later on you unlock everything and basically switch each and every character's role on the fly. Some bosses you might pull out an all magic party, or all melee, or some wierd amalgamation with two paladins a pirate and a dancer. I did that once. Anyway, it works fairly well, though you will have to grind to get the best builds/tactics which can be a bit of a chore. This isn't new to anyone though, but it's worth mentioning.

Cons-

The Story. It's not terrible, nor offensive, but the story is severely lacking here. Not that there isn't enough, there is a lot of talking and a bit of lore but the thing is: there's too much of that. Half of the characters are bland and one-note but they're the ones in the spotlight. The characters that are good really have their moments though.The twist is easy to spot and just leaves a lot of monotony in where they hint and it's so freaking obvious and you just want to slap everyone for not noticing it. Not to mention the tedious slog after Chapter 5. I commend anyone who got through there. Fighting the same bosses just "harder". I was annoyed in Mega Man X...something when you had ONE boss rush, but in this you have about seven. Terrible.

The Social Elements and Microtransactions. This is a personal matter, but I really hated all that multiplayer(-lite) stuff that came with this game. You could attach your friends class and jobs learned onto others, and summon their characters in-game or you could just streetpass (whatever it's called) passersby or on the interest. It's useless after Chapter 4 though, but it just made everything feel fake, and always sucked me out of the game. It was irritating and a minor pet peeve, so take that with a grain of salt. The microtransactions are nothing and you can practically ignore all of it, but I don't like the inclusion of it at all.

Overall, I wasn't so hot with this game like some other people was. While it is a step in the right direction for Square to publish (they did not develop this, people) this game I don't really want them to go this direct path. I love the Jobs, the classes and all the sweet stuff but the other parts really bogged it down. It's okay to let the story take a backseat, but if you're gonna do that you gotta have less of the mindless dialogue as well. Less repeating bosses too, that's like my favorite thing in JRPG's and it was really butchered. Nevertheless, if you like your Final Fantasy with a slice of job-pie you would like it as well. Whether or not you can ignore it's faults is all up to you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wow, this game got boring fast., July 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
I really loved the intro. Very clever AR use of the 3ds that I haven't seen done before! Unfortunately the 3 minutes of awesomeness isn't used anywhere else in the game and bravely default quickly became one of my least favorite rpgs.

Everything in this game you've seen elsewhere and done better. Think Final Fantasy III (not VI). In fact, go play Final Fantasy III. It's a lot more fun.

My biggest problem with it is that it's too repetitive. How repetitive? I'm about to post a spoiler. It's Groundhog Day the video game. Groundhog Day never had a video game adaptation. You know why? It's because doing the same thing over and over is BORING! Hope you liked fighting the major bosses in the game because you'll have to fight them each four more times (I wish I were joking).

The final thing I'll say is that the game wants you to build your team so specifically in the final boss encounters that any other team build just won't work. It's a joke. If you do get this game, play through the first half of it then watch a youtube clip of the ending. It'll save you a ton of hours of your life.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Return to Form for Square!, February 10, 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS (Video Game)
You all knew this was coming, buckle in too... it's gonna be a wild ride.

Bravely Default, as many of you know, is Square-Enix's latest RPG. I like to think of it as Square holding this game out in front of you going "Hey, look LOOK We can still make RPGs... no no don't look at FFXIII look at this." This is of course not true, but it's funny in my head. The game is Final Fantasy down to every last drop, the only thing it's missing is Chocobos, Mogs, and the words "Final Fantasy" in it's title. Let's go through the FF Checklist shall we?

1. Party of characters that have no business having the power of gods because they are like... 17. Check
2. Hair styles that require at least 1 gallon of hair gel a day? Check
3. Classes and Spells that only Square uses (Fira, Blizzaga, etc...). Check
4. Final Fantasy Items: Hi-Potions, X-Potions, Ethers, Turbo Ethers, Antarctic wind etc... Check
5. "Multi-hits" (when you attack it says 4-hit) Check
6. "Limit Breaks" of some kind? Check
7. Airships? Duh! Check
8. Final Fantasy jobs? Let's see... Black Mage, White mage, Red mage, Monk, Ranger, Summoner... CHECK
8. Four Elemental Crystals that serve as the centerpiece for the world making it run in harmony until one day something shadowy and/or evil happens to them that requires a party of unlikely heroes to band together and make the crystals shiny again... CHEEEEEEEEEECK.

Ok now that we've established that this is Final Fantasy V-2 (May as well be). ON WITH THE REVIEW.

I'm going to say this right out of the gate. If you have any desire and I mean ANY slight liking of turn based JRPGs, and you have a 3DS. Get this game. Now. If you don't have a 3DS, go buy one and get this game. The amount of things in this game is astonishing and it's just a blast to play, while at the same time it feels like a mixture of modern and older mechanics... weighted more to the older side. I'm going to section out this review so if you are interested in the story or combat you can skip to those sections. Not what I USUALLY do but I'm feeling different today. I have not finished the game but I am at the end of chapter 2. That may not seem like far but that's like... 20 hours already. I've had enough time to get a grasp on the games existence!

Story

I can't rate a story until I've finished it, and even then it's not really a ratable thing. However, I can say that it's at least so far interesting. The following is not a spoiler, unless you count what you learn in the first like... 20 minutes a spoiler. The world is held together by 4 Elemental Crystals, Water, Fire, Wind, and earth. Each crystal has a vestal that keep the crystal all shiny and happy through prayer (It's the games religion. Crystalites or something I believe it was called). One of your 4 party members is the Vestal of wind, Agnès (pronounced on-yes... not kidding). In the opening video we see bad things happening, some sort of shadow has taken over the crystals. Gee... haven't heard THAT one before... Meanwhile Tiz's entire village is reduced to a giant hole. The goal, as far as I can tell, is to go around the world and restore the 4 crystals. *Ahem* Totally not FF1 or FFV.

While you are on this task, another major power called the Bloodrose Legion (I believe) is trying to stop you, since they are anti-crystals and think that the world should be better off without them, yet the second the crystals stopped working the world... more or less died so I'm not sure what logic they are using. Either way the story does what it needs to do, it provides a way to get from Point A to Point B and it actually does something I approve of, it doesn't get in the bloody way. Not once since this started has there been a GIANT gap of story, and by that I mean you finish a task and you spend the next 2 hours listening to people talking about this and that. The talking scenes are quick, they get to the point for the most part, and don't get boring. Just goes to show Square can still tell a story without it being 8 feature length films. With some gameplay in between.

Characters

Again, can't really rate this one. The four main characters all have a distinct personality.

Tiz, the cliche hero... I mean Shy Farmer, witnessed a terrible cliche... I mean his village being destroyed, and joined up with the Vestal of wind in the hopes of restoring his village. He is a quite type that is willing to protect his friends yadda yadda yadda. Walking. Talking. Cliche.

Agnès, or as I like to say dear god please stop talking now my EARS ARE BLEEDING (more on that later). She is the Vestal of Wind and has been tasked with fixing the worlds problems, despite everyone hating her in nearly every town I seem to go to. Then they like her once Agnès and the gang fixes something. Silly non-believers. She is innocent, having spent her entire life away from the common-folk and doesn't know a darn thing about what goes on in the world.

Ringabel, the games other male character. He has, and stop me if you have heard this one before, Amnesia! he can't remember anything, but he does have a journal that seems to be detail everything that happens before it happens and serves as a plot device constantly. He is also a self-proclaimed ladies man and hits on pretty much every female in the area around him. He has some great lines though even if most of the time you want to kick him in the back of the head.

Edea, Actually I saved the best for last as she is by far my favorite character in this game. She betrayed the army she was with to protect Agnès and has probably got some of the best bits of dialog in the game, particularly when talking to Ringabel who has fallen in love with Edea.

So there you have it, 2 walking Cliches and 2 characters that have a bit of spirit to them. They work well and have a nice synergy about them. I enjoy their interactions from Agnès's cluelessness to Ringabels... idiocy and Eda calling Ringabel out on it.

By far my favorite line in the game thus far has been:
Ringabel: "I know, I've been beating my head against the wall trying to figure it out."
Edea: "Oh? Perhaps you aren't hitting the wall hard enough, here let me assist you"

Dunno why, but it makes me laugh!

Voice Acting - 2/10

OK... so I've described the main characters and they are fine and all but I'm going to touch on what I believe to be the most painful part of this game... it's voice acting. I don't say this lightly, but it is among the worst voice acting I have ever heard in a video game to date. There are worse examples in other games (Maro maro from Blue Dragon for example) but, on the whole this entire game's VAing is bad. I even rate Star Ocean 4's voice acting above this and THAT is saying something.

Agnès has got by far the worst voice, it's grating, annoying, breaks constantly and just is all around unpleasant. Couple that with the fact that the sound quality of the game is so compressed it's just sad and you have an unpleasent experience. Ringabel and Edea actually have decent voices at least, they have emotion, and sound higher quality for some reason. Those Actors were trying. Some of the enemies also have decent voices, while others have ungodly terrible voices. I switched it to Japanese to see the difference and it just created a different world of issues, some voices got better while others got worse but at the same time the quality was still bad so I switched it back to English.

I almost want to recommend playing the game with the voices off (you can mute them specifically) but at the same time I feel that would take a bit away from the game, because at least Ringabel and Edea have fun things to say and they say it well, so... worth it. If I could mute Agnès I would. Without question. I know they had to compress it because of the 3DS but... come on... you may as well not recorded half of it and saves some space there.

Customization 10/10 - This is split into 2 seperate systems

Jobs

Throwing back to the FFV days, Square decided to reintroduce the Job system... and I could NOT be happier with this. The game calls it the Asterisk system but... I find that ridiculous so I'm going to call it the job system since they are actually called Jobs in the game anyway... I think they are just confused.

The game has something like 23 or 24 different jobs that each character can be. As you defeat enemies you get both EXP and JP (Job Points). Jobs have levels and you advance them by gaining these job points. Each level will unlock either a new job skill or a new job ability. For Example a black mage unlocks tiers of magic as their skills. Level 1, 2, 3 etc... black magic. But that's not all they get, they also obtain abilities like Immunity to silence, Reduced damage from Lightning, etc... these abilities and skills can then be used for other jobs. So if I switch the Black mage to a white mage, I can set their secondary skills to be black magic. Now I can cast both White and Black magic as my White mage. The abilities are also interchangeable, by the end of the game you get 5 ability slots, each ability takes X number of slots (from 1 - 3 I believe) and each does something different. For instance monks gain +10% HP for 1 point, +20% Hp for 2 points and +30% HP for 3 points, combine that with the knights + 20% physical Defense and you can make an impressive tank character. Or combine 2 Handed (Wield a weapon with 2 hands for double attack power) and +20% Physical Attack on a spell fencer for some massive elemental Damage.

The combinations are vast and for me have been really fun to mix and match. I'm up against a boss right now that I can't beat just yet because of one attack it uses that deals massive water damage, so I'm working on unlocking abate water (50% reduced damage from water sources) so I can withstand that assault. The jobs, leveling them, unlocking skills and abilities keeps me interested far more than I thought in this game, and the only wish I had was that I had more characters in my group to try more combinations!

You actually don't unlock the jobs through the main story line either, at least not all of them. So far apart from the first few I got as part of the tutorial, all of my jobs have been unlocked through side quests... and these aren't simple tiny side quests they are actual quests. There is trouble in town and you have to figure out what it is! I won't spoil the story but the first 2 side quests I took unlocked 4 more jobs for me to use. So getting all the jobs in the game is going to be fun. At this time I have 11 unlocked I believe. Ranger being my favorite, because it does MASSIVE damage and knows the weakpoints of most of my enemies... and I can use those skills on my other jobs so imagine having all those 1.5x damage skill, then switching to a spell fencer, enchanting your sword with fire and the 2 handed ability, then attacking a plant monster who is weak to fire with the ability that deals 50% more damage to plants... ooooh it's going to be a dead plant!

Specials

So this game has something similar to limit breaks from FFVII, they are called Specials. You unlock them as the game progresses (more on this later) but you start with a couple in the beginning. Each weapon type has a few specials attached to it and various ways with which to trigger it. The Rod for example requires you to deal damage with magic spells 10 times, and it's special is a single target laser beam that deals heavy damage to 1 opponent... but that's not all. Each special has a secondary buff that is granted to your party for a few turns. So the rod's special also grants +20% additional Magic Damage for a few turns to the whole party. For another example, the Bow requires you to deal weak point damage to enemies 10 times (Rangers are good at that). The attack does massive damage to 1 enemy and raises your parties crit rate by 400% for a few turns... while also looking awesome. There are also support specials like Rejuvenation that heals the party etc... or buff the party and keep everyone protected.

Now you may ask why this is under the customization section, well that's because the specials are customizable! As you progress through rebuilding the village (More later on this) you unlock abilities that you can equip to your specials. For instance you can make your special Water based, or Fire based, make it do more damage to plants or Dragons, have a higher crit rate etc... This can be a good and bad thing because it does require a bit of planning. I went into a boss fight with a special that actually healed the boss because it was water based and I forgot to switch it for lightning. But I think it's still awesome how we can change them, make them a little more ours... and not just with abilities. You can rename them! I renamed everything to try and include badger in the title. So Hack and Slash became Badger Strike. Rejuvenation became Badger's Light etc...

You can also customize what your characters say when they use the specials. Slightly limited to like... 15 characters but still it's a nice touch. I know it's a nitpick but I would like to have my character say the line while attacking not afterwards. So As I'm shooting my arrow I want him to scream "EULALIA!" (as i have told him to do). not AFTER I have shot it.

Combat - 8/10

Now being me, I am rather biased against Turn based combat systems, They are either boring, or just insanely brutal against you to the point of tears (Hello Persona...) however I'm going to pick that bias up and throw it out the window for this because it deserves my full unbiased viewing.

The combat is great, it's fun and more complicated than simply pressing a single button untill things die. This game isn't a sit back and watch the program type of combat. You have to think. Admittedly part of winning is the setup before combat which I think is a good thing. Think a bit before you go into a fight and your fight should be much faster. bravely Default However, adds a twist. The Brave/Default system really spices things up in my opinion. The system is simple, yet complicated. In combat you have three choices, Attack, Brave, or Default. Attack meaning you take your turn, attack or use a skill/spell expending 1 BP (or more if a skill requires it) and that's about it. As long as you don't have negative BP you can act, you regenerate 1 BP a turn normally up to maximum of 3. Default allows you to defend, taking less damage and not acting this turn, in effect restoring 1 BP. Now these two options are fairly normal... then we get to the third option, and it's one I think makes the game stand out above others. The Brave Option.

The Brave option allows you to act more than once when it's your turn. You can use it up to 3 times in 1 turn (Using 4 BP to do so). This allows you to use 4 attacks in 1 go, however it can leave you with a massive amount of Negative BP, which means you can't attack or defend until you don't have negative BP.The system may seem risky and it is, but it has purposes which Are brought forth by the job system. For instance one of the first skills you get as a monk is Invigorate, which increases your attack power by 25% for 2 turns (It has a chance to fail but lets for the sake of argument say it didn't!). Now in most instances you could only get 2 attacks off with that bonus attack, but if you use Brave to get 4 attacks in 1 turn off, you get to hit for 25% power 3 more times than usual. Of course after which you are usually exposed for a turn or 2, but who cares! Another good example is that say you just hit by a massive painful attack, 2 of your characters have died, and your white mage needs to get them up. Well use all 4 braves and you can cast raise twice, then cura twice. And if your like me your white mage was Defaulting for a few turns so he won't be left defenseless after a turn like that. It's just a lot of fun.

Now, there are more risks than Just the obvious You can't act for a bit. The enemy can do this as well, they can use Brave and Default. More than once I've fought a boss that used Default the exact turn I decided to throw everything I had at him, and I ended up losing because He withstood my assault and destroyed my soul. It also makes the game a little less easy to predict, and adds a bit of fun to it. You never really know what the enemy is going to do! They are also limited by BP so don't expect them to attack 9 times or something. You can at all times see what the bosses BP is so you can guess on if you are about to be slammed by death or not.

Now it's not perfect, and I didn't know where to take points off in this section or another but I chose this one. It being a JRPG does mean there is some grinding involved. And everyone who has played this type knows what I mean. You run around in circles on the map waiting for random encounters, you find a strategy that kills them in one turn and you keep doing that over and over and over again, Sometimes that Strat is a bit harder to find but once found it works endlessly. So I am not a big fan of that part, I can handle it, and it is still fun getting to that next job level. The game does progression amazingly well, you really do feel like you are gaining power with each level increase.

The other point I take off is because of the fact that sometimes I feel like the AI is cheating. This may be me being paranoid, but rarely does the computer default until RIGHT after I decide to use everything I have at once, it's almost like clockwork. I think it waits and then acts after I've made a decision. It's annoying! but... alas it's probably my faut for trying to do everything in one turn. One other thing I will say is that the bosses are rough. Really rough. They require planning and have some incredibly cheap and devastating attacks.

Network Features and Mini Things - 7/10

Here we get into some of the slight issues I have with the game. This being the year 2013 (I know it's 2014 but the game was release originally in 2013!) We have decided that everything has to involve friends and friends lists and the internet and stuff. A theory that I sadly don't prescribe to. However, I can't fault it for trying either. There are just some key issues I think don't work that well and they inhibit the game somewhat. First I'll explain what it involves though.

You can Summon friends to help you in combat, as well as be summoned by others. Now I don't mean a co-op or anything it's still a single player game. What I do mean is that if you have an internet connection you can register an attack or a heal and send it to your buddies to use as an attack in their game. For example I cast Rejuvenate on my entire Party and send it to the internet. Anyone on my friend's list can now summon my character and cast rejuvenate on their party (only once though). The more friends you have on your friends list the more options you can have to summon etc... Now there is an inherent issue with this. This being a Nintendo game, it's STILL annoying as hell to register people onto your friends list. You have to exchange codes and all that fun crap still, and without a forum or a central place where you are giving people codes you will not get them. You also have to have a wireless internet connection which yes at this point is fairly common but not everyone has it. The good thing is, Summoning and sending doesn't really add much to the game other than a bit of fun. The other feature however is more reliant on it.

There is a mini-game in this game, and it's the restoration effort for Tiz's village. You can restore Shops, Get new specials, get special modifiers as well as weapons and armor you can't buy elsewhere in the game. This is a time consuming game that thankfully performs all it's tasks in the background or while your 3DS is in sleep mode. As I write this review, my villagers are at home building my shops up, and each one will take about 6 hours to do so. I left some major projects going while I went to work. Now you start the game with 1 villager, and he can build up things slowly. If you connect to the internet 1 time a day you slowly gain more and more villagers, this really helps in the restoration effort. But it also highlights the biggest problem I have. What if you don't have that option. If you can't connect to the internet, or you can't find anyone with spot pass... you are stuck with 1 villager and the amount of time it would take for him to do everything is months. And in that line, you would miss out on a lot of specials and cool items. It is easily remedied by going to a free Wi-Fi place which... heck I think even McDonald's has free wi-fi now, but still it's a tad off.

Then there is the one thing I think wasn't needed in this game, it actually has a Micro transaction shop in it. What can you buy? Gear? Armor? Items? Noooo... you can buy Turns to use in combat. That's right.. you can Buy the ability to use an additional turn. I don't know the cost, because the first one is discounted at 50 cents and I didn't buy it. The other way to gain additional SP (That's the currency for extra turns) is to put the 3DS into sleep mode for 8 hours with the game running it's tasks. You can have up to 3 and can use them in combat whenever you want by pressing the start button. Honestly though. I don't really see the need for buying them. I can't say it's like the devil that it's in the game, but I have to question why it's there in the first place. It seems... just... odd to me.

Which also brings up my final thought on the mini-game... you do have to keep your 3DS in sleep mode CONSTANTLY. Right now mine is plugged into the wall at home, and It's going to be on for a very very long time considering how much of the village I have to restore. I mean 5 villagers working on clearing one step of the village will take 20 hours. (99 alone!). But it is always a joy to come home or wake up after letting them work for 8 hours and getting all those rewards. No you can't pay to get them to work faster!

You also have the ability to customize a few bits of difficulty in the game. Allowing you to change the frequency of encounters from 0 (none) to +100% (A lot more). This allows for better grinding, or getting back to town if you really didn't wanna fight things 20 levels lower than you! You can also enable or disable JP, EXP, Autosave, and change the difficulty from Normal to Hard or Easy. Hard mode... In my opinion is just frustrating and gives no reward for you actually playing in hard mode. At least none that I saw. It makes every fight brutal and basic enemies can one shot you, I didn't honestly enjoy it all that much, so I switched back to normal. And even then bosses destroy me. Seriously though I could not play this game without Autosave, I forget to save too often and would be annoyed with losing time!

All in all, I give the game 9 Bitter Badgers out of 10. It's fantastic, and I can't seem to stop playing the damn thing. If you liked Final Fantasy Anything before XII, you will probably love this game. It has customization, craziness, and joy around every corner. The combat is fun yet challenging, the bosses may be a bit brutal, bit nothing a little grinding or better planning won't fix!

TLDR Version: 9/10.

Pros
+Good risk vs. Reward combat
+Decent Characters with lots of cliches thrown in
+Nearly unparalleled amount of Customization for the type of game it is. From jobs to abilities to your special attacks.
+Decent Story, doesn't hold the game up and has some fun dialog
+Challenging if you want it to be.
+Fairly easy if you want it to be, there is even an auto battle feature
+It's final Fantasy V-2. No other way to put it!

Cons
-Voice acting is atrocious
-Sometimes the AI can feel cheap
-The internet features can be limiting if youo don't have the option to connect to them.
-Did I mention the voice acting is BAD?
-If you went digital it takes up basically an entire 4gb SD card.
-Gotta leave your 3DS in sleep mode for the village to be rebuilt in any logical amoutn of time even with a good amount of villagers.
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Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS
Bravely Default - Nintendo 3DS by Nintendo (Nintendo 3DS)
$39.99 $33.49
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