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Platform: Nintendo 3DS|Edition: Standard|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 502 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 613 reviews
on February 13, 2014
I am thirty-three years old. I've been playing video games since I was five. I've tried almost every Final Fantasy game and abandoned all of them after a few days. However, Bravely Default is quickly becoming one of my favorite games.

I've never been able to get into Japanese RPGs. I love D&D and Pathfinder, but Final Fantasy - possibly the quintessential JRPG - always bored me. I got sick of random encounters, some of the dialogue scenes were too long for my tastes, battles got repetitive after a while.

Bravely Default (an awkward name if you ask me... I blame it on a loss of translation) by Square Enix is similar to Final Fantasy in mechanics and art style, but there are differences that transcend plot alone. The new battle system which this title is named after allows you to get past frustrating enemies that heal themselves frequently. If you use the "default" move, you can defend yourself and collect "brave points" which you can spend to unleash a few moves in one turn. If you have a group of four and most of them have initiative (D&D term... sorry) higher than the enemy, they'll pummel the enemy and hopefully knock its HP down way faster than it can heal. That's just one way the new system is helpful.

The things that make this game better for me than Final Fantasy (FOR ME... that's an opinion) is the option to adjust the frequency and difficulty of encounters in-game, and the ability to change characters' job/profession/class whenever you want without suffering too much loss to stats.

*Encounter Frequency and Difficulty*

Within the character view screen, there's a "tactics" selection. Under that is "config", and then "difficulty". From there, you'll find "encounter rate" which will present a slider that can be set to +100%, +50%, +-0%, -50%, -100%. The highest setting will throw you into encounters every few seconds, while the lowest will let you wander around freely (but it'll warn you that you'll have a tough time leveling up).

This is great for me. For instance, when I'm trying to find a hidden chest and I'm getting really annoyed with the random encounters interrupting my search, I can simply turn them off, find the chest, and then them turn all the way up and set the difficulty to "easy" so they happen every few steps but don't completely destroy my characters. This way, I can sort of make up for the potential loss of XP. Once I get tired of battling every few seconds (and feeling like I'm cheating) I can set the frequency and difficulty back to a normal levels and continue the game as intended. Basically, you can adjust the frequency to suit your needs at any moment. Random encounters are important for leveling your characters, but they can get irritating at times.

*Jobs*

Rather than have set classes, Bravely Default offers jobs which you acquire as the game progresses. Characters have slight variations in base stats, but the jobs you choose increase and decrease relevant stats, while the weapons and equipment they hold helps with their abilities. This way, you can play a characters as a monk for a few weeks and change it to a mage or knight if you want without worrying too much about them not performing efficiently.

Like I said, there are slight variations, but they're not so extreme that jobs can't be changed. Agnes has higher base mana points (MP) than Tiz (these names will have meaning when you play the game). At first I set Agnes as the mage and Tiz as the monk based on that stat alone. I wanted Agnes to be the monk (despite her in-game personality, I like strong female leads and it made sense to me for Tiz to want to heal her and keep her alive... but that's just me). I played a few encounters and then switched their jobs and equipment. Agnes performed just fine as a monk and Tiz has kept everyone alive and well thus far. Additionally, you can set each character with a secondary job ability and have a knight who can heal in a pinch, or a ninja who can use fire spells.

Here's a short summary of relevant stats between Tiz and Agnes to illustrate my point:

As a monk:
Agnes - 68 MP, 14 Strength, 8 Intelligence, 11 Mind
Tiz - 58 MP, 16 Strength, 7 Intelligence, 10 Mind

As a white mage:
Agnes - 126 MP, 7 Strength, 16 Intelligence, 18 Mind
Tiz - 110 MP, 9 Strength, 14 Intelligence, 17 Mind

(There are more stats, like dexterity, agility and others, but these seem to be the most relevant for their jobs. I assume - for example - dexterity and agility will be higher for a ninja.)

The only significant difference, as you can see, is between mana points. The other stats differ by one or two points, which isn't enough for me to lock either character into a job. Sure, ten MP seems like a lot, but I've only run out of mana once in the beginning.

With my love for RPGs like D&D, Pathfinder, Pokemon (card and video game), and even Magic the Gathering, I wanted to like Final Fantasy. I tried so many times over the last 25+ years, but I just couldn't get into them. Bravely Default is the JRPG I've been craving. It's everything Final Fantasy was/is and more. The annoyances that made Final Fantasy feel tedious and uninspiring for me have been rectified.

*Mini Game*

I've played this game for about a week and I only know of one mini game. I don't want to tell you what it is because it would be a major spoiler. It functions similarly to all of those farming and city building games in that you can set tasks that are completed in the background over time.

Try the demo, but don't rely on that alone. It'll give you a few jobs to switch between, you can try out the new battle system and the difficulty settings, but it sort of throws you into difficult situations.

Overall, Bravely Default is receiving a lot of hype and it is totally deserved... even if the name isn't too inspiring.
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on May 15, 2015
I've played dozens of JRPGs, and I would rank Bravely Default somewhere in the middle of the lot. It has a lot of things going for it, such as an excellent battle system and entertaining characters. However, I had no desire to follow the story and felt no hunger to know what happens next. The best JRPGs compel you to keep playing by having involving narratives and a sense of mystery. Bravely Default does not have this, and thus I can't really recommend it.
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on September 25, 2016
This game brings back a sense of nostalgia I haven't felt for a very long time. The way I like to refer to the play style is a Disgaea FF Tactics mix with TBC (Turn based combat). The VR intro is a lovely change of pace and though cheesy, sets a good idea that you're definitely in for something different. Like most Square Enix games, the game blends magic, swords, and tech (flying boats), and doesn't go over the top with it all. The story pulls you in and immerses you immediately! I found myself getting the first few starter classes and immediately grinding to level the job classes up to unlock more abilities. The combat starts off simple but later on gets a tad more sophisticated especially when you get more options through special attacks and village unlocks. The graphics are simple but effective! THE GAME STILL LOOKS GOOD, and hey we can't all expect 1080p to be a tell great game right? The game also introduces a new concept I wish more games would bring about, and brought about a few years back too! An encounter meter, you can choose to increase or completely turn off enemy encounters! This is especially great just before a boss battle that has been giving you hell and you need every last bit of mana for the fight! I am seriously impressed, when I initially looked at the game on the shelves at a local game store, I was not too impressed, my girlfriend insisted I get it, so I did and I regret not picking up the game sooner! As far as the story goes, you have an atypical group of people, the goody goody, the supportive friend, the pervert, and the straight forward one. The cut-scenes are informative and informational, and incase you happen to miss something there is a "Party Chat" after most scenes, so if you miss something, it will kind of be explained shortly after. The depth the characters display is kind of straight forward and the characters lack depth that makes it easy for you to care.. However, the forwardness of characters that speak their minds is oddly refreshing, and unlike most games doesn't feel forced or super lame when they blurt out the next line. The villains are corny and kind of cookie cutter but we can't all be winners, and hey, I got a job class to pick up! All in all, good game, wish it were a little cheaper but still, I would buy it again anyways.
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on April 19, 2014
I have a love/hate relationship with Bravely Default. My breakdown looks like this:

pros
-----
- Beautiful music & graphics. 3D is also well done.
- Some great mechanics in battle. I enjoy the brave and default mechanic, the Norende mechanic, as well as the job system.
- Provides a good challenge and an engaging story
- You can enable/disable random battles, which saves a lot of frustration

cons
-----
- The dungeons are downright boring. Every single dungeon in the game is exactly the same format, flat, and provide little variety.
- Tons of fetch quests. "Go here! Now...go there! Now, go back there!" This is lazy game design.
- Speaking of lazy game design, much of the game is driven by "Hey, this book I got says go there. So let's go there." Seriously, half of what you do in the game is because a book told you so, not because the story gives you any reason to do it.
- The "Nemesis" mechanic is completely broken. I'm level 45, and have only level 99 nemesis to fight in Norende.
- Some framerate issues with 3d enabled
- Ringabel is a womanizer and a perv. Yes, we get it. Every single scene throws this in your face.

One thing to keep in mind, is that this game is -not- easy. Taking a page from RPGs of old, bosses will often be much more difficult than the standard enemies you encounter before them would make you believe. Every boss will force you to stop and reconsider your strategy. Fortunately the game gives you enough options, with the diverse job and ability system, to prevent this from being a mindless chore.

Will you enjoy Bravely Default? Well, if you don't mind random battles and you enjoyed RPGs of old, then I think you will. There's a lot preventing this game from being one of the best, particularly the mind-numbing dungeons and some lazy game design, but that doesn't stop it from being a memorable adventure to partake in.
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on November 21, 2015
Very pleased with the game. The characters are great and the dialogue and interaction between them were very well done. This is even extended to the side characters not just the 4 heroes of light. The battle system is really good and the ability to mix and match job abilities is great. It allows for some creative mixes. The presentation is also very done, the music, graphics and art were all to my liking. The 3D is also well integrated and extends beyond the typical 3d dialogue boxes from a lot of 3DS games. The ending does get repetitive which is why I removed one star. On the bright side with each new cycle come's new dialogue for the existing characters in the world. This enables you to learn more about the story, characters and the world you are in. It also enables you to fight harder bosses and combination of bosses. The final repetitive cycle has a boss rush mode which is a great challenge for any of those up to it. The optional bosses in the Norende side game are also very challenging, I would say the most difficult by far. However one is just overly cheesy and I didn't like that. If I were to sum this game up in one line is that it's really a back to basics Final Fantasy, except its called Bravely Default.
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on May 8, 2015
I'm in love with this game. Unexpected gem I found here.
It is a Japanese RPG, expect a typical save the world story with all the cliches that japanese stories normally have. The art is from Akihiko Yoshida and will feel and look like Final Fantasy Tactics with some world structure that will remind you of Final Fantasy 9. It has a Job system similar to Tactics but the fights are much more like turned based random combats.

It has all the nostalgia elements in a very well crafter universe. If you enjoyed the PSX era with all the oriental RPGs, you will fall in love with this game.
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on April 9, 2014
What you need to do is download the demo to see if you will like it! Yes, I've bought the game and I'm waiting on it to come in the mail.

I downloaded the demo a few days ago to play after work between cleaning the house and whatnot. It was interesting at first, the first few battles I was suprised at how "hard" (just not easy) the enemies were and after just two or three battles I was mezmorized by how much more strategy this game required than most JRPGs. I was experimenting with different classes (they are not all unlocked at once) and I could not stop explaining things and telling my fiance about it. It's just so different than any game I've ever played; even though it's final fantasy-style, they have different flavors.

If you've read any other reviews or looked at their website at all, I'm sure you've read about the "Brave and Default" system. Personally I think this immediately makes the title cheesy but that doesn't matter. You can either choose to take a defense turn to stack "battle points" (how many attacks you can make per turn), go ahead and just do one action, or if the sitaution calls for it complete an action that puts you in the red. If you're negative, the game will not allow you to take a turn (even defensively, I believe) until you have battle points again. If you have stacked then you can unleash several attacks/actions at once. So you could cast a defensive spell, cure, and attack all in one turn. You could make them all attacks. OR, some actions require multiple points so you could use those without going negative. BP resets to 0 after each fight so sometimes it's not necessarily bad to go negative - if it's a hoard of weaker enemies and you have a high-cost attack that will wipe all of them at once, there is no reason to not use it - the negative points won't matter and you get bonuses for that kind of thing.

The thing about BP? The monsters get it too and their system works the same way. Which also means that some turns they just won't attack you at all and some turns they'll purposely go negative three and lay on the hurt. From what I can tell it's completely random and you have to always be prepared for the worst.

When you choose a class there is a passive ability (like a chance of countering attacks), a class ability (uses special attacks related to that job), then you have a chance to choose a job ability from one other class (so you could be a knight that also heals). Once you gain levels in specific classes you earn support abilities that you can assign and use no matter what class you are.

I don't know any story about the characters as of yet, but this game is beautiful and the characters are cute. You also get a front-facing view of them during battle, which I prefer. You can switch who leads your party (I haven't been able to figure out any other reason to "sort" the party, if there is please comment and let me know). So if you want a cutesy girl in a dress to lead your party, you can. If you want a rough guy in armor, you've got it.

When you're in town and aren't walking around, the camera zooms out completely to show the whole town. There is a map on the bottom screen and that helps you know where to go, but I honestly hate the zoom out feature. It shows off the beauty and it's gorgeous, but it gets annoying when I stop then want to go again and accidentally run into a person and can't go anywhere until I can actually see where I am.

As for coin, you get a decent amount from beating normal creatures (I have a suspicion it changes with how much damage you take, how many turns, etc) but it becomes a small amount pretty quickly once you start getting the ability to buy more expensive equipment. You will definitely need to keep upgrading equipment in this game because, like I said before, the monsters aren't playing around. You can't skip a few upgrades to store up cash unless you want to grind levels for hours and hours.

Now, as for story: The demo doesn't really have one. Random people send you on quests that all have to do with killing monsters, that's it. It's just a giant sandbox (literally) for you to get used to how the system works and how to strategize. Your levels and coin don't even transfer over to the real game (some things do, go look it up).
SO! That being said - you've read the reviews. They say that the story can be pretty bland. Some people don't mind, but it kills the game for others. I love a game with a good story but I've been playing games like Pokemon and Final Fantasy enough to not let it bother me.

Some people are complaining about grinding and time. If you're looking at rushing through a game, you probably aren't familiar with Square Enix. I have put 8+ hours into the Demo alone! I've read elsewhere that the game is pretty long and worth it, somewhere around 60+ hours.

Tl;Dr: Complex and fun class and battle system - if that keeps your interest then I would suggest it. Play the demo to see if you'll like it!

***Update***
Not much else to say, but I beat the demo last night. I put about 11 hours into it. In that time I mastered about 4 classes before the last boss, and with the experience from the last boss I mastered two more and gained two class levels on another character. Of course I can't use it, but it felt good. I highly suggest you complete the demo before you start the actual game, even if you've already got it sitting in your hands. You get bonus items for different things you complete during the demo that give you a headstart at the beginning of the actual game. Plus, it gives you a chance to figure out what you're doing before you jump into your game and then you won't be stumbling around trying to figure out which class-path you want to take.

Pro-Tip: This is a really long demo and Nintendo only lets you open demos 30 times. Just to be safe I only opened it once - closed my ds and left it on whenever I wasn't playing it, plugged it in when I felt I needed to. Turned off wi-fi and 3D to conserve battery usage. Sure enough, once I quit back to the menu when I was done it said I only opened it once. If you feel like you won't get long chances to play and have to do it in chunks, I would recommend this (though my battery might hate me now, it still lasts quite a while.)
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on December 14, 2014
Bravely Default is a hard game to rate, because it's such an inconsistent experience. The game plods a bit in the opening acts with a plot that relies heavily on JRPG tropes and little strategy involved in combat; however, the job system keeps things interesting enough to stick around, and the ability to modify the rate of random encounters and set the characters to fight battles automatically makes it easy to grind a few levels while watching TV (I'm not sure if this is a positive feature or a problem, but it makes it easier to rush through boring parts). Somewhere around the middle, the plot begins to twist in interesting ways that actually challenge some of those tropes, and combat starts to require a bit of planning and strategy. By this point, you will have unlocked most of the jobs available in the game, which allows for a great deal of customization. In the latter acts, the game gets extremely repetitive, and taking the time to complete both endings provides little payoff in the form of additional story. While I love the way that Bravely Default rehabilitates some gameplay elements from older Final Fantasy games, the 80+ hours of gameplay it took to get both endings was excessively padded with repeated boss battles. I was also bothered by the insertion of a "pay-to-play" system, which is the last thing I want to see in a mainstream RPG.
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on April 21, 2014
After Chapter Four, it constantly repeats itself until Chapter 8! What the heck? I was tedious at best. The ending is only a shocker if you have lived under a rock for years...This is not the best that Square Enix has to offer. I have no idea why everyone things this is so good...Its not. Now, it is not a total failure ...but it is annoying.
There are good parts of the game ...so it is not a total wash ...but I think they ruined it with constant repetition...I got to a point where I just could not wait for it to be over....and I put in 127 hours... I got to level 99 and got all the job asterisks...but in the end ..it was not worth that amount of time to play the game.
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on April 29, 2014
This game surpassed my expectations in every possible way. I am about 30~ hours of play time into this already (according to the save game time clock) and according to friends am not even half way.

The sheer depth of content here is astounding. There are the usual things that we have come to expect from SquareEnix like jobs and elemental damage weapons, magic etc, but then they do interesting things with Special attacks by weapon type, and some of the jobs are not classic at all (I don't want to spoil it for you).

The game itself starts very old school (think FF4 or 5) and then opens up to what feels to me like a combination between Golden Sun and the classic Final Fantasies with a few twists here and there.

The battle system (for which the game is seemingly named) has 2 interesting mechanics, Brave and Default, which allow you to store up extra moves, or move extra times per turn based on a BP counter which can go between 3 to -3 depending on what you are doing. At first this seemed a bit shallow to me, but turned out to be of MAJOR strategic importance, but also seemingly makes the battles with stronger opponents a bit more forgiving (I find myself spamming a lot of heals at the same time for example).

There is also the "social" aspects to the game, thankfully are not tacked on, and honestly don't even require you to have friends on your 3DS (although it makes it better). You have the ability to "Summon" a friends attack which is quite frankly the most game breaking mechanic I have seen in a long time, but at the same time, you can't use it that often (only one summon per friend per street pass basically) so it doesn't allow you to piggy back your super leveled friend to the final boss. What it does do is get you out of pinches now and again if you feel like you want to use it, and can often help with some of the battles that are REALLY tough.

If I had to make a single complaint about the game, it is that the battle difficulty does not progress linearly or even continuously. Some bosses (and I tried to do the side quests in order so far) are WAY harder than others, and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason as to which is which. You can fight a boss that will stomp you, and the immediate next major boss fight will be easy. But this is a small gripe on the whole.

This game is down right amazing, and is honestly the only 3rd party game I own on my 3DS. If you are a fan of classic RPG style games, or are looking for a nice long game with strategic depth you can sink your teeth into for a long time (and have already beaten Fire Emblem a few times) this is a must own.
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