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Platform: Nintendo 3DS|Edition: Standard|Change
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Showing 1-10 of 501 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 611 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 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 March 24, 2015
Really solid RPG. Only downside is it gets really repetitive towards the end. I won't say why, but lets just say you might need to do the same thing you've done before a couple of times. I haven't even beaten it to tell you the truth. Even so, spent many hours enjoying it. Combat is satisfying if you're into the traditional final fantasy style of RPG. Class system is reminiscent of Final Fantasy 3. You can switch your "job" (class) in between combat and use abilities from another class that you've leveled. This lets you create a sort of custom class of sorts. Very easy to create a party with members that compliment one another's abilities. You'll need this flexibility and tactical arranging of abilities later on, as enemies can get pretty nasty. Worth picking up.
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on March 7, 2017
Great game.
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on April 7, 2016
Picture shows on the website is "US version" but the actual delivered product is "Canadian version" with "Play in English and French" sign right on the front cover of the game, which made me extremely disappointed because I would like to add this game to my collection.
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on August 4, 2014
The game starts out strong, then after the first chapter a pattern of disappointment emerges. The starting city is great, with NPC characters that have backstory and the fighting centers around a reasonable conflict. The villains are goofy but at least understandably so. Then the next city is shallow, with faceless NPCs everywhere except for ONE with a vague story of his own, and an excessively cartoonish villain. The next is even worse, with no NPCs with stories aside from the most basic characterization to drive a single sidequest. The villains have absolutely no reason to act the way they do, and this pattern continues in every single plotline. The cutscenes begin to contradict themselves. The narrative loses focus. It's as if the writers just gave up and decided to throw out as many atrocities as they could to manipulate the player's emotions. It does not work. The crimes the villains commit are so outlandish and unjustified that you just feel like there must be some disease infecting the brains of the enemy officers to make them all crazy or stupid. Then the predictable twist happens, and the late game involves revisiting the same dungeons like five times over.

There are like ten songs in the game. A couple of them are great. Most of them are average, and are reused enough that you'll likely get sick of them by the time you're halfway through the game.

Part of the way through the game it becomes obvious that the BP system is easily broken, with certain ability combos resulting in your team being able to attack the enemy without reprisal. As for the early game, it can be breezed through simply by unlocking an advanced weapon in the village and grinding a little bit of money to purchase it.

In conclusion, Bravely Default is a good concept driven into the ground by awful writing and lazy design.
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on May 4, 2014
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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on December 27, 2016
Not worth it
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on April 29, 2014
My god...the worst ending to a game ever. They expect you to do the same 4 dungeons, not once, not twice, not three times, not 4 times....well i gotta be honest...after the 4th time I quit...I was not going to do it again.....57hrs down the drain.......if you dont count the horrible, horrible end game, it is a fun game with a great battle system. challenge is just right, and its fun to grind out the different jobs....but my god the end.....WTF happened to the end??????? they are just lazy. make a good ending you lazy ****ers!
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