First Look Review: Bravely Default (Nintendo 3DS) – UPDATE

Update 2/15/2014

I bought the full game last night via the Nintendo eShop on my Red 3DS.

The game itself was released a week earlier. I held off getting it because I didn’t want to get bottlenecked by the thousands trying to buy the game from the eShop. The only thing I can compare it to is when Nintendo initially planned to release the Poke Bank App on the day after Christmas and the servers slowed to a crawl due to all the traffic (LOL!).

See below for my review of the Demo and the game’s core mechnaics, which are unchanged in the full version of the game. I didn’t update the text to reflect the passage of time in case you’re wondering.

For those looking to buy this game, I HIGHLY reccommend you clear the Demo first. Like both 3DS Entrian Oddyssey games and both Denpa Men games, data  from the demo is transferred to the full version when you start up the game. In the case of Bravely Default you get some gear, items and the villagers from Norende. Let’s see…I had 22 when I got the full game so I had 23 Villagers to start (you get one to start with). The more villagers you have, the faster Norende gets rebuilt. In the full version it takes WAY longer to upgrade/build places so the more, the better. Again, I have two 3DS systems so…yeah.

Let’s see…Fire Emblem Awakening and Shin Megami Tensei IV were the must-have RPGs of 2013. Bravely Default easily takes that honor for 2014. The ability to customize your experience from difficulty to encounter rate and beyond makes it the most complex yet simple RPG I’ve played in a while.

Overall I give the full version of Bravely Default an 8/10. I don’t see it necessary to give it a higher score than that since I only just started playing. My rating probably won’t change even with time but if it does, I will update this post.

See below for more info on the Demo and the Brave/Defaul Mechanics.

It’s the most anticpated RPG on the 3DS of the New Year.

As I mentioned on Thursday, the Demo was released on the 3DS eShop.  In a bold move, it was the only eShop title released lask week. My thoughts on that aside, I’m not exaggerating when I say lots of folks in North America have been eagerly awaiting the release of this Demo.  I was not one of them. Even so, I decided to try it anyway.

For those who don’t know, the game is already out in Japan and Europe. It’s nothing new: Square-Enix did the same thing with Heroes of Ruin two years ago. The difference is this time, Bravely Default is in fact the spiritual sequel to the Nintendo DS game Four Heroes of Light: Final Fantasy. Having played said game myself and as said by some looking forward to this game, it’s believed the name Final Fantasy was intentionally left out not just to sell the game as a standalone game but also because of the battle mechanics that is this game’s namesake.

If you ever played Final Fantasy III (either released version) it plays like that for the most part. The difference is the Braving (Acting multiple times in the same turn) or Defaulting (Guarding and saving turns). When you Brave, you can do up to 4 actions in the same turn: Attack 4 times (or more with certain classes or abilities), Heal 4 times, Cast Spells 4 times, use a class Ability 4 times or a combination of all. When you Default, you guard for that turn but also generate a Brave Point (Sometimes more with certain class abilities) which you cash in with Brave. In the Demo you can stock up to 3 Brave Points in a row, allowing you to make 4 moves in the same turn before enemies can do anything. Be warned, enemies and bosses can Brave and Default too so be careful. It’s a general rule of thumb to make sure you don’t start your next point with a a negative Brave Point value. In the demo there are a few Class Abilities that cost one Brave Point so it might be a good idea to Default a turn or two so you can move on your next turn.

It took me 8 hours to clear the demo, which was two hours less than the advertised amount of time. While I was playing through the demo I hung around Gamefaqs’ Bravely Default Message Board. As an aside, much of what’s posted there is either garbage or folks asking the same questions over and over again. Anyway, the two biggest complaints I’ve been seeing from those who are playing the Demo (Remember: The full game is already out in Europe and Japan) are the game’s difficulty and Streetpass, which is needed for a game mechanic. The funny thing about the difficulty is I’ve only been seeing that complaint from those who CHOOSE to play the Demo on Hard. Monsters hit HARDER, you don’t do as much damage and yet folks complain about how “hard” hard mode is? I’m sure Hard Mode in general (I mean in regards to other video games) isn’t new to them so whatever. I only had one character get KO’d on Hard Mode and revived them after the battle.

That only happened once.

The Streetpass problem no longer became a problem for me when I got my second 3DS last fall. The problem with Streetpass outside Japan: Most 3DS/2DS owners do not live in areas with other 3DS/2DS owners or rather, they’re the only person in their area who has their particular Streetpass enabled game. The majority of 3DS/2DS owners who use GameFAQS and other video game sites exchange Friend Codes over the internet to play with each other (and by the way Nintendo advises against exchanging friend codes this way). Anyway, these are the only real challenges folks are having with the Demo and the full game.

The demo allows you to transfer certain data to the full game depending on how much of the Demo you clear. This is of course assuming you decide to get the full version, which will be released in North America on February 7.  A common arguement I keep seeing from folks in answer to those who say they’re not getting the full game or didn’t like the demo after trying it is “This game is awesome”, “You don’t like RPGs” or something similar.

Again, those are Gamers on the Internet for ya. Much of it is also fanboyism and veiled trolling too (see: Pokemon or any MMO fansite) but anyway, yeah. The game is a good game don’t get me wrong. The Streetpass mechanic I mentioned earlier? It requires you to keep the GAME on in sleep mode for you to unlock the shops in Norende Village. This isn’t a dealbreaker for me but with the backlog of 3DS games I have right now, I’m glad it’s a handheld game and I do have my 3DS in Sleep mode with game running when I’m not using it anyways.

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This entry was posted in Blog, Brendan Aurabolt, Nintendo 3DS, Preview, RPG, Serene Adventure, Video Games and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to First Look Review: Bravely Default (Nintendo 3DS) – UPDATE

  1. brendan2k5 says:

    Reblogged this on Aurabolt's Game Blog and commented:

    I got the full game yesterday. I’ve updated this post so I’m Reblogging it.

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