Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Oasis Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bravely Default, Gravely Grinding, 11 April 2014
This review is from: Bravely Default (3DS) (Video Game)
Minor spoilers may follow; no specific plot details are revealed.

Bravely Default is a love letter to the JRPG titles of old. With crystals, mages and Phoenix Downs abound, four unlikely heroes set off on an adventure that spans their entire world. Friendships are formed, conflicts are caused and old men make creepy sexual advances on pre-teen girls in this 35 hour adventure.

For the most part, Bravely Default does what it does very well. It's unique combat system, based on withdrawing turns in order to gain defense bonuses/additional attacks later makes strategy a key part of every major fight. The incredibly diverse job system enables you to combine an all manner of spells and abilities. Ever wanted to be a black mage vampire? A knight pirate? Let it be so, as the game lets you take on two job roles at once. And it welcomes your experimentation, too. In fact, it encourages it with its varied boss fights, where your enemies also have access to the Brave/Default system.

Except for, of course, Chapters 5-8, which is home to some of the laziest game design I have ever seen. These chapters have you essentially repeating what you spent the first 30 hours completing, albeit at a somewhat faster rate. You repeat this not once but four additional times.
Four times must you do the same arbitrary, convoluted and wholly unnecessary sequences again with no alterations, and many will argue that it is for the "sake of the story". There are so many better ways that this could have been handled, in my opinion.
Better still, Silcon Studio even enabled a way to let you skip all of this repetitive content and head straight to a final boss which, however, does not net you the "true ending". That didn't bother me, though. I skipped the laborious grinding, beat the "fake" boss and watched the real ending on YouTube. I wish I didn't have to do that, but I am not going to grind my way through identical content four more times just to obtain closure on the storyline.
This is a huge focus of this review because we are in the year 2014 now. Games have evolved beyond the simple grind mechanics of the 90's, this is no longer acceptable. The JRPG must eschew many of its previous conventions and take on new, modern practices. Bravely does do this to some extent, such as allowing you to adjust the difficulty and alter the random encounter rate in very specific increments. However, these are additions to archaic mechanics; a desperate attempt to modernise something that simply needs to be removed.

Bravely Default does so much right with its unique take on turn-based warfare and its brilliant job system. Its music, too, is breathtaking and fitting at every turn. Revo did a great job there. The visuals are crisp and monsters are beautifully animated and detailed. A great welcome back for the classic turn based RPG. Everything before the endgame content would be an easy 4 stars.
However, for everything it does well, it takes another two steps back by throwing in the typical JRPG trope of an endless grind for the sake of padding out the adventure. Nintendo's "The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword" (2011) was guilty of a similar crime, too, having you walk back and forth collecting items for no real rhyme or reason. The option is there for you to either embrace this "content" or skip it entirely, but this does not change the fact that it never should have been included in the first place.

Bravely Second will be out soon. Let's hope that they continue to push this genre forwards, not backwards.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Sep 2015 11:37:06 BDT
Billy Bob says:
I'll second this and say: The grinding really wouldn't have been too bad. There are skills and systems in place to minimise button and choice selection necessary to grind. But this repeat of the story line, with so few changes, while an interesting concept at first, made me put the game down for more than 4 months, only picking it up briefly to only hit another repeat.

This grind makes it more difficult to recommend, but given the choice, I would put down my 80 hours again. The game is not for everyone though. At least you can have fun creating different strategic team combinations.

It is SUCH a shame, as the rest of the game is so gloriously well designed. You can even use original JP voice actors and even voices in 3 or 4 other languages, which is great! More games should allow you to do this.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details