After viewing last week’s Nintendo Direct Mini, I decided to try out the Bravely Default II Demo. I somehow missed both previous games in the series, despite owning a 3DS and being a fan of RPGs. So I decided to give this game a look and see if the game is any good.
To start, this demo has a two noteworthy features. First, the story here is supposedly a “separate story” from the main game. The second is that it is harder than what you might find in the main game. My impression is that it is noticeably harder than the early parts of the full game, but since the game is not out yet, that remains to be seen.
Story and setting wise, the game closely resembles the early Final Fantasy games. It features four adventurers trying to replace the four elemental crystals back to their rightful place. Gameplay wise, it also resembles some early Final Fantasy games as well, with a job system that you can customize your characters with.
This game allows each character to pick a primary job, and a secondary job. The primary job determines the character’s stats, some passive abilities, and what abilities the character is trying to learn. The secondary job adds the already mastered actions from that job to their current job. You can also assign passive actions from any job to make your characters stronger.
The main twist to these classic RPG systems is the Brave and Default systems. Your characters gets brave points (or BP) to spend to gain additional actions. You can use up to 3 BP in a turn for four actions of your choice. What is unusual about this system is that you can go into negative values of BP (down to -3 points). If the character has less than zero BP, they cannot act until they get back to zero BP. They get back 1 BP per turn in this state automatically so that they aren’t forced into inaction forever.
You also start most battles with 0 BP, with the main way to get more (up to 3 BP) by using the defend command. You only get 1 BP per defend, so if you are trying to build up a lot for emergencies, the battle will slow down dramatically. Additionally, enemies run on the same system.
I found that this system took a fair amount of learning to get the hang of. You can easily take a lot of extra damage in almost any fight. It was initially harder to figure when to use extra points, or to defend. The added difficulty made learning the system quite tricky too. I had to fight easy enemies quite a bit for the first hour or two before I was ready for the only dungeon.
The first few times I entered this dungeon, I was wiped out in the first battle or two. I needed to level up enough times to make the weaker enemies run away from me in the main world map area before I was somewhat ready for this challenge.
I did make it to the dungeon’s boss fight after that. I found that this fight was an extremely lengthy battle, with it taking about an hour to defeat him. I had to poison him to stand any chance, as the slowness of the BP system reared its ugly head. It turns out this boss could heal when using a particular attack, and he was recovering more health than I was doing to him. Sure, there was some strategy here, but the pacing became slow as I had to decide when to defend, and I had to watch the boss do the same. I found myself trying to build up as much BP as possible so that I could keep my healer characters ready at any time.
One of the things I do like about RPGs is that boss fights can take longer, but this is way too lengthy, as most of my play sessions with any game is about an hour at a time. I hope the final version of this game features a much smoother difficulty curve, and of course, more jobs to experiment with. This demo has freelancer, white mage, black mage, monk, vanguard, and after beating the boss, thief. It was enough to give me an idea of how the game works, but not enough to scratch the itch for a new RPG.
There were some user interface issues, such as having to hold a certain button to view certain info on some screens. It would have been more effective to press the button to toggle this information on or off. All in all, I am curious about what this game has to offer, but for now I am skeptical as to how well it works in practice. Most players don’t like skipping turns in games, and I’m one of them, even though I like turn based games. I look forward to trying out the full game when it comes out.
And that was what I thought of the Bravely Default II demo. What did you think of this demo? What does this demo do that the previous two games don’t do? Is there a feature that the previous games have that isn’t in this demo? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this preview, then click that like button and share on social media. You can also subscribe via email or WordPress to keep up with That’s All Games. Until next time, have fun gaming!