Bravely Default 2 Review [Switch]

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Bravely Default 2 Review [Switch] – is essentially a flawless JRPG that is only held back by its subpar storytelling

For starters, classic JPRGs have always been my jam. So, my Bravely Default 2 review is going to sway positively. I have been itching to find one to satisfy that need. With that said Bravely Default did everything the original series did well with slightly updated graphics. You start the story as Seth, an amnesiac seafarer, who soon gets entangled in Gloria’s, princess of Musa, quest to restore glory to her kingdom by finding the four elemental crystals. Sound like a typical JRPG story, well it is. But the story does get a little life through the voice acting of most of the cutscenes. The story is interesting enough to keep you engaged and has two other support characters in Adelle, a mysterious gun for hire, and her employer Elvis, an asterisk scholar. You follow their journey around the 5 different kingdoms in a race against Adam, leader of the kingdom of Holograd, and a mysterious woman who are also trying to assembly the four crystals. While I did enjoy parts of the story such as the church arch in Rimedhal, overall, the story was essential cookie cutter and you could have replaced any JPRG story arch and it would have played generally the same.

But where Bravely Default 2 really shines is the gameplay. The core customization is pretty standard in terms of equipment and accessories. But the real stars are the asterisks that you find along your journey, they act as the core job system as each one you get throughout the journey will give you access to a new job with individualized talents. To compound this, you are able to stack a main and sub job. Simply put the combinations are limitless, as each class alters your stats and pairs differently with every sub-job. To further the depth of gameplay each class gains passive abilities that can be equipped to each character, with each character having a possibility of 5 total passive buffs. The game truly promotes testing different builds and maximize your build for the grueling boss fights. As of the time of writing this review, I have 16 jobs available and none of my characters have mastered all of them. A great example of the progression in the game is that magic initially is not very cost-efficient, but when you get the red mage class and unlock the passive “magic critical” the damage output on mage builds is exponentially better.

Beyond the story, there are also two other features that I really enjoyed. B and D, their in-game card/board game, is SO addicting. Unlocked through a side quest in the second kingdom, it focuses on dominating a board by surrounding your opponents’ squares on a 5×5 grid. Then once you beat them you can take some of their cards and make your own deck of 6 cards stronger. While it is essentially a mini-game, the depth and strategy are highly addicting and the urge of completing the card collection to unlock the freelancer card’s hidden ability really makes it an enjoyable experience all on its own. The other feature that I really enjoyed is the world bosses that are scattered throughout the world map. They are essential boss-level versions of standard enemies, but with a few exceptions are extremely hard when compared to the story bosses. I found the grind and shuffle of strategies to beat these world bosses highly enjoyable. Finding that perfect combination of abilities and jobs to defeat a world boss scratched that JPRG itch. To top it off they often dropped elite gear that could only be accessed early though defeating them.

Lastly, the mechanics of the games are solid and operate just like any other JPRG. Run around in the overworld, run into an enemy, enter turn-based combat. Bravely Default 2 does include the titular ability to “Brave”, or mortgage a future turn to act more than once, and “Default”, or to store a turn for future use. You are also allowed to play the battles at up to 4 times speed, which really comes in handy for those bosses that have 100k+ health. While a new spell is cool to see for the first time, after the 1000th time, I don’t need to see it in real-time. Thank you, Square Enix. As for the dungeons, there are a lot of quality-of-life adjustments that Bravely Default 2 has that I as a player greatly appreciate. For starters, monsters will approach you if they are stronger or run away if you are too strong. This is great pacing for your levels as you will never reach a boss too under-leveled. They also include checkpoints that take you back to the entrance of a dungeon, which is my absolute favorite feature.

All in all, Bravely Default 2 was exactly what I expected, nothing more nothing less and that’s a good thing. It has flawless gameplay and is really only held back by its subpar storytelling. For anyone that enjoys the grind of a classic JRPG I would highly recommend it; my Bravely Default 2 review gets an 8.5/10.

Bravely Default 2 ReviewBravely Default 2 is available now on the Nintendo Switch

 

Bravely Default 2 Review
  • 6/10
    Story - 6/10
  • 10/10
    Gameplay - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Mechanics - 10/10
8.5/10

TLDR

All in all, Bravely Default 2 was exactly what I expected, nothing more nothing less and that’s a good thing. It has flawless gameplay and is really only held back by its subpar storytelling. For anyone that enjoys the grind of a classic JRPG I would highly recommend it.

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