Video Game Scouting Report: Bravely Default

Published: Feb 20, 2014 22:52pm EST
By TuckerBlairON, Sports Writer for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Feb 20, 2014 @ 11:47pm EST


System: 3DS

Genre: RPG

Publisher: Square-Enix

Price: $35-40 new on Amazon

There has been depression and anger over the path that the Final Fantasy franchise has traveled over the past decade. While the franchise has always been known as one to evolve and try new things, I truly felt as if they had lost their way with the latest in FF13. So of course, they have reverted to creating spin-offs and sequels and even a remastered version of FF10 (which we should all totally be cool with. It's a great game). So the general question was something like this:

Is Final Fantasy done? 

Yes and no. While there may not be any "true" Final Fantasy games created in the future, a tremendous replacement.has arrived - from Square Enix itself. Allow me to take you through the wonderful world of Bravely Default!

Since I am a baseball guy, this "scouting report" will be based off the 20-80 scouting scale:

Story/Characters - 60/80 grade

With every Final Fantasy comes a long, eventful journey. A strong story is an absolute MUST in any RPG and Bravely Default does not disappoint. The story begins with the small town of Norende being swallowed into the abyss. The entire city is literally destroyed and Tiz sees his entire life perish before his eyes. I cried...a little. The rest of the story involves Tiz and company in the search for the four crystals to help restore the land. And with every RPG, some crazy shit happens and things get wild.

There are four main characters, and each one has a unique personality and are quite fun to follow. Tiz the farm boy, Agne's the Vestal of Wind, Ringabel the mysterious man without a memory, and Edea the daughter of the Grand Marshall of Eternia.  

- Tiz Arrior is the protagonist of the story, although he is probably the worst character. I would grade him 50, or average. He is your typical protagonist with a tragic event in his history and is looking to rebuild and fight for what he lost. You've seen this before, but he does have some funny moments that absolutely make up for his rather overplayed role.

- Agne's Oblige is the female protagonist and largely feels like a Yuna (FF10). She is pure and honest at all times, often making for some funny moments. While the pureness is a bit overwhelming at points, it is often preceded by comical scenes where the story is truly able to exemplify the purity into a hilarious manner. Her character growth is rather noticeable and she pairs very well with Tiz and grades out as a 55, solid-average

- Ringabel is an 80 grade character. He is probably one of the best character's that Square Enix has produced in the last decade (I would put him top 3 all time). Ringabel is mysterious and has no memory of his past. However, he has this odd book that tells him everything the party of four does on their journey. The team follows this book more often than not, especially when they are lost on what should be their next step. Overall, Ringabel kicks some serious ass. He is essentially a better version of Vincent from FF8, except Ringabel is even funnier. He brings a witty and snarky attitude to the story and often becomes the source of every joke. Man, every game needs a Ringabel, even if he is borderline creepy with some of his obsessions.Edea Lee

- Edea Lee is the final character. She is a strong-willed girl that hails from the land of Eternia. In Bravely Default, Eternia is quickly made known as the Antagonist area of the game. Edea shortly learns that her homeland is full of idiots and joins the party. She is a perfect sidekick to Ringabel for comedic relief. If he wasn't so damn good, she would be an all-star character as well. As it stands, she is still a solid 60.

Gameplay - 70/80 grade

Ah, the real importance of any video game. Square Enix used the same shell and lore from Final Fantasy 5 and slapped it into Bravely Default. Boring? Hell no, it is terrific and even improved. I am all for a company using a former shell and improving it drastically. Each spell, skill and ability in Bravely Default is useful in some manner and at some point in the game.There is also a job system similar to FF Tactics and the aforementioned FF5. There are 24 jobs, ranging from your typical Black Mage, White Mage, Thief and Monk, to new classes such as Pirate, Vampire and Merchant. If you love Final Fantasy, this is the same style...with a few amazing twists.

The big change is the Bravely/Default battle system. Bravely allows for a player to attack up to four times a turn. Default allows for a player to "block" and build up turns. Essentially, you can alter how many times a character attacks per turn, and the Bravely/Default system allows for some extremely interesting gameplay. Bosses often become tactful and difficult, but not to the point where you feel the need to chuck your DS across the room. This new system allows for innovative battles that I have not seen in many other RPG's. There is also a "Bravely Second" which is essentially stopping time in battle and allowing your character's to use more actions. 

Overall, the gameplay is whatever pace you want it to be. It can be very fast, or you can casually play through a battle. It allows for quick training and long bosses - if that is what you want!

Music/Voicing - 70/80 grade

It should be known that the 3DS has rather small speakers. While they are not awful, it does not allow for music to be enjoyed to the fullest extent. And that is a problem, because Bravely Default has an amazing soundtrack. The music in the game is harmonious and helps absorb the player into the world of Bravely Default. The boss battle tunes are epic, and the music even alters towards the events that are currently happening! Overall, the music is plus-plus and truly a masterpiece. I wouldn't expect anything less from Square though, as music has always been their strong point.

The voicing in the game is solid, if not spectacular. Oddly enough, the main characters (besides Ringabel) are some of the WORST voices in the game. Even then, I do not mind their voiceovers at all. I am very picky when it comes to how a character sounds, and it annoys me when a voice does match an appearance. There are only a few characters (out of a hundred) that I felt that way about. It is unrealistic for anyone to hit 1.000 for their career.

FINAL GRADE: 70/80 Grade; Plus-Plus

Overall, Bravely Default is a tremendous revival for the JRPG franchise. Interested in a turn-based combat RPG with old joys and new tools? Bravely Default is your game. Expect to pump 60+ hours into this baby, as the game also features many side-quests and games that make for a fun experience. And of course, you can also interact with other players via online.

I can't wait to play the next Final Fa...erm...I mean, Bravely Default!


Comments (1)

  • Lance Rinker   Feb 21, 2014 @ 12:17AM
    Jerk. This review makes me want to go out and get the game and a 3DS. I already spent money on an XBox One and am trying to budget for a PS4. -

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