Bravely Default 2 Impressions - Default JRPG

CriticalGaming

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The first Bravely Default on the 3DS was a pretty nice return to the standard JRPG formula that many fans have been asking for ever since Japan has gotten board with turn-based combat, with the only exception being Pokemon games. BD managed to utilize the turn-based standard for JRPG's and add systems that allowed the player to make the games faster and more streamlined, allowing for a smooth and quick JRPG experience. With options to increase random encounters you could control and speed up your grinding, or you could turn off the random encounters entirely and speed up the story progression. Combine that with a Brave and Default system that allowed the user to store and spend extra actions into a single turn, you had a lot of control and strategy in combat.

Bravely Default 2 does basically the same thing. You and your party go on a journey to reclaim the four crystals of the elements to save the world. Basically Final fantasy 1, but along the way you will find Asterisks that act as job crystals allowing you to unlock new character classes along the way. Each character had a core leveling system which increases base stats and hit points, on top of a job experience point system in which the characters will level up whatever job they have equipped which will unlock new abilities as the character gets better at the job. It's a very standard JRPG system, surrounded by a very standard JRPG story.

In fact in a lot of ways Bravely Default 2 just feels like the most basic JRPG you could make. The Default setting for a JRPG if you will. It doesn't do anything special really, maintaining the Brave and Default system from the previous games as the only real quirk in battle, but otherwise it's just like playing a standard JRPG.

And for a lot of JRPG fans, that might be just perfect. Like a game you can play while watching Netflix or something and you don't really have to think too much about it.

For those of you looking for something interesting or different about Bravely Default 2, forget it. The characters are fine, but they aren't special in any way and none of them particularly stand out thus far. They are what you'd expect from average JRPG characters.

I think the biggest issue for me is that Bravely Default 2 is a good game. The JRPG's systems are the same systems that I've loved from many many other JRPG's before. It plays well. However the game doesn't have any of the frills that make you feel invested or eager to see what happens next. There are plenty of other JRPG's these days like Persona 5, Yakuza 7, that still use the turn-based combat people like, but also provide the added benefit of incredible settings, style, characters, and story. That's what Bravely Default 2 seems to be missing at least in the first 4 hours, it could be a slow burning story but that still doesn't negate the bland characters of which I've met 5 so far.

I don't know what else to say really. It's fine. It's like the Vanilla ice cream of JRPG's. And that might be a good thing. I'm enjoying it enough but I worry about getting bored half way through.
 

Dreiko

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Bravely series scratches the itch of the 16 bit era job based FF games so it's good to have a game like that. Same deal with dragon quest as well. I expect once the story gets going and a lot of weird stuff starts happening all over again as well as once you get more jobs to mix and match it'll get a lot more interesting as well.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Bravely series scratches the itch of the 16 bit era job based FF games so it's good to have a game like that. Same deal with dragon quest as well. I expect once the story gets going and a lot of weird stuff starts happening all over again as well as once you get more jobs to mix and match it'll get a lot more interesting as well.
I was poking around online and while there are a lot of jobs, including ones that aren't typical RPG jobs, the general mood is that the best games that still your traditional JRPG jobs like Monk/mages/warrior etc. People are saying that the new jobs are nifty, but don't perform very well in terms of battle usefulness. Though it is also possible that people haven't figured out how to break those jobs and destroy the game yet.
 

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Usually the really good combinations only come up when you have all the high level skills learned and can combine them in unique ways so yeah it'll take a while.
 

CriticalGaming

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Usually the really good combinations only come up when you have all the high level skills learned and can combine them in unique ways so yeah it'll take a while.
Yeah and to be fair most jrpg's tend to be much slower burns before things really kick off. And fundamentally Bravely Default 2 is fine, it is a JRPG and is everything you would expect from a jrpg from 1994.

I guess where i feel bummed is that there has been no innovation on the formula to mix things up with this game. Bravely Default on the DS worked because it was a DS game that people didnt expect much from.

But much in the same way Pokemon fell short, Bravely Default 2 doesnt seem to be taking advantage of the extra power it has on the Switch, the graphics are higher res but much the same as the DS game, and there are no changes or extras to the battle formula. Which was a good battle system to start with, it just would have been nice to see updates to it in some way.

And remember it is a 60 dollar game this time, not a 40 dollar one, so i think it is fair to expect a little more.
 

Drathnoxis

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The original Bravely Default had one of the most mindlessly repetitive stories I've seen in a game.

How are the microtransactions in 2?
 

meiam

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I never played default but I played second and I was unimpressed, it wasn't a bad game but it didn't do enough for me to forgive a million little annoyance. My main one was the game was way too easy on normal but on hard the diffuclty curve was complete crap. For example, one of the easiest boss in the game is a really important character (story wise), this is followed almost immediately by the hardest boss in the game (and by quite a bit) but that fight is completely incidental to the story. This is compounded by limit break being looked beyond an annoying streetpass system, meaning it might as well not be there.

Jobs diversity was nice, but it took forever to level up jobs, so I spend most of the game using the same one since most of the good ability were locked at higher level. I wish they used a job system like FFT where you can quickly level job up but need to unlock most of them.

Story wasn't very interesting either, inoffensive generic stuff populated by bland character.
 

CriticalGaming

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I never played default but I played second and I was unimpressed, it wasn't a bad game but it didn't do enough for me to forgive a million little annoyance. My main one was the game was way too easy on normal but on hard the diffuclty curve was complete crap. For example, one of the easiest boss in the game is a really important character (story wise), this is followed almost immediately by the hardest boss in the game (and by quite a bit) but that fight is completely incidental to the story. This is compounded by limit break being looked beyond an annoying streetpass system, meaning it might as well not be there.

Jobs diversity was nice, but it took forever to level up jobs, so I spend most of the game using the same one since most of the good ability were locked at higher level. I wish they used a job system like FFT where you can quickly level job up but need to unlock most of them.

Story wasn't very interesting either, inoffensive generic stuff populated by bland character.
I will say that leveling the jobs is a lot easier this time around.

Jobs cap at level 12 and i had my current jobs at level 8 before the first boss.
 

Dreiko

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Usually the way things go the last few levels require a lot more exp than the early ones, but yeah you do wanna switch jobs often in this, I can see it getting stale otherwise. If you manage your party properly you can usually offset having one member with a weaker job for a bit and you just kinda keep doing that until you have every job leveled up somewhat with at least one member.

Not sure how it works in 2 in particular but I never had an issue with being unable to beat stuff due to trying too many jobs.


Also, having chars specialize in specific type of jobs helps since those usually pair well together. So having someone be the mage and another the healer and another the attacker and another the tank, usually stuff like monk and dark knight pair super well together, as well as all the various colors of mages and whatnot.
 
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CriticalGaming

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Usually the way things go the last few levels require a lot more exp than the early ones, but yeah you do wanna switch jobs often in this, I can see it getting stale otherwise. If you manage your party properly you can usually offset having one member with a weaker job for a bit and you just kinda keep doing that until you have every job leveled up somewhat with at least one member.

Not sure how it works in 2 in particular but I never had an issue with being unable to beat stuff due to trying too many jobs.


Also, having chars specialize in specific type of jobs helps since those usually pair well together. So having someone be the mage and another the healer and another the attacker and another the tank, usually stuff like monk and dark knight pair super well together, as well as all the various colors of mages and whatnot.
I think I'm just about finished with this game Dreiko, to be honest with you.

The game is very badly paced in terms of your character progression. And the grind (even for a guy who likes to grind like me) is unreasonable as hell. The problem is that you can be powerful enough to basically wipe out every group of enemies in your current dungeon in one turn, only to get your ass crushed by the boss unreasonably. There is a metric on the overworld map in which the enemies will actively run away from you if you are over leveled for them. And you can go through the entire dungeon with every enemy running from you, only to have the boss kill one of your characters in a single turn.

The difficulty spike of the boss fights (of which I've done 3-4) is stupid. And the grind to overcome them is also stupid, because your exp required to level up skyrockets very quickly and the enemies (even in large groups) give very little overall exp, so it's just a long and easy grind to get over the hump of a boss that isn't even proportionally strong for the dungeon he is in.

The story is boring and plain, the combat is tedious, and the grind is unreasonable.

I think that'll do it for me, if I'm honest.
 

Dreiko

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That to me just sounds like you need to have some specific strategy. I don't remember ever having to grind in these games lol (and I generally played with average encounter rates). Maybe you need a specific skill leveled to deal with whatever the game is throwing at you, which is an indication of it being better to level various jobs to have more tools to pick from, instead of focusing on only a couple ones.


Like, do you have a sort of knight/paladin type job with a cover skill that lets em tank? If your squishy chars die in 1 hit it sounds like you need that sort of strategy for this fight.
 

CriticalGaming

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That to me just sounds like you need to have some specific strategy. I don't remember ever having to grind in these games lol (and I generally played with average encounter rates). Maybe you need a specific skill leveled to deal with whatever the game is throwing at you, which is an indication of it being better to level various jobs to have more tools to pick from, instead of focusing on only a couple ones.


Like, do you have a sort of knight/paladin type job with a cover skill that lets em tank? If your squishy chars die in 1 hit it sounds like you need that sort of strategy for this fight.
You might be right, but I am early I haven't unlocked many jobs so i don't think that is the case. Unless the early game balancing is just fucked. I have a sword and board job at max level, but it seems to specialize in delaying the opponent's turns rather than protecting the party itself. The two mages (black and white) and the monk are all just fodder as the last boss was literally able to one-shot the healer and black mage in one default turn.

The only way I've managed to survive is to completely disregard the brave and default mechanic and just tackle the bosses one-turn at a time, which imo is poorly design because it negates your main combat gimmick. This is the only way i've been able to ensure that I have a chance for the healer to heal someone every turn, because bosses are even able to nearly two shot the tank job with ease.

Again this is a problem solved with grinding, but I don't think the level the game wants me to be is a reasonable level.

I don't mind challenging bosses, but having the boss instantly gib a caster job with bad luck doesn't make for a challenge, it makes for "did you grind enough and is RNG being a cocksucker?"

I even read an article that said that bosses are big jumps in difficulty for no reason. It doesn't make sense that you can wipe the floor in 1-turn all the enemies in the dungeon but the boss of that same dungeon can wipe your party in a turn as well if it wants.

Frankly when it all boils down to it. The story isn't fun, the combat isn't fun, leveling feels unrewarding, and the bosses are a pain in the ass. I dunno, this feels like a disappointment. Especially considering that the original game and even Bravely Second were a lot of fun.

Maybe it's the characters. The 3DS games weren't steller jrpg's in terms of their combat, but there characters were light hearted and fun. BD2's characters are a drag so far.

It's hard because i know I'm not enjoying the game, and yet when i try to think of why exactly I'm not enjoying myself, I can't put my finger on any one thing that is pulling me away. Bosses sure, but there is a lot more to the game than that and most of the game is not boss fights, so it can't solely be that.

Shrugs i guess.
 

Dreiko

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You might be right, but I am early I haven't unlocked many jobs so i don't think that is the case. Unless the early game balancing is just fucked. I have a sword and board job at max level, but it seems to specialize in delaying the opponent's turns rather than protecting the party itself. The two mages (black and white) and the monk are all just fodder as the last boss was literally able to one-shot the healer and black mage in one default turn.

The only way I've managed to survive is to completely disregard the brave and default mechanic and just tackle the bosses one-turn at a time, which imo is poorly design because it negates your main combat gimmick. This is the only way i've been able to ensure that I have a chance for the healer to heal someone every turn, because bosses are even able to nearly two shot the tank job with ease.

Again this is a problem solved with grinding, but I don't think the level the game wants me to be is a reasonable level.

I don't mind challenging bosses, but having the boss instantly gib a caster job with bad luck doesn't make for a challenge, it makes for "did you grind enough and is RNG being a cocksucker?"

I even read an article that said that bosses are big jumps in difficulty for no reason. It doesn't make sense that you can wipe the floor in 1-turn all the enemies in the dungeon but the boss of that same dungeon can wipe your party in a turn as well if it wants.

Frankly when it all boils down to it. The story isn't fun, the combat isn't fun, leveling feels unrewarding, and the bosses are a pain in the ass. I dunno, this feels like a disappointment. Especially considering that the original game and even Bravely Second were a lot of fun.

Maybe it's the characters. The 3DS games weren't steller jrpg's in terms of their combat, but there characters were light hearted and fun. BD2's characters are a drag so far.

It's hard because i know I'm not enjoying the game, and yet when i try to think of why exactly I'm not enjoying myself, I can't put my finger on any one thing that is pulling me away. Bosses sure, but there is a lot more to the game than that and most of the game is not boss fights, so it can't solely be that.

Shrugs i guess.
Ok so couple of ways to go about this then, either you blitz em fast, or you set up a sequence of debuffs off of a char that is likely gonna die fast anyway, or you set up heals so you can recover faster than you die.

But yeah honestly I can't be too specific since I've not played the game yet, I just think this sounds like the sort of fight you need a specific skill to do more easily, maybe the sword and shield job doesn't learn it but rather some magic job where they cast a targeting spell on the tank or something.


But yeah if the story is bland that's another thing. These games usually are pretty charming but not too revolutionary so I don't expect too much out of it. It's more about the gameplay for me.
 

CriticalGaming

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Ok so couple of ways to go about this then, either you blitz em fast, or you set up a sequence of debuffs off of a char that is likely gonna die fast anyway, or you set up heals so you can recover faster than you die.

But yeah honestly I can't be too specific since I've not played the game yet, I just think this sounds like the sort of fight you need a specific skill to do more easily, maybe the sword and shield job doesn't learn it but rather some magic job where they cast a targeting spell on the tank or something.


But yeah if the story is bland that's another thing. These games usually are pretty charming but not too revolutionary so I don't expect too much out of it. It's more about the gameplay for me.
Id be curious to get your opinion once you play it.
 

Dreiko

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So I came across some info about this game and apparently there's a stat all gear has now that is basically hate generation related. So you wanna equip your mages with gear that has a low value of this stat and your tank gear which has a high value of it so enemies won't target the mages. Also defaulting until your buffs are in place with the squishy units and then going ham may help.
 

CriticalGaming

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So I came across some info about this game and apparently there's a stat all gear has now that is basically hate generation related. So you wanna equip your mages with gear that has a low value of this stat and your tank gear which has a high value of it so enemies won't target the mages. Also defaulting until your buffs are in place with the squishy units and then going ham may help.
Yeah there is, but each class also has a weight limit on what they can equip. So you can't really equip heavy armor on mages anyway so that's not really a thing to worry about, and it's only a % based attack chance. The mages still get attacked plenty and there are many attacks that hit everyone regardless.

I dunno, I think it's about the reward within the game. The story is boring so it isn't rewarding to make progress there. Combat isn't rewarding imo, so the grind isn't satisfying.

I've given up on the game full stop after about 22 hours of play. I think that's a long enough time to give it to say it aint pushing the right buttons.