is an upcoming JRPG for the Nintendo 3DS produced by Square-Enix and developed by Silicon Studio, the makers of 3D Dot Game Heroes.
It will be released in Europe
on December 6th
and in North America
on February 7th.
can be downloaded from the (EU) eShop. The neat thing about the demo is that it isn't simply, like, the first 30 minutes of the full version or whatever. It is a completely different adventure, set in a part of the world specifically made for the demo along with a town and three dungeons.
Along with this staggering amount of content, completing various tasks in the demo earns you bonus items in the full version of the game. For example, defeating the tortoise boss in the demo rewards you with a Rod and one Ether in the full version. These bonuses aren't terribly rare or exciting, but they do give you a nice headstart.
You gain control of Tiz
(second from left), a farm boy whose entire village has succumbed from an unnatural chasm. Being the lone survivor, he embarks on a journey to find out why this disaster has happened. He shortly joins up with Agnes
(second from right), a mysterious maiden and her guidance faerie Airy who are also on a journey to prevent further disasters from happening. Eventually you also meet up with Ringabel
(far right), a boy who carries a mysterious book that can predict future events, and Edea
(far left), a soldier who strives to make her father proud of her accomplishments.
Bravely Default, eh? How did they come up with that stupid name?
Ahem, the actual explanation from writer Hayashi Naotaka is as follows: "have courage and renounce the promises and responsibilities that are expected of you".
But! There's a gameplay component as well. What sets Bravely Default apart from other turn-based JRPGs is its combat system.
Along with physical attacks, casting spells, using items etc you have two more options in combat:
lets the character that uses it take an additional turn whereas Default
means you basically save a turn for later and increase your defenses. However, you can't just use these willy-nilly. In addition to only being able to use Brave up to three times per round (for a total of four actions), you also need to watch out for your BP (Brave Points)
. Each round, every character gains 1 BP and taking one standard action costs 1 BP, so you'll usually end up at 0 again. Your maximum BP is +-3. If you start your turn at -1 (or less) BP, you cannot act
But that's not all! Your enemies are governed by BP as well and they can use Brave and Default just as you can. To emerge victorious from the game's challenging battles, you not only need to exploit your enemies' elemental weaknesses, heal your party members and so on but you also need to figure out when your enemies use Brave and Default and how you can use your own Brave and Default commands to your advantage. Do you go on the defensive when the boss you're facing suddenly gets three actions in a row? Do you go all out when your enemy can't act? Or do you play conservatively and don't use Brave to stay flexible?
THIS IS TOO MUCH NEW STUFF
Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. There are loads of familiar things for the discerning JRPG veteran to sink his teeth into - for example, a Job System
Every classic Final Fantasy player should be familiar with this. You can choose a job for each one of your characters, which governs their stats, what kinds of abilities they learn and what kind of equipment they're most proficient with.
It's a good idea to not just stick to one job for each character - instead, you should mix & match so that your characters will have access to a variety of different abilities.
A White Mage who just heals is kind of boring, right? So why not give him the Singing command from the Performer class so that he can buff his party members, along with the Freelancer's Mislead ability to avoid drawing attention from enemies and the Red Mage's Turn Tables ability, which gives you one additional BP when you evade an attack?
Or give your Valkyrie the Knight's Two-Handed skill for extra damage along with the Swordmaster's Multitask for additional attacks.
The possibilities are virtually endless.
Also, while it's mostly a typical old-school JRPG, it does have some modern conveniences. For example, you can change the encounter rate at any time - you can set it to 200% or even to 0%. You can also manually turn off gold and XP gain - so for those folks who like to do low level runs, this game is perfect.
As you can hopefully see from the screens and artwork I've posted, the game is absolutely beautiful and the 3D effect works well. The character designs are done by Akihiko Yoshida
of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story fame.
One final aspect of the game that I'd like to mention here which has (deservedly) gotten a lot of praise is the game's outstanding soundtrack. It'd be no stretch to call this the best video game soundtrack of 2013. It was composed by Revo / Sound Horizon
who also famously did the two openings of the Attack on Titan anime.
Just listen to some of these kickass tunes:
Also, some trailers:
Friend Code List
Throughout the game, the party meets up with a helpful masked informant who feeds them information about the activities of their enemies. When you near the end of the game, you discover that he was merely using you to eliminate all his competition to taking over the world. He removes his mask and reveals himself as someone the main character used to know in school, who often held him down and released flatulence onto his face. It turns out he is too powerful to defeat, and all the party can do is escape. Suddenly the title of the game comes up, and the letters rearrange themselves: