Bravely Default

Good
  • Diverse job system with two dozen jobs that feature familiar archetypes alongside niche options
  • Turn based combat variety and challenge enhanced through the Brave and Default system mechanics
Bad
  • Some mechanics revolve around wait times that can disrupt your game flow
  • Several limitations on your freedom as you explore the world take away some of the sense of fantasy
8

Bravely Default is a 3DS adventure set in the world of Luxendarc where players embark on a diverse role playing adventure as you take your party of adventurers from start to end of the fantasy storyline. Released in 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS a sequel to the franchise would not be seen until 2021 which also expanded the platform availability of this fan favourite turn based role playing title which takes elements from the exceeding popular Final Fantasy series. The result is a deeply satisfying story and combat adventure across the Bravely Default fantasy world that mixes many familiar genre elements together.

bravely-default-gameplay-world

Exploring the world of Luxendarc this fantasy location maintains its balance through four crystals that are also central to the religion of Bravely Default known as Crystal Orthodoxy. Like a typical role playing title players join this world after a cataclysmic event driven by an evil darkness which consumes the crystals with only a single high ranking worshiper of the crystals surviving the chaotic conflict (Agnes Oblige). This is just the first of several memorable characters spread throughout the story which all beautifully presented for a 3DS game which combines with some reasonably effective voice acting to bring them all to life.

Alongside this event a nearby village is swallowed by the ground which leaves the shepherd Tiz Arrior as the only survivor where he crosses paths with Agnes and are later joined by an Eternian soldier known as Edea Lee and the wanderer Ringabel who believes they can predict the future. Forming your staple part of four adventurers their diverse backgrounds provide plenty of combat strategy and story paths as they chase their common goal of restoring the crystals and removing the evil that corrupted them in the first place.

bravely-default-gameplay-ringabel-pirate

With this party developed early on in your journey players can enjoy this combat depth early on and gives you the necessary time to master it for the difficultly battles ahead. While all characters start as the jack of all trades generalist class of the Freelancer you’ll eventually be able to promote your party of 4 to one of 23 additional jobs that offer different abilities as well as visual changes for your party members. 8 of these are naturally discovered through the main storylines with the reminder being hidden behind the various side scenarios which does encourage players to explore the wealth of content in the Bravely Default game world.

Classes are broadly what players would expect to see in a role playing title with various fighting classes, mages, ranged and support class options to mix and match together. Monks for example are high health physical attackers that use their bare hands, white mages help their allies with healing through their equipped staves, merchants are specialists at generating and spending game money, rangers unleash bows on enemy weak points, summoners create their own allies and templars have outstanding defence values. Players also have some ability to swap jobs through Asterisks, a small gem item that allows for a job reset and in turn an insane amount of strategy as you plan a path for all your characters to obtain the skills you want your team possess.

bravely-default-gameplay-combat

This is just the tip of the iceberg in combat strategy with the brave and default mechanics giving you a diverse range of decisions against enemies that activate through random and staged encounters. Within this combat encounters you’ll be utilising turn based combat to command each of your characters to complete an action and managed through the stamina style system of BP (Brave Points). While your core strategy is about when to use the right abilities the Brave and Default mechanic allows players to better manage their available BP. When in the Brave stance players can overconsume their BP and push it into the negative for a powerful turn but will be left exposed until you recover BP while the Default mode lets you store turns and defend against incoming attacks.

The strategic impact of these mechanics is far reaching and while the more simple uses such as putting your healer on default until needed or blasting through easier opponents by activating brave on all your characters at once to speed up encounters will become apparent early on the real depth will take you an entire game to master.

Summary:

  • Two dozen different jobs to mix and match across your four heroes to create a strategy that suits your preferences.
  • Unique Brave and Default mechanics to add more decisions to traditional turn based combat systems.
  • Large world with a huge number of side quests to keep you occupied as you adventure into the fantasy depths it has to offer.
  • A complex fantasy world full of characters, story and challenge with familiar and fresh themes.
  • Available only on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Review Platform: 3DS

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Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms. He has worked in the gaming industry since 2008 amassing over 3 million views on YouTube and 10 million article views on HubPages.

Games Finder is a Steam Curator and featured in the aggregate review scores data of MobyGames and Neoseeker.
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