I know this game came out a while ago but damnit I want to talk about it so here goes. Lately, I've been getting pretty stressed out, working two jobs, most of my friends with kids so I got no friends to talk to, no girlfriend cuz well most women aren't into narcissistic, big black men and this stress has pretty much shut off my creativity valve for the moment. In order to levitate this stress I did what I always did, I bought a new videogame and the game I bought was Bravely Default because I heard nothing but good things about it.
And for the most part, this game is seriously good. If you're like me and you're not used to micromanaging and typically avoid games with such aspects, don't let this one fool you. The game's mechanics isn't as intimidating as it sounds and is very easy to get into once you get the ball rolling. The fighting is smooth, the characters are pretty one-noted but still enjoyable, especially Ringabel for me because he was the only character that couldn't be described with a sandwich board altho I hated Airy right off the bat because of how annoying she is. In terms of story, its good. I love any game that takes time to explain, set up and expose the player to its world building aspects, games like the Tales' Series, Gravity Rush, Asura's Wrath and the Elder Scrolls series are great examples of this subject. All in all, the story moves by at a very good even pace that keeps you wanting to play it over and over again and don't get me started on the soundtrack. The small speakers of the DS don't do it justice at all.
The purpose of the story starts five main characters. Tiz, the naive farmboy who lost his little brother and due to his anguish, has attached himself to the main female character; Anges. Anges is a very boring character over all, completely naive and absolutely reserved in every sense of the world, being nothing but a whiny little scared crybaby who doesn't seem to learn from her mistakes. Then you got Ringabel who is a total ham. He's a guy who's lost his memory and is a total pervert and lady's man, trying to hook up with every female he can find, is full of good advice and loves to make light of dire situations but is still mysterious enough to know he has a bigger purpose in the grand-scheme of things in the game. And finally we got Edea who is a total spoiled brat, typical tsundere that's guided strictly by her emotions which are grounded in morals of strictly "Right and Wrong" or as she calls it "White and Black" but is still earnest enough to make the average person like her in her pursuit of justice. And finally, the fairy; Airy who is a total brat, talks too much, completely single-minded and absolutely selfish and annoying, especially her little fairy voice. I just wanted to reach into the game and strangle that little creature and if I was a character in this game, I would have probably killed her myself. Don't piss off Makai folks.
Anyways, the story follows these characters as their goals are to release four Crystals that govern the elements of the world to stop whatever darkness is spreading over the world that oddly enough, you never actually see. All the while while you're doing this, you're taking on an army from a foreign land that is controlled and ruled by Edea's father, adding another boost to her character because she's at least going through something meaningful. And I like this, each major boss was different, used different tactics and abilities and unless you googled the boss, they challenged you and when you won, you got a new awesome ability that you could personally use which made the side missions all the more fun. Plus like I said before, with the main story moving along at a pretty good pace, you felt invested enough in the story itself to keep playing until the very end. Not to mention, there's a flying fucking ship big enough to fit an entire city on it. Its like giving Noah's Arc a freakin JETPACK and had me squealing like a little school girl at how awesome it was. It was like I was Nick Fury in Avengers and captain of my own Helicarrier Kinda pissed me off that I had to pay to sleep in my own airship of course but, whatever. Another good thing about this game is, while it keeps the typical JRPG design of random encounters and turn-based combat, you can, get this, turn off the random encounters
How awesome is that? That means you can grind when you want and then just get on with the story when you're ready. Why hasn't other games like Pokemon ever thought of this? Its freaking genius~!
Now here comes the bad part, without wishing to spoil anything, SPOILER WARNING
About 5 chapters into the game or halfway through, you've awakened all the crystals and tried to repair the world itself. But instead of ending the game, Bravely Default throws out the "Many Worlds Theory" where the characters are thrown at you where the characters are tossed into a parallel world instead of fixing the one they were in. Ok, I can dig it, I mean I'm no stranger to such a concept and I don't mind such a idea if its done right. However it isn't, in fact, the story gets worse from here on out. See up to this point there was a plot: Four Heroes band together to awaken Four Crystals to save the world. During this time, each characters goes through their own personal struggles I.E. Tiz dealing with the death of his family, Agnes shedding herself of her fear of saving the world and living up to the task, Ringabel's desire to regain his memories or learn to live without them and Edea's conflict with her father and her little Kingdom that once respected and looked up to her. The world building was incredible and everything felt like it had weight to it. However, once chapter 5 begins, it all goes down hill. The game at this point starts to get bored with itself and runs out of ideas and instead of ending right there, the game tasks you to repeat awakening the same Four Crystals, fight the same Four Mini-Bosses that guard the Crystals a total of 5 times each, rounding the game up to repeating the same fuck-about task 30 TIMES
. Unless you've played the game, you have absolutely no idea how annoying this gets. Tedious is far too kind of a word for something like this. I have no idea what to call it but at this point, I've started to hate this game, not with a passion but I'm so done with this shit.
I honestly think the worst part of this game is, is that by chapter 5, you'e pretty much figured out that the fairy, Airy is actually the main villain of the story, which I totally dig because I love the idea of being a character who's tricked by the badguy to do evil acts without realizing it and you're forced to correct your mistakes. Its something that's rarely ever done in videogames. However, after figuring out that Airy is the true villain of the story and even after the game literally bold facedly tells you outright that Airy is evil, the characters still follow every order she gives you. WHAT THE FUCK!?
Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?! That's like you being tricked by someone into killing your mother and father without realizing it and after being told the truth with proof
, you still do it anyways and then try to blame the badguy before repeating the process over and over and over and over again
. Honestly, I've never met a group of characters I hated so much since I played Tales of the Abyss. I just don't understand it nor can I understand how Square Enix thought this was good game design. From what I can see, the game is trying to put you in a state of grief, trying to get you to relate to the characters by forcing you to relive limbo over and over again until you're filled with depression. But that's just it, no normal person would respond this way. If you were told that in order to save the world you have to follow a strict process and you do so down to the letter, only for it to not work, I think the first time, you would be concerned, the second time you would be skeptical and by the third time or repeating yourself, you would start to do something differently, right? You wouldn't just blindly follow the same path over and over again without thinking of doing something different and even if you did, you wouldn't talk about it like its no big deal. You would be pissed, annoyed, frustrated, tired, depressed. But instead the game just literally recycles the same exact scenes 30 times in a row with no change in dialog or voice tone. This game and their characters at the true definition of "Insanity
" Now, there's two endings to this, a "True Ending" and a "Common Sense Ending". Why the ending using common sense isn't the true ending is beyond me but basically, to get the true ending, you have to keep following Airy, the main villain over and over again despite knowing full well that she's EVIL
and the Common Sense ending is basically you disobeying her, killing her, and then returning to your worlds where you belong. Makes no sense right? Square Enix, haven't seen this bad story writing since a Resident Evil game. I'm 100 hours
in and on chapter 8 right now and I read that this is the last and final chapter but I'm so exhausted from fighting the same bosses and taping "X" so many times and blissfully listening to the badguy over and over and over and over again that I had to literally put the game down at this point. I could go on and on about the many bad choices
this game makes but I just don't have the willpower to keep talking about it... Damnit. End of Spoilers
Honestly, I think what sorta ruined this game for me was because of 2 things. 1: The people who told me it was good, never beat the game so I never got a head's up about the second half of the game. And 2: Because the first half of the game was so good and fun and enjoyable, the second half just straight up ruins the rest of the game itself. I don't like it. Don't get me wrong, by no stretch is Bravely Default a bad game but I can't say its great. If you're a fan of story and plot, this game will serve such purposes until about midway through of the game. After that point, you'll see how annoying this game can get. All but one single character are pretty boring and fit the same character design as every other Final Fantasy game that has ever existed. The gameplay itself is fun as hell esepically since you can actually control the random encounters and with so many different character abilities or "Jobs" as the game calls them, it never feels boring and there are so many different ways to experiment until you find the combination of your liking. All in all, I give this game a 6.5 out of 10. Its a good game but far too repetitive after the world building is done. Oh well, this game had so much potential. I just hope the sequel doesn't make the same mistakes this one did.