The Bravely Default demo has finally arrived in North America. Does this game hold up to all the hype surrounding it?
The demo is a bit different from your usual sample. Instead of trying out a particular part of the main game, you’re given bonus content that isn’t available in the full version. When you think about it, this does make sense; how exactly does one go about making a demo for a particular RPG? There are no levels, just locations and parts of a story. If anything this is perhaps the perfect way to introduce players to the mechanics of the game, and teach them a thing or two about how things work in the world of Bravely Default. Anyway, when you first start playing you’re immediately shown the four heroes, Agnes, Tiz, Ringal and Edea as they talk to the town’s leader.
They discuss how they’re going to go about restoring the town of Norende. What you have to do is assign people to rebuild certain parts of Norende. You can increase the amount of townsfolk by using the street pass feature on your 3DS. The more people you have, the faster the restoration. What would normally take a good two hours of having your 3DS on will take a few short minutes with multiple workers. So you’re basically encouraged to go out and find some people who have 3DS’s as well. As said before, the battle system will remind you most of Final Fantasy 5. You get a number of jobs to pick from, many of which came from Final Fantasy 5, or started off in Final Fantasy 1 and Final Fantasy 3.
There’s also some new jobs, such as the valkyrie and spell fencer. I haven’t tried them all out yet, as there’s so much to play around with, but what I have used is implemented quite well. Like Final Fantasy 5, you can utilize abilities from other jobs while using different ones. For example, if you make a character a white mage, they can perform black magic as well. It’s nice that they give you so much to choose from at the very beginning, you can experiment and see what works best for you. The brave and default system took a little bit to get used to, but you soon discover just how useful it really is. It’s nice being able to defend in one turn and then getting an extra action the next, it really adds to the strategy of the game. You can defend for a number of turns if you want, and build them all up for the next or same some up for other turns.
Also worth mentioning is the number of enemies on screen at a time. There can be a good 8 or more if I recall correctly. I encountered foes that could call several of their own into battle, and the numbers dwarf what you would come across in the 90s. Playing a game with a classic formula like this, with better processing power and brand new features/mechanics is dream come true. I’ve been waiting for a game like this ever since Final Fantasy 5. So far it seems like a decent challenge, with so much to do and explore. I can’t wait to dig even deeper into Bravely Default when it finally releases February 7th.