The ‘Final Fantasy’ series is the definitive JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) franchise that has inspired countless other games over the decades. One of the more notable ones is 2012’s Nintendo 3DS exclusive ‘Bravely Default’, considered by many to be a spiritual successor to 2009’s ‘Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light’, not least due to the involvement of ‘Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light’ producer Tomoya Asano and veteran ‘Final Fantasy’ character designer Akihiko Yoshida.
However, despite its obvious inspirations, ‘Bravely Default’ was its own unique experience, with an original story and gameplay systems. It was followed by a sequel titled ‘Bravely Second: End Layer’ a few years later in 2015, iterating and refining what made the original game so successful. Now, after an extended waiting period, the original team is returning for a third installment in the series confusingly titled ‘Bravely Default II’.
What is the Bravely Default Franchise About?
The first two ‘Bravely Default’ games are a series of party-based RPGs (Role Playing Games) set in the fictional world of Luxendarc where balance is maintained by the four elemental crystals. The crystals are protected by an organization known as the Crystal Orthodoxy, a world-spanning religious entity possessing great power.
However, when the crystals are plunged into darkness one sudden day, Agnes Oblige, the vestal of the Wind Crystal escapes her temple in the hopes of reawakening the crystals. Meanwhile, in the village of Norende, a cataclysmic event leaves all of its inhabitants dead, bar a young shepherd called Tiz Arrior. He chances upon Agnes and agrees to join her on her quest as a protector.
The sequel, ‘Bravely Second: End Layer’ is a continuation of the storyline first introduced in ‘Bravely Default’ and takes place two and a half years after the events of the first game. Agnes Oblige is now the Pope of the Crystal Orthodoxy and desires a formal peace treaty with Grand Marshal Braev Lee of the Duchy of Eternia.
However, the ceremony is gatecrashed by Kaiser Oblivion, leader of the Glanz Empire, who kidnaps Agnes. Yew Geneolgia, leader of Agnes’ Crystalguard protectors awakens from his deep slumber and assembles a team of companions including Tiz Arrior to track down the Kaiser and rescue Agnes.
Bravely Default 2 Gameplay: What to Expect?
Despite sharing the same name, ‘Bravely Default II’ will not inherit its predecessors’ characters, setting or storyline. This time around the game follows the brave band of the Heroes of Light in an entirely new world filled with new characters.
The webpage for the game describes it as follows:
“A new world, a new story, and all-new Heroes of Light await in an original RPG experience arriving on the Nintendo Switch system in 2020! This successor to the original Bravely Default game comes from the team that brought you the Bravely series and Octopath Traveler, and features music from Revo (Sound Horizon/Linked Horizon), acclaimed composer of the Bravely Default soundtrack.”
However ‘Bravely Default II’ will seek to retain a lot of the core gameplay mechanics that made the earlier games so appealing. You navigate the world and its dungeons from a third-person overhead perspective with the option of fast traveling later in the game.
The world is populated by various enemies as well as other neutral/friendly NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) that you can interact with. Combat is a turn-based affair with each side taking turns to execute a series of actions one after the other. The number of actions you can perform each term is dictated by your BP (Brave Points), which replenish automatically after each turn.
To win an encounter, you must reduce your opponent’s HP (Health Points) to zero while preventing them from doing so to you. A third currency called MP (Magic Points) allows you to cast spells.
We can also realistically expect the franchise’s trademark Job system to also make a return in ‘Bravely Default II’. In previous entries, the Job system allowed your party members to gain Jobs by obtaining special Asterisks gems from vanquished human bosses. All jobs have their own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses. You can also mix job abilities in battle once the skills of a second job are learned.
Judging by the reveal trailer, it looks like the game’s handcrafted aesthetic has also been upgraded, although it is hard to make any conclusive judgments before seeing any actual gameplay footage.
Bravely Default 2 Developers: Who Are the People Behind the Game?
‘Bravely Default II’ is being developed by Japanese video game development studio Claytech Works and produced by Team Asano.
Many from the original ‘Bravely Default’ team have returned for the development of ‘Bravely Default II’ including Producer Tomoya Asano and music composer Revo.
Bravely Default 2 Release Date: When and Where Can I Play It?
Although ‘Bravely Default II’ does not have a concrete release date yet, the developers have revealed that the game will come out sometime in 2020.
‘Bravely Default II’ will be exclusive to play on the Nintendo Switch.
Bravely Default 2 Trailer:
You can watch the trailer for ‘Bravely Default II’ right here.
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