Bravely Default 3DS

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85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 67 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 548 Ratings

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  • Summary: [Available in the U.S. - Feb 2014] This new yet traditional offering from Square Enix captures the charm and elegant and simplicity of yesteryear's canonical RPGs. Become a Warrior of Light and journey to the land of Luxemdarc in this classic tale of personal growth and adventure.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 67
  2. Negative: 0 out of 67
  1. Apr 14, 2014
    100
    It sounds like a lot, and it is, but not in an overwhelming way but in a fantastic, three in the morning, I can’t stop playing this game kind of way. When it all comes together and you destroy a boss that gave you troubles just a few job levels ago, it feels great.
  2. Dec 30, 2013
    95
    For 2013, Bravely Default is easily the best RPG of the year that will keep fans of this genre extremely happy as they join these characters in their fight for freedom.
  3. Feb 3, 2014
    90
    Bravely Default is an RPG for everyone.
  4. Dec 5, 2013
    86
    Fans and open-minded newcomers will enjoy a substantial adventure that proves the JRPG is alive and kicking.
  5. Hyper Magazine
    Feb 12, 2014
    80
    A JRPG that only occasionally gives into the genre's worst impulses, and one that rewards strategy and dedication. [March 2014, p.70]
  6. Dec 30, 2013
    80
    Bravely Default is a triumphant blending of a classic template with some fresh ideas and modern user-friendliness, albeit with a few areas that could still be refined before going on to the next level.
  7. Feb 3, 2014
    60
    Bravely Default's more interesting ideas, particularly the mechanics behind the battle system, breathe some life into a very traditional RPG. However, the game is also let down by its fair share of derivative and less ambitious features. Bravely Default disappointingly wastes a lot of its potential, but Square Enix will get another shot with the already-announced sequel.

See all 67 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 120
  2. Negative: 17 out of 120
  1. Feb 21, 2014
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Amazing game ! You can change the job at anytime ,you can change the battle speed at any time , and you can even change the encounter rate at any time ! Wow ,all I thought before now become real ! Awesome ! Expand
  2. Mar 16, 2014
    10
    This game is amazing! Classic JRPG gameplay, with a unique battling system that handles very nicely. I will admit that the voice acting canThis game is amazing! Classic JRPG gameplay, with a unique battling system that handles very nicely. I will admit that the voice acting can be a bit cheesy, BUT this was EASILY solved by changing the game audio to Japanese (if you haven't done this yet DO IT!).

    I've been waiting a long time for a great JRPG that gets everything right. Reminds me of when I first played through Golden Sun on GBA.

    I cannot stress enough, however, that just switching the dialogue language will make all the difference! Japanese dub w/English sub, you won't regret it!
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  3. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    This game is some of the most beautiful video game graphics I've ever seen. Words other reviewers have used are elegant and lush totallyThis game is some of the most beautiful video game graphics I've ever seen. Words other reviewers have used are elegant and lush totally agree. Couldn't agree more in fact. That alone makes this game such a refreshing play. Just playing in pure beauty... Expand
  4. Mar 16, 2014
    9
    An incredible throwback to the long lost days of classic turn-based role-playing, Bravely Default mixes old with new and offers an innovativeAn incredible throwback to the long lost days of classic turn-based role-playing, Bravely Default mixes old with new and offers an innovative twist on the traditional Japanese RPG.

    CORE GAME:
    Most players will notice a striking similarity to classic Final Fantasy titles, before the series lost its way. A rather traditional storyline in which four heroes have to save the world from a mysterious darkness that's thrown the four pillars of the world out of balance--you've probably seen this many a time now. Turn-based combat and random encounters are present as well, as are an amnesiac, a lone survivor of a destroyed village, a band of evil forces, and airships. At heart, Bravely Default is a classic RPG. The combat system offers a few twists which will be discussed later, but it's nice to see a return to traditional Final Fantasy.

    PRESENTATION:
    The game is lovely presented with beautiful hand-drawn art for the towns, world map, and dungeons. While perhaps not technically fantastic, the game looks very nice. Enemy designs are superb, right down to the last detail. And the quick series of CGI cutscenes at the beginning is nothing short of incredible. Dungeon design is good, though most of them are a little on the short side, while towns are richly detailed and designed. The characters are very well done, and the majority of the story is fully voiced. Voiceovers are generally very good, with a few grating moments. One downside however is the fact that most of the lines are read quite slow, so it takes a while to get through a scene if you're listening to every line. The game's writing is quite good as well, albeit with a few unnecessary suggestive innuendos, and some cheesy lines.

    The best part of the game in my opinion is the soundtrack--an absolutely beautiful fully orchestrated score. Each of the four main characters has their own theme that plays when using a special move. The bass theme is incredible, as is the main theme. And the music during the final battle--think of a more epic version of "The War's End" from Kid Icarus Uprising, with a purely awesome finale. Even the random encounter music is great (though not as great as Etrian Odyssey IV's battle theme!). Speaking of random encounters, did I mention you have the option to set the encounter rate... or turn them off entirely? This is the feature JRPGs need, as they're made accessible to a declining audience of the genre. The difficulty can also be scaled, which is a good bonus for new or more experienced players.

    GAMEPLAY:
    The game uses turn-based combat with a twist--the Brave and Default system, which is an excellent risk/reward mechanic that is both simple and deeply strategic. Selecting Default will boost the character's defence stats for one turn, while adding one Brave Point (BP) to that character. With an upper limit of 3 BP, a character can spend them to take multiple turns at once, but having negative BP means skipping turns until they recharge to 0 again. It's an ingenious system, one that adds entire layers of strategy to classic combat. And enemies can even use the system as well!

    The job system is similar to that of older Final Fantasy titles, and it's seemless and much less of a hassle than the class system of say Fire Emblem Awakening. You unlock jobs by collecting asterisks from the bosses in the game, and you can switch a character's job at any time, saving their job level and unlocked abilities.

    Another feature is the StreetPass component, which allows players to rebuild Norende village by collecting workers via StreetPass and assigning them to complete various tasks at the village. It's simple, but the rewards include quick access to items, new armour and weapons, as well as special moves which can be very useful.

    Yes, this game DOES have microtransactions. This may offset some players, but they are rather useless. They allow you to buy "SP Drinks" for using a feature called Bravely Second, which lets you stop time during battle. It can come in handy, but you can always store up Sleep Points (SP; used for activating Second) by leaving the system in sleep mode. So no, you do not need to pay Square any more money to beat the game.

    OVERALL:
    Bravely Default is a special game. It may not have the most inspired story or characters, but it's a traditional yet new RPG; bravely default.

    + Excellent art, all hand-drawn in a gorgeous style
    + Soundtrack is simply amazing
    + Story and characters are entertaining, if traditional
    + Difficulty options make it accessible to anyone
    + Clever gameplay mechanics
    + Throwback to older Final Fantasy--this is FF done right
    / Impressive amount of content but may drag on for some
    / Twists in the latter half are ingenious, but may annoy some players with the "gauntlet" section
    / Dialogue is mostly good, but has several slip-ups
    - Dungeon design is too simplistic
    - Microtransactions are there

    9/10
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  5. Aug 30, 2015
    8
    I have always had a soft spot for square-enix when it comes to rpgs. After so many disappointments after squaresoft merged, I had about givenI have always had a soft spot for square-enix when it comes to rpgs. After so many disappointments after squaresoft merged, I had about given up till this game. The battle system is something fresh and having job classes to level gave an added depth for me. I would recommend this to anyone who has a 3ds and loves turn based rgs. Expand
  6. Feb 16, 2014
    7
    In every battle there is a button asking you to spend real world money on in-game items like your playing some free Korean mmorpg. Why doesIn every battle there is a button asking you to spend real world money on in-game items like your playing some free Korean mmorpg. Why does no one else see this as a major issue? I already bought the game, but it still wants more of my money, this is a huge flaw for me.
    Other than that the game lives up to the hype, and is a must play for jrpg fans. The brave/default battle system works, but you do end up inputting a ton of commands for battles that take a couple seconds to execute, which only stands out because everything else is so streamlined. The story is good with dark and serious themes, but the light hearted overtone puts a limit on how emotionally attached you will become with the characters.
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  7. Aug 28, 2016
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. ** SPOLER BELOW **

    To summarise, the game is a straight spit in the face.

    True, the first part of the game is amazing, but that's where it stops. The developer apparently ran out of money and decided to just have you repeat the same four bosses four more times. When I got to this part I stopped playing for a month before I decided to actually bother with finishing it. As it turns out, this was a big mistake as after killing the bosses 4 times you meet a boss that is literary impossible to beat. Even with all my characters at lvl 65 and beating everything to this point without too much trouble I literary get one/two shotted in the second phase of the boss. There is nothing I can do, and you can't go back to levelling up. You're stuck with no way to finish the game. Note that this is on EASY difficulty, don't even want to think about Normal or Hard. I wasted hours doing the repetitive part to be faced with this...

    Do yourself a favour and stay away from this game. It simply ain't worth it.
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See all 120 User Reviews