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 560 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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Bravely Default: Flying Fairy - Official Trailer
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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: 85 out of 122
  2. Negative: 17 out of 122
  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!
    Expand
  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. May 2, 2014
    7
    This game was fun. Maybe a little too easy on normal once you understand brave system and get some of the better jobs. Now I'm on chapter 5:This game was fun. Maybe a little too easy on normal once you understand brave system and get some of the better jobs. Now I'm on chapter 5: yesterday's scenery and I'm like WTF. Why on earth would I want to fight almost all of the bosses in the game again 3 Times? I mean sure put that **** in the game for the people who WANT to do it, don't force everyone to do it just to get the cinematic ending. They really just took what is honestly a game that would take about 45-55 hours to complete and bumped it up to more like 65-75. The other problem is the latter parts of the first part of the game are way too **** easy so I didn't even do any random encounters in chapter 4 so now I'm all under level and the damn bosses only dish out JP in chapter 5. I know I could fix all this, but seriously I was expecting the ending to be badass like FF3 where you just level up a little, collect the best gear, and go own the crystal tower. I just feel a little ripped off, because I would have been excited to finish the game if they had made a proper ending, but now I'm thinking of just playing DQ 6 instead. Expand
  7. Jun 28, 2016
    0
    This is the first game in my life that made me feel insulted. I am sorry, but if a game developer expects me to play through a game 5 timesThis is the first game in my life that made me feel insulted. I am sorry, but if a game developer expects me to play through a game 5 times (with virtually no change at all) in order to complete one, freaking ONE, playthrough then you didn't do your job. It would not be that bad if there was at least something new with each cycle, but no. The characters become even more stupid and the story comes to a halt as gracefully as a train wreck. The first half is alright, even though the battle system is somewhat boring. But of course people love it, because it is a Final Fantasy clone. This game is the only game in my life, where I don't understand why it is so beloved, most other games I can see why, but not here.

    I am sorry for the rant, but this made me feel like the developers didn't care and that gamers like anything as long as it is like 'the good old JRPG' (apparently they were correct about that).
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See all 122 User Reviews