Bravely Second combines all the ingredients that make a great RPG into a compelling and fun 3DS game. It’s got a great storyline with diverse characters, interesting and unique character classes, a gorgeous art style, and a seriously fun turn-based combat system.
Bravely Second takes place two years after the events of the first game in the series, Bravely Default. Agnes Oblige, a familiar face from the first game, is now the pope – and has been kidnapped by our main villain of the game. Yew, a member of Agnes’ crystal guard (think kingsguard) is now dead set on saving her, and has a few friends join him on his quest. The plot is filled with betrayal, drama, happiness, romance- every emotion you can think of. Although punny and cheesy at times, the actual story of the game is very charming and exciting, and, unlike some RPGs, it doesn’t take reading into the lore or investing hours of reading to understand the world and what’s happening. It’s very easy to get sucked into the characters and story, even if you’ve never been a huge fan of RPGs before.
Gameplay-wise, not a whole lot has changed from its predecessor, Bravely Default, which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Bravely Default is easily one of my favorite 3DS games, and it brought a lot of new mechanics and ideas to the table. On the other hand, Bravely Second was so similar to the first, that I was a little disappointed there were so few differences, other than plot. There was plenty great about it, but I was hoping for a small something new. Even so, what Bravely Second does bring is still one of the best experiences you can get on the 3DS.
Like I said before, a lot of the combat mechanics of the game are very similar to the first game. Encounters are triggered randomly anytime you are out and about in a non-safe zone, and one of my favorite features of the game is you can increase your encounter rate or decrease it all the way to zero whenever you want. It really comes in handy when you’re in the mood to grind up some XP or job points (which I will explain in the next section). Once in an enemy encounter, Bravely Second gives us a signature spin to turn based combat. Each character, including enemies, have the option to attack (normal weapon attack, special attack, summon, etc), brave, or default (get it that’s why the game is named this). Attacking will do just that, a single attack on a designated enemy. When a character uses Brave, it can attack for as many times as it braves, up to a total of four attacks. For each brave that’s used, you give yourself a cool down of that many turns before you can attack again. If a character defaults, it will defend itself and take significantly less damage if attacked, and it will stockpile the attack it could have taken. The key to combat is using brave and default wisely- stockpiling attacks by defending and using default, then unleashing a barrage of attacks by using brave, leaving yourself without a cool down since you stockpiled turns first. Each encounter requires a different strategy, but this is the bare bones concept of combat. There are plenty of other features within fights as well – like stopping time, super attacks, buffs and debuffs, street pass advantages – seriously so many. The combat is super fun, and I promise you haven’t played anything like it. Unless you’ve already played the first game, of course.
The other thing that makes this game absolutely amazing are all the different classes, or jobs, your character can be. Your four main characters have their own default base line stats, but any job they choose to be will balance out their base stats accordingly. Each job has its own weapon and armor priorities, special attacks, and unlockable character boosters. At any time outside of combat you can change jobs, and you can even assign yourself a secondary job so that within combat you can still use the special attacks of that secondary job class. Every character has the ability to use any job you have unlocked. These jobs are also not your typical trope RPG classes either, for example the job Catmancer. Using the power of cats you can tear your enemies apart. CATS. Also, having someone in your party as a Catmancer also lets you speak to cats you meet in the game. There are 30 jobs available, which comes with a different outfit and skill set for each character. The variety makes it so that you can tailor the composition of your team to match your play style.
With a gripping story, addictive combat, and a wide breadth of jobs to help personalize your gameplay, Bravely Second has honed in and sharpened up its successes from its previous game. Sure, it’s very similar, but there are a nice amount of special small touches in the game as well, including rebuilding a town like in the first game (this time on the moon), and a new mini game. Street Pass integration in the game is also presented very well, where you can gain new villagers and summon Street Passed characters into your battles. If you’re hungry for a story with some heart and a combat system you can sink your teeth into, look no further. Bravely Second will satisfy your cravings.