The New ‘Final Fantasy’, Bravely Default!
Apparent to long time fans of the Final Fantasy series, ‘Final Fantasy’ has steered very far from its’ roots. Bravely Default was created by Tomoya Asano, to introduce fans to a brand new world and yet, with a pleasant nostalgia. Has Bravely Default and the world of Luxendarc become the new and truer successor the world of Final Fantasy?
As with the early era of the Final Fantasy, Bravely Default has many familiarities to the series.
- 4 young Heroes – checked!
- plot that revolves around the Crystals – checked!
- Job class system – checked!
- turn-based combat – checked!
- common terminology (ie. fire-fira-firaga) – checked!
- characters swing their weapons at the air – checked!
Plainly – this game IS Final Fantasy. I believe that this franchise is more ‘Final Fantasy’ than Final Fantasy 12 (and beyond) ever was.
The story follows 4 heroes liberating the world from darkness by saving the crystals – sounds familiar? This was a common theme from the early ‘Final Fantasy’ where the world and journey would awalys revolve around the ‘Crystals’. As the journey unfolds, the heroes learn the true nature of their world and each other – and that there is a [SPOILER] traitor amongst them. And believe me, who it was turns out to be someone very unexpected. The producer has camouflaged a hidden clue in the title – a brilliant and clever tidbit. The story itself is short – even with the sidequests. The only tiresome aspect is the need to travel into the same location multiple times, which can be bothersome. However, for most part it is to unlock more classes to play with. The game presents the players difficulty modes, which you can change during the game. I mainly use normal/easy for normal encounters and up the difficulty during boss fights to amp the fun.
In the game’s bid to distance themselves from their obvious inspiration, the battle system introduces the ‘Bravely’ battle where the characters are able to Default(defend) and collect BP or action points. BP dictates the number of actions the character can do. So by ‘defaulting’, the character can use the accrued points to unleash an extra action at the next turn. The common strategy in boss fights is to Default to the max number of BP and unleash a flurry of attacks. At normal difficulty, this strategy is viable for almost every boss battles. Microtransaction is also available in this game where you can purchase SP drinks that freezes time and again, unleash a flurry of attacks at the enemy. However, this was totally unnecessary to finish the game.
The highlight of the game (at least to me) is the job class system, where you can configure your characters with various jobs. The game also allows the character to have a second job. And thus, we can create a character unique to our imagination. I could create a magic slinging knight if I wanted to. However, the stats would not be ideal and would result in a mediocre character. In my game, it was purely aesthetic first, and from there a create a character that looks cool and fights well. Of course, I ended up with a party of the staple four – Tank, DPS, Support & Cannon, which is a well-balanced party for a comfortable final boss fight. You can also go the ‘break the game’ party through class configuration, but where is the fun in that? Another fun tidbit – the job costumes are created by various character designers.
As an old fan of the Final Fantasy series, playing this game felt like I was playing a continuation of the series rather than a brand new franchise. To be clear, I felt like I was eating a Big Mac which was renamed and sold at a Wendy’s. Get it?
is it a true successor to the Final Fantasy series? or should it be a Final Fantasy entry instead?