If you’re looking for a light-hearted yet gripping RPG adventure, look no further. Bravely Second: End Layer on the 3DS is a beautiful storybook with challenging turn-based combat. Although it has its flaws, Bravely Second is definitely worth your time.
The first thing that drew me in about Bravely Second was the art style. As I ran around in the little town of Gathelatio I felt like I was in a watercolor story book. Complementing the story book-like style of the backdrop were the most adorable little people The characters in this game are just delightful. I couldn’t help but think of those Precious Moments figures whenever I saw the main crew lined up for battle.
The graphics may be beautiful, but the gameplay in Bravely Second is a little lacking. I’ve played plenty of games with turn-based battle before, but none are quite like this. I’ll admit that although I got the hang of the battle mechanics enough to be successful, I’m still not 100% sure what was going on. You have battle points that you can save up and/or spend depending on your actions. You can “default” aka defend yourself and make no moves, to save up battle points. You can “brave” which allows you to do multiple moves in a single turn, at the expense of your battle points. Or you can simply just attack, or use an item, etc normal turn based stuff. The part that confused me is that you can go into the negatives with your battle points. So if you wanted to, you could do a bunch of attacks at the very beginning and have negative battle points. I’m pretty sure that if you are in the red you just can’t attack on the next turn, but somehow my brain just won’t accept that. Either way, it’s definitely a fun take on the typical turn-based battles.
Outside of the battles, however, was not so fun. The game was slightly pokemon-esque in the way that as you try to find your way from one place to the next, you are suddenly faced with strange, wild creatures to fight. Doing so gives you XP et cetera, so you can level up your character and their job.
Jobs are something about this game that are really cool, and yet not amazing if you think about what it takes to be proficient in many jobs. They are essentially different battle types your character can adopt, like a wizard or a healer. There are a bunch of different jobs, and it’s fun to collect them through defeating major bosses and try them out for yourself. However, in order to level up any one job it takes lots of experience. So to be fully proficient in many jobs, as would be very useful, you would have to grind for hours to build up the XP. So it’s a cool thought, with less than ideal execution.
Another issue I have with this game is the story. It isn’t terribly strong, and takes up so much of the game! Which is what I’ve come to expect with a Final Fantasy game, but it still irks me. There were some really funny lines of dialogue, I’ll give them that. But everything between the funny parts was so boring. And the voice acting was great at first, but got quite annoying by the end of the game. I’m sure some people really love all the dialogue and banter between the party members, but I prefer something a little more fast-paced. I came into this game expecting lots of action; what I got was Final Fantasy for kids.
All in all I would say that this game was worth my time, but I would have preferred to borrow it from a friend rather than paying to own it. That may be because I’m not a fan of turn-based games, but the entire package just didn’t come together for me. I would encourage people to try this game if you’re already invested in the series or in Final Fantasy in general.
-Occasionally funny dialogue
-Creative turn-based mechanics
-Annoyingly lengthy dialogue
-Too many jobs, not enough time