Backlog Gaming: Bravely Default

9:57 PM

After hitting a massive wall in G-Rank Monster Hunter 4U, I decided to go through my pile of unfinished games, throw caution to the wind and just go for broke with them. First on my list was Bravely Default, which earned a spot on my Top 5 of last year.

Before leaving it to collect dust, I managed to get up to the final dungeon and boss. I fell into a hole of trying to find a party combination that would have the best synergy and have the best SP efficiency. Previously I had 3 melee attackers with Agnes as the healer. I went for 2 mages, and two melee, which worked okay, but Ringabel as a second mage, while being quick enough to set up buffs, doesn't have the magic power to really be viable for magic damage. After leveling Ringabel as a mage for what felt like far too long, I went back to my original 3:1 melee:support party. It uses less SP, dishes out damage, and with the right subclasses, can also be flexible enough to exploit almost any enemy weaknesses.

The decision to finish it is partially driven to see the ending in anticipation of Bravely Default Second which hits North America sometime in 2016.

What drove me to put BD down was actually the feeling that Ringabel wasn't making any progress as a mage. While mage jobs gave him decent SP pools, he didn't have the magic power to be of any use. Watching him hit for 200 against regular, albeit late game, enemies was demoralizing. I wanted to have him as a mage to be able to heal and buff at the beginning of the turn, before any enemies had a chance to move. Turns out Ringabel's magic doesn't get to a level where he's a decent mage, unlike Tiz, who generally can act as any class comfortably.

Moving away from party talk, the repeating story of BD was an issue for a number of people. Each loop changes slightly, apart from the first, as has you accomplishing the same tasks every time. The physical action of this sounds a lot worse than it actually is, as you actually only have to do 4 boss fights, not the entire game over again. What really stings is the story. By the second or third loop, you should've gotten enough hints to piece together what's going on, but your characters keep going on the same path, especially Agnes, who stubbornly and naively refuses to believe the truth. In my case, where I somehow managed to spoil myself early on in the game, each loop was an aggravating test of patience with the characters.

As a lazy completionist, each loop was testing. You only have 4 key bosses, but with each loop, all of the previous bosses are mixed and remixed. The mixed bosses change the story of that world, especially in the final loop where everything is oddly happy.  The changes really make a difference in how difficult a boss fight is, as the bosses are grouped differently, often in a way that covers their weaknesses.

For those interested, Hard is probably the way to go if you really want to explore the combat, which is arguably the best aspect of the game. Normal airs on the easier side, but is the way to go when you really just want to get through the game quickly.

As of writing this, I'm working on finishing Project Cross x Zone, a game which I'm currently 60 hours into.

You Might Also Like