Bravely Default 2 review: A good dose of JRPG nostalgia

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Bhawani Singh
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Bravely Default 2 has an ordinary storyline but the nostalgia it evokes should please fans of the JRPG genre

The Japanese role playing game (JRPG) has been fighting to stay relevant in the era of Witcher 3 and Skyrim. While games like Persona and Final Fantasy managed to break through, many have not.A handful of them evoke the nostalgia of early games in the genre. Bravely Default 2 is one of them.

Much like the plot of the first Final Fantasy, Bravely Default 2 centres around four heroes of light, who have set out to save the world from an ultimate evil. Given that it has Square Enix’s name on it, there are crystals involved too. The game is not to be confused with Bravely Second, which was a sequel to Bravely Default. The story, the world and heroes of Bravely Default 2 are different. So, it is not a prerequisite you play the earlier games. But those who have, will be pleasantly surprised at the nods to the earlier games.

  • Developer: Claytechworks
  • Publisher: Square Enix, Nintendo
  • Price: ₹3,499 on Nintendo Switch

The story itself is ordinary.It follows the tropes you would have seen in many other JRPGs, there is nothing really new here. It almost feels like one of the shows my daughter watches on Netflix. It is a far cry from the narrative of the first Bravely Default game. The rich world building in the continent Excillent (not a typo) salvages the game though. Bravely Default 2 urges you to travel, visit towns, meet new people and delve deep into its world.

Fun fights

The endless quests, bad pacing and repetition will test your patience. If, however, you are someone who likes to grind through games, you will like it. The people in the game’s world give the most mundane tasks to the heroes of light. The activities yield decent loot and the battle system is good; you will find yourself jumping into fights often.

Bravely Default 2 leverages that same turn-based battle system, which is the norm in JRPGs. It comes with a twist. During your turn, you can opt for Default to save up on Brave points and take reduced damage. Then, you can unleash multiple attacks with your Brave points at opportune moments. It is fun when you turn the tide of a losing battle with a series of Brave attacks, keeping your party alive with the perfect combination of strategy and team set-up.

‘Bravely Default 2’ review: A good dose of JRPG nostalgia

Again, taking a page out of Final Fantasy, Bravely Default 2 has a Job system, which lets your character assume certain classes, which unlocks particular skills. The enemies you will come across will be stronger and the bosses are punishing. Thankfully, you can freely set your party in different jobs, tuning them for the big battles. You will, however, need to grind through to be able to level up enough. Worry not, there are a lot of quests for that.

Taking the same watercolour aesthetic from the previous games, Bravely Default 2 looks gorgeous on the Nintendo Switch. It is especially exciting considering there is a supposed 4k Switch on the horizon. Characters are stylised and charming, with some really great voice acting. This retro JRPG looks nostalgic with just the right level of graphical fidelity to keep you glued.

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