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Bravely Second Review

The classic JRPG formula has been with us for decades now and as much as it's been loved by it's fans, after playing 30+ hours per game and over a dozen titles, there is a point where it takes more than just the standard recipe to keep people coming back.

Bravely Second continues on from its predecessor Bravely Defaults, attempting to solve the classic dilemmas faced by long term JRPG fans by providing a extensive customisation system for each party member's skills, along side a number of convenience features for the gamer who doesn't have all day to sit and grind through an area.

At the core of the game's customisation is the job system, which not only allows you to switch each characters skills and stat biases, but also allows you to take a second skill tree from any other job that character has already unlocked. When you add on the ability to take a selection of passive skills unlocked from any job, you can get a huge variety of possible party setups.

Once you get into the battles we have the return of the Brave/Default system from the last game. When character's Brave they can act up to 4 times in a single turn, able to take advantage of openings at the cost of having to pass their next turns till their battle points return. Alternately they can Default, which not only provides a strong defensive bonus, but also allows them to store up their battle points as extra turns, giving the chance to Brave without the exposure of missed turns.

What is new with this title though is that right from the start the bosses patterns encourage the player to make use of the system more so than before, with early examples of bosses aggressively using brave, making you default to defend against them and then take advantage of their missed turns. While the next boss alternates between offensive and defensive spells, and encourages you to brave when their defences are down.

I have focused on the gameplay to this point as I feel it's the main draw to the game, also it is difficult to not spoil the plot of the first game if I mention any details. The story is fairly solid, if somewhat a simple classic adventure tale with plenty of jokes and humour along the way. Unfortunately a number of jokes plot tropes seem to have been lost in translation from the original script and can end up coming across a bit flat.

In the end Bravely Second, End Layer turns out with a strong set of gameplay mechanics giving players both intricacy and convenience alongside a decent, if sometimes awkward plot.

Review by Alan Cretch, ShopTo Web Developer.

Edited On 07 Mar, 2016

( 3 )
Anonymous user's avatar
Luke 11 months ago
Personally I'm glad I never picked it up, I enjoyed the first one a lot, and was looking forward to picking it up. But after hearing the way several different ending were removed along with censorship on some costumers (Good job SJW whiners) I decided to ignore it. A little sad but that type of censorship especially the removal of the additional endings goes way to far in my books. Which leave me slightly worried about the EU version of Fire Emblem. But if the face touching has been removed, its not something I'm going to cry over. As long as the narrative and characters remain the same then its a day one purchase for me.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 11 months ago
I'm really enjoying this game - I don't mind if things were taken out as i've not noticed anything not making sense or following the flow. Its just different cultures and different views on things around us depending on where you live. I'm obsessed with the timed minigame of re-building the shops (as I was in the first one with the village) and the toy making mini-game, I dunno what it is, but I really like it :D
Anonymous user's avatar
Luke 10 months ago
^ I could have lived with the costume censorship, but the removal of endings and the possibility of losing character members kind of was the nail in the coffin for my purchase. When censorship hits the story narrative of games that are story driven, well I strongly disagree with it. There have always been censorship in JRPG's, but touching the story just feels very wrong in my mind as its not what the creators intended.

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