Bravely Second: End Layer
Top Critic Average
A good combat system and gorgeous visuals are significantly let down by an underwhelming and perfunctory narrative that can make progression a real chore. Whilst there are elements that work in isolation, Bravely Second doesn't manage to tie them together in a way that matches the quality of the original.
Bravely Second is an unapologetic sequel to a JRPG that is a spiritual successor to another, and all the better for it.
Another inspired attempt to modernise old school Japanese role-players, while retaining all the charm and depth of early era Final Fantasies.
A great combat system and world held back by immersion-breaking dialogue choices.
Enjoying everything Bravely Second has to offer still requires putting up with a lot of filler
Bravely Second takes after its predecessor almost to a fault
Despite a cloying story and poor dialogue, Bravely Second is a sweeping adventure.
Bravely Second: End Layer is a worthy follow-up to Bravely Default, which in itself is one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo 3DS. Granted, if Bravely Default didn't move you the first time around, Bravely Second probably won't, either. For better or worse (but mostly better), it's a straight-up second helping of its predecessor.
Bravely Second is a missed opportunity in many ways. It's too similar to the original to woo a new crowd, and any risks it takes are narrative-centric and mostly fall flat. Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to still be playing JRPGs in 2016, but it's more important than ever for studios to avoid resting on their laurels.
So if you like classic RPGs, there's no reason to avoid any of the Bravely games, and if you're not sure about this one for some reason, download that free demo and get crackin'. It's easy to pick up for a bit (even if just for "Chompcraft" on the loo) and play a few minutes, or play through an afternoon with. Or for nostalgia's sake, you can sit super-close to your old console TV with your nose practically on the screen to relive those JRPG glory days.