Top Critic Average
Bravely Default takes care to observe the oeuvres of modern console-based RPGs, too, including elements of game design that have held other handheld titles back in the past.
It’s a shame that the terms “masterpiece” and “genre-benchmark” are thrown around so haphazardly, because when a title that truly personifies those words like Bravely Default comes along, they seem cliche and hyperbolic to use.
In Bravely Default, developer Square Enix has recaptured what made its earlier Final Fantasy games so wonderfully absorbing, while addressing many of the flaws inherent in the genre.
Bravely Default is one of those games that we knew was going to be something special when the first previews started showing up in Japan. The final product is nothing short of Game of the Year material. It may be too early to call it, but for now, it's definitely a front-runner for such distinction.
In conclusion, Bravely Default is quite an engaging game that successfully merges old school mechanics with modern gaming. For 2013, it is easily the best RPG of the year that will keep fans of this genre extremely happy as they join these characters in their fight for freedom.
Bravely Default stands currently as my first big game of the year contender and while there are a few minor missteps along the way, it’s still a giant leap forward for what a traditional JRPG should be in the modern age.
Bravely Default’s decision to transform turns into a currency adds a layer of complexity to classic JRPG combat, and the flexible job system gives you tons of room for customization. Honestly, if you’re a fan of the genre, then there’s little here not to like.
Bravely Default gave me an experience that seemed to put me right back in my bedroom in the middle 1990s, where I'd sit in front of a small Hitachi television set and play the day away with a Super Nintendo controller in hand, so engrossed that I'd forget to eat. It harkens back to a time where we were all in love 16-bit Japanese role-playing games, and couldn't get enough of them.
Bravely Default dares to refresh the classic Final Fantasy formula with quiet yet confident innovations across the board, resulting in one of the best JRPGs of 2013 and a fitting end to a barnstorming year for Nintendo's handheld.
In short, Bravely Default is the Japanese RPG that we've been waiting for. As many JRPG companies cram increasingly bizarre gimmicks, half naked underage-looking girls, or overly convoluted plots into their games, Bravely Default reminds us that it's possible to go back to basics without feeling stale. This classic Final Fantasy-style game is beautifully executed, fun to play, and not to be missed by anybody who has ever loved the JRPG genre.
It’s a brave (geddit?) move on Square-Enix’s part to not stamp Bravely Default with a more popular title, because ironically, Bravely Default is one of the best Final Fantasies in years. Taking the very best of 8/16-bit entries of the series, and bringing them up to date with some beautiful graphics, clever features and engaging gameplay, this is a must for someone looking for a more traditional JRPG. On a system that has been lacking some meaty RPG action, this is a superb combination of old school gameplay with modern day additions that makes for an adventure you don’t want to miss.
Bravely Default is an RPG for everyone. Its configuration and customization possibilities make it a great choice to be someone's first RPG or 500th RPG. It has a story that starts out cliché but ends up leaving a lasting impression, gameplay that stays interesting for triple-digit hours, a blend of innovation and tradition, graphics and music that please the eyes and ears, and when it's all over, left me with a feeling well beyond satisfaction.
There’s much to be said in praise of Bravely Default, perhaps too much to fit into a single review. What must be relayed, however, is that Bravely Default stands as an absolute triumph of both game design and the reinvigoration of old concepts, claiming its rightful place as a giant in the JRPG genre that will surely be remembered as a classic in years to come. Any 3DS owner with even a fleeting interest in role-playing games and a desire to get lost in an incredible, engaging adventure would be doing themselves a huge favour by picking up Bravely Default without delay.
Bravely Default is a joy to play for old school JRPG fans. The music, graphics and mechanics all blend together perfectly and it continues in a already strong lineup of RPGs on the 3DS. This little handheld is becoming quite the powerhouse for these kind of games.
Bravely Default: Where the Fairy Flies is a bit of a return to form, albeit hopefully the rule rather than the exception when it comes to Square-Enix’s future. It is surprisingly adept at fusing classic RPG ingredients with novel refinements, and plus, it wields a story which at first appears traditional but eventually grows horns and attacks you. Its shameless implementation of 90s-era mechanics and design does mean that participants will need to have a love for conventional JRPGs—and perhaps a bit of patience to endure the homogeneity of the first part of the game—but beyond that, Bravely Default is a great experience.
Together with the Brave/Default mechanic, wealth of character customization, and overall streamlined approach, Bravely Default manages to maintain that classic JRPG feel while modernizing outdated conventions.
Bravely Default offers a handful of modern twists on what is otherwise a fairly traditional JRPG, albeit one that is exceptionally refined, characterful and well-made. It’s no revolution, and if random encounters and turn-based battles turn you off, you won’t find anything to change your mind here. But fans and open-minded newcomers will enjoy a substantial adventure that proves the JRPG is alive and kicking.
Bravely Default is a game that excites me about the future of the JRPG genre. It takes the standard JRPG that we have grown used to, adds in several new features, and modernizes the genre for the new generation. So much is done right that I hope other developers look to it as an example. Unfortunately, what Bravely Default does so ingeniously in its first forty hours falls apart in its last fifteen. What could have been a revolutionary game is debased by the horrendous endgame that Square Enix could have so easily omitted.
Bravely Second’s writing just doesn’t live up to its predecessor. Otherwise, it’s an incredibly solid and technically competent game that will have you tinkering with its job system for hours.
For good or for bad, Bravely Default is an old fashioned RPG. The story can be hit and miss at the same time introducing fantastical and cringe worthy dialog. If you are looking for something to sink your teeth into for 80-100 hours this unabashedly Final Fantasy like game isn’t a bad way to do it.
Bravely Default: Where The Fairy Flies comes remarkably close to being one of the best JRPGs I've ever played. The combat system is exciting, difficult, and highly customizable. The early design is wonderful, and the level of freedom with the game's difficulty makes it easy for anyone to play. Unfortunately, the game design falls so heavily in the last chapters that it becomes a chore to finish. That's still 25 hours of great gameplay before 5-10 hours of tedium, but it's enough to drag down the experience. If you're a JRPG fan, you must play Bravely Default. It comes so close to greatness that it's possible to overlook its glaring flaws. Just be warned that it'll be a slog to get to the end.
Bravely Default is a reminder that classic Final Fantasy themes and gameplay elements are timeless in the right hands. Unfortunately, its later segments are some of the worst examples of unnecessary padding in RPG history. All told, it’s a flawed masterpiece that shows more potential than any other current Square Enix RPG property.
Bravely Default is classic Final Fantasy in everything but name only. Despite dropping the famous moniker and attempting to become a successful new RPG series in its own right, this is the game that Final Fantasy fans have been missing in their lives for far too long. The added beauty of this very traditional role-playing experience is that it is accessible to all types of players due to the difficulty options and simple tutorials, making for a game that is great for those still new to the genre, but also offers a lot of challenge for the more seasoned gamer that demands it. Bravely Default is a great start for this new Square Enix franchise, and proves that allowing other developers to craft the types of RPGs that have been long-missed by the Final Fantasy company's fans can lead to extremely positive results. This is one game any RPG fan should be setting money aside for, whether they already own a Nintendo 3DS or not.
Bravely Default is a refreshing infusion of modernity into what's otherwise a traditional old-school RPG. It adds some new spice to turn-based battles, while also adding an engaging story, an engrossing Job system, and much-needed customization.
Game Strong. Solid JRPG experience, and one I didn't mind putting 90 hours into. If you like JRPGs at all, you'll like this one. It won't be your favorite, but it'll be one you'll keep on the shelf afterwards.
Bravely Default’s combat combines the best things that old-school JRPGs had to offer with some new and welcome additions, and its social features are incredibly forward-thinking. However, its sluggish pacing and over-reliance on repetition and genre conventions holds it back from being the Final Fantasy replacement we all wanted it to be.
However, the game is also let down by its fair share of derivative and less ambitious features. Bravely Default disappointingly wastes a lot of its potential, but Square Enix will get another shot with the already-announced sequel.