Monday, April 25, 2016

Bravely Second (3DS) Preview - The First 10 Hours

Well, I talked a bit about the demo, so I figure I might as well chronicle some of my progress in the full release of Bravely Second (and limit the spoilers as much as I can).  I really enjoyed the first one, but didn't finish it sadly (put in over 60 hours though).  I got to the part that everybody hates, where you start playing Groundhog Day Simulator.  I got the idea they were going for, but it was too long and could have been done much better.  So, I moved on to other games, since they don't review themselves!

Thankfully the game starts off with a recap of the first game.  Besides being a great refresher for fans, it helps people like me who didn't want to put up with the bulls ideas the first one had at the end.  Note I had a used copy of the original, so I did see the subtitle change, and hence, had some idea what was going on.

From that good part we then jump into the story, which starts with an unwinable fight versus a stupidly over-powered foe.  Yup, two of my least favorite things right off the bat!  I guess they have to make the new foe threatening, but the party fighting him would have done much, much better than that.  Sigh.

After that the story gets much better, as you assemble the game's main cast during the prologue.  This part clocked in at 5 hours for me, which is crazy for a prologue (the previous record was 4 for Trails in the Sky).  Also near the end of it is a great scene that makes good use of the 3DS's gyroscope.  You see the point of view of the last party member, and can move the system around to see various things.  You can focus on people talking to you, or look at the extra details in the scenery.  It's really cool, and apparently was also shown at the end of the previous game.  Either way, I wouldn't mind another scene like that, or more games to have something cool like that (but I wouldn't want it overdone).

In Chapter 1, you also get your first side quests.  These will reward you with a new job.  Well, new to you in the game.  Since Bravely Second boasts new job classes, the previous ones are gained from side quests.  This would be neat, but they worked in a choice system to it.  So when you do a side quest to unlock a job, you have to choose which side to fight, and that is the job you get.  You get the other one later, but it's still kind of dumb to me.  The philosophical choices presented would be more impactful if I wasn't siding with whichever job I wanted less instead of who I agreed with.

Plus, since these jobs are from the first game, the same people have them.  I'm sure they should be dead, since you kill them several times during the previous game.  I don't really like recycling a lot of characters, especially when it doesn't make sense.  At least previous players will have an idea how to fight and beat them.

The "one more fight" mechanic is great and a real time-saver.  If you kill the enemy during the first turn, you can battle again immediately.  While you won't recover any BP, meaning you can't go on forever, you get a bonus multiplier to money, experience and job points.  It is almost always worth doing.  I have the encounter rate set lower most of the time.  Using the "one more fight" I can fight less often on the map, but I still don't need to grind.  I love it.

The last thing I'll talk about for my first 10 hour foray into the game is the chomper making mini-game.  At one point a creepy owl gives you stuff to make plush chompers.  You do this while the system is open, and you your characters make dolls.  There are upgrades you can buy and use to make them faster, make more per batch, or sell them for more points.  You can also exchange the points for money (the starting rate is atrocious).  I have no idea why this was put into the game.  It doesn't really add anything, and just comes across as bizarre.  I guess it doesn't hurt anything, but it's a very WTF inclusion.

|  The Second 10 Hours >

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