-Spoilers-I cleaned up the last summon I needed, Giratabulu, and also snagged the last side quest for the Templar job. That extra HP should come in handy.
While a lot of stuff from the first game was recycled, not everything was. Two of the jobs didn't come back. The Vampire I only really miss for its passives, and the Sage job was late enough that I didn't get much time with it last game. Even so, plenty of jobs from last time were near negated by new ones, so it seems odd to toss those two when they could have done it to add more jobs.
Speaking of the Vampire job class, there is a point where you have to go back to the castle, even if the master is gone. I really didn't like this dungeon the second time around. For starters, you can't raise or lower the encounter rate. I could deal with that, but the enemies are annoying, so I want to turn them off. There are cerberus enemies that have a very damaging counter attack, even if you miss. There are also some chomper enemies that will poison counter any physical attacks. Even ranged ones. That's...a very far poison aura. Ugh.
They also cram some extra story in this dungeon. Personally, I thought it was kind of dumb. They really go to great lengths to shove the new characters' backstories into previous characters' backstories, with mixed results. Plus, and this is an extra (SPOILER) tag for you, they also undo any sympathy you might have for Janne. They want you to feel sorry that his family was killed, but his father defended the church that caused the plague, so he's kind of an ass. He's not much better than Yew's father, so Janne should just shut up about it.
The top culminates with a boss fight against the Yokai. It's about time she gets her comeuppance! Except she has a multi-hit instant death attack. Yeah, she has balance in spades...*rolls eyes*
So after beating her, the weird pillar things spotted around the world finally have a use. They contain the special sin monsters that power Yokai's job abilities. Sadly, they are some of the most gimmicky fights in the game.
First was Satan, the sin of wrath. He's a dragon. So, the dragon sin of wrath? Anyway, it just berserks you, and there's no item or ability to fix it. Sucks, but I was able to power through.
Second is Lucifer. It has a very strong counter move, but that's about it. I was able to defeat it the first time.
Mammon, the sin of avarice (greed), just stole BP from me. It can evidently steal stats, too, but it didn't do that to me. Other than that it would just hit physically or use blizzaja. It wasn't an easy fight, but it wasn't that hard, either.
Fourth I went to fight Asmodeus, the sin of lust. Boy, is this fight terrible. It can remove you from battle by absorbing you. The only way to come back is for Asmodeus to do it. Nothing else work, just waiting and hoping. It doesn't even have to return you if the random number doesn't come up, which is crap. If everyone is gone...game over, man. Not fun, but I did manage to beat it on the second try, once I knew about its tricks.
I got sick of the gimmicky end game fights, and just decided to end the final boss. So you fight Anne and kick her little...oh, wait, you probably won't the first time. She has a skill that reduces a target's max HP to 1. Yup, that's cheap. The only way to fix it is to cast Undo, but you have to know that ahead of time and have the skill equipped. I just started smashing her, with plenty of resurrection mist to go around.
So on to the final boss finally then? The first form at least. It has a skill that commands one character to kill another. It's not automatic, so why should I listen to that jerk? Oh, because if you don't, he will hit your party with just under 100,000 damage. Fair!
Yup, another stupid gimmick for a boss fight. I'm sensing a trend here. Anyway, after beating that form, the second form...was surprisingly normal. It did buff its hands, but they were pretty easy to kill so it didn't matter much. I just attacked and healed as normal and it eventually died. It was really refreshing to just have a normal RPG fight at the end. Final boss destroyed at just over 70 hours!
I then decided to pick off the last three sin bosses. First was Belphegor (sloth). It shifts its weakness after an attack, so my usual strategy didn't work at all. Everything that it wasn't weak to would heal it, even attacks without elements. Yes, again, that is a dumb decision, but I still killed him after working out a battle flow.
Second was Leviathan, the sin of envy. Boy, I don't envy people who fight this boss. I had originally tried this fight before beating the game, and was likely the cause of me just going to beat it instead of putting up with this nonsense. It's one of the super bosses from the town in the first game, the four snakes. This stupid thing is the source of the multi-hit instant death attack that Yokai does. Plus, as an added bonus, Leviathan will brave to do it multiple times in a turn. Yeah, stupid. I was able to get two part members immune to the death portion of it, which helped. It eventually went down like all the others.
Last was Beelzebub (gluttony). This fight was pretty easy, since the gimmick is one I've seen before. Every few turns he would use the gluttony skill, which lets him absorb anything as healing. I tried a few things, even healing him, to see what would work. Just waiting it out is the best option. After a few turns, he will spit acid at the party, which does very little damage if you don't attack him beforehand. Last sin down, so the Yokai is ready to be mastered!
There were also two bonus dungeons that opened up after clearing the main story, so I decided to check them out a bit. I could tell they were going to be annoying, so I instead spent some time to grind up jobs to get the mastery (level 11) for them. I realized I would have to sink even more time into the game to go through with it all, and decided to call it (for now). I wrote some notes in the 3DS' game notes section, and stopped playing just shy of 80 hours. Fun game, but the story went on a bit too long and the gimmicky fights near the end soured some of the experience. Good game, though, and worth playing!
< Hour 40-60
Most of the new jobs are really good with some great new skills. Chain battles are fantastic, as you can grind really fast with less running in circles for battles. Overall the game was really fun.
The gimmick fights near the end of the game. The story felt like it went on for a bit too long as well.
I was annoyed I didn't get my preorder costumes, but you can buy them in the game...for way too much pg.
(Bravely Second Collector's Edition was pre-ordered and purchased on release day)