Yes, you heard me right. The Bravely Default: Flying Fairy demo lets you both brave and default.
Remember Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light? Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is kind of the sequel to that. The style is very similar and the gameplay is still classic role playing.
The game looks gorgeous. But! However! Yes! There is one, well actually two small things that bug me. There are two weird parts in the art, one on the bottom screen and one on the dialog box. These oddities are very minuscule but they keep making me wipe my 3DS screens because I think they are dirty. I hope someone notices this and it gets changed before the final release. Other than that the graphics are extremely pleasing.
The music is also pleasing. But as this is the third demo, the graphics and music aren't the things to talk about here. The first one let you walk across the screen. The second let you walk around town and do some fetch quests. Not exactly the most riveting demos, although the graphics and tunes were also extremely pleasant in both of them. The overall game design is, once again, very pleasant.
One thing I really like about this game is that when controlling the menus you can not only press A to confirm and B to cancel but also left and right to do the same respectively. This makes it easy to do cool things such as play the demo again as I write about it.
This demo focuses on the battle system and wow. I am in love. Allow me to geek out about it for a while.
The battle system revolves around BP, Brave Points. Aside from your character's normal Attack, Skill, Item and Run commands they have Brave and Default. See what they did there?
Default lets you defend and accumulate one BP. Brave lets you spend one BP to do more than one action per turn. Here's the catch: You can spend BP even if you don't have it.
If a character or enemy has zero or more BP at the start of a turn they can act that turn. When selecting their actions they can use up to 3 BP to take a total of four actions during their turn. As mentioned above, BP can be used even if it brings your BP below zero. Now, if a character or enemy starts the turn with negative BP they cannot act. Instead spend the turn vulnerable 'restoring' one BP. Once they start a turn with 0 BP they can act again.
The demo offers you four jobs to outfit your two playable characters with. Knight, Monk, White Mage and Black Mage. The first time I played the demo I chose the Monk and Black Mage. With these two jobs I was pretty much unleashing all the possible Brave Points I could when I could act. This was very effective in the first two fights which I assume were similar to what random encounters would be like. But in the last two it proved to be a little riskier.
You see, enemies follow the Brave and Default rules as well. So it is entirely possible that your three moves are doing less damage because the enemy chose Default. And that leaves you wide open for each enemy to hi you with up four moves each. Of course, the reverse is also possible. So using Brave willy nilly every turn is not always the proper choice.
Where it really got interesting was when I picked the White Mage.
As you'd expect, White Mages aren't particularly useful at the beginning of the fight when everyone is healed. So you have them Default. And Default again until they need to act. Now when they must act, they can do more than just restore HP or remove poison. They can do both. And while they are Defaulting they are taking less damage.
Here's a example of the system:
During one of the fights, an enemy used four actions and knocked my Knight out leaving me only with a White Mage. On the next turn I had the White Mage first use Brave to get another action. He had one BP saved so this brought him to 0. I then ordered the White Mage to use a Phoenix Down on the Knight and then cast Cure targeting all party members.
When the turn started, my White Mage did as ordered and revived the Knight and then healed both of them. The enemy who had used four actions the previous turn did not act and the other enemy used one BP to attack twice.
The next turn I had two characters with 0 BP and had each character spend 3 to do four attacks each and make quick work of the two enemies.
The Brave/Default system allows for both making quick work of weaker encounters and interesting strategies to consider for the boss fights. If the development team packs some interesting boss fights into the game, I think we are all in for a real treat. And I do believe it's safe to say that Square-Enix has a good record with boss fights in RPGs.
Like the previous demos there is another AR to watch. Frankly, I'm going to skip it because I'm tired of them. What I won't be skipping is the game proper on October 11.
[Credit goes to Famitsu.com for the images.]
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