Tag: Square Enix

Bravely Default 2 Review (Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Adventure, RPG, Action
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Developer | Publisher: Square-Enix | Nintendo
Age Rating: PEGI 12 | ESRB Teen+
Price: UK £49.99 | US $59.99 | EU €59.99
Release Date: 26th February 2021

No review code was provided, and all opinions contained below are my own.

Story/Characters

After a small introduction within which you get to choose the difficulty setting and your characters name, you, the MC, wake up on a beach after being shipwrecked. While trying to orientate yourself, you are found by a couple of random people, a young girl and an old man. They discuss ideas that don’t quite mean a whole lot to you just yet, but they proceed to take you to the nearest town, Halcyonia, so you can rest.

The MC will introduce himself as just a sailor, and about the shipwreck to the girl, with her muttering that it might be the Crystal’s will after all. The old man is introduced as Sir Sloan, a royal man-at-arms, an older gentleman who speaks in an archaic style. Princess Gloria is then introduced as well, firstly as just Gloria of Musa, then her full title and her uncertainty of whether she still is a Princess or not, since Musa has been destroyed.

Adelle, Elvis, MC, Gloria and Sir Sloan.

The Innkeeper will show you a map as you try to figure out where you are, but the map confuses the MC even more. The kind Innkeeper still gives you the map so you don’t get lost in future. As you continue following the course laid out in front of you, you’ll acquire a ship you can send out for up to 12 hours, whilst your Switch is in sleep mode, after saving the boat’s owner.

During the fight to save the boat owner, you’ll be lent a helping hand by a new couple of people. This man and woman will join you after the man attacks the creatures with fire and a small discourse between the two. The woman introduces them as a wandering scholar and his bodyguard/babysitter, her name being Adelle and his, Elvis. Elvis insists on dragging you to the tavern in Halcyonia, but not before they show you what they call an Asterisk, a special item that the pair are searching for across the world.

As you pull the whole group together, you learn that Gloria and Sloan are trying to recover the Crystals that have been scattered across the lands, with trouble coming along wherever they seem to settle. Elvis and Adelle are quite happy to come along as it will give them more direction than they had before. And it seems wherever there’s a Crystal, there are Asterisk users flocking around the place.

Gameplay

Big fight!

Bravely Default 2 is a turn-based RPG, but with it’s own twist. You can also use Brave or Default in a battle, Default is basically defend but allows you to gain a BP each time you use it, whereas Brave lets you take extra actions in your turn, up to 4 actions can be used in one go, and each extra action will use 1 BP each. You can go down to -3 BP but that’ll mean you have to wait 3 turns to be able to use that character again, so it’s recommended to Default then Brave as you see fit.

The Asterisks are what allow you to change Jobs in BD2, for example, Elvis first appears as a Black Mage, using fire, thunder, water etc as he gains levels in it. You’ll start with Freelancer and Black Mage, but you will gain up to 23 different Asterisks throughout the game. Personally, I really like Thief and Spiritmaster jobs, they seem pretty powerful with certain moves and support spells.

The world will open up to you as needed to progress, but anywhere you’ve opened is free to explore as you can, there are plenty of side quests to get done too, so you’ll be running around exploring and gaining extra items/exp/knowledge. There are five main cities that the world will open up around, Halcyonia being the first area, and even that has 2 or 3 optional mini bosses to contend with if you wanna challenge yourself.

Difficulty

Yes, yes we do

I am one of those people that always starts on the hardest difficulty, so I can only write from the Hard difficulty point of view. Although, I’m not sure if it’s because I am happy grinding when I want an ability or if the difficulty really is a touch low, even on Hard mode, but I found it to be pretty easy still, some bosses I would need to fight a few times to figure out the strategy needed, since some bosses have so many counter abilities it can feel like you’re hitting a brick wall with a feather duster.

The only time I have felt underpowered, is when I ‘beat’ the game and got to go unlock extra Job levels, those fights were a pain in the butt, but I managed eventually. As I said before, lots of learning their patterns and changing my jobs to suit the fight I was in, rather than just hit them with everything I got. A bit of patience is all that really required for this game, other than that, it was a walk in the park unfortunately. I actually wish there was a harder difficulty once you’d beaten the game.

But, apart from Hard difficulty, there are also Casual mode and Normal mode, Casual being BD2’s Easy mode. Now, from what I’ve read myself about BD2, it seems for most people this game is classed as difficult, even when not on Hard mode. I think growing up on old JRPG’s has given me the patience to just grind out levels or abilities whenever I fancy. Most issues it seems others had with the difficulty is either the amount of thought you need to put into the strategy, or the counter mechanics. Just have some patience, learn as much as you can in your first try against something difficult and persevere! If necessary, write down what they counter, what their weaknesses are, so you can get a better look at what you need to bring to the fight.

Graphics, Sound and Performance

I wish I could have taken a video to show how well voiced all the characters are, but unfortunately, Bravely Default 2 doesn’t allow video to be taken on the Switch. But, they voice almost every character you interact with! Most simple townsfolks don’t have a voice, but anyone important in any way to the story has a unique voice. It’s nice to see such diversity in a computer world, accents changing with the country, cultures changing too.

Each place has it’s own sounds, whether you’re in a forest listening to the sounds of forest life or on the beach, listening to the waves, it’s such a delight to hear the soundtrack and background noise. It’s a very interactive world, and it helps that you can really get immersed in this world so easily, I was glued to Bravely Default 2 for hours at a time, barely noticing if other things were happening around me.

Possibly the only issue I believe to be found in the performance may be the loading times, now, I don’t mind if a game takes it’s time loading things in as long as it’s not long enough for me to make a cuppa before it’s done, but 10-20 seconds, no real issue to me. But I know that it can be a problem for other people, which is understandable. We’re in a world where we want technology to do what we want as fast as possible, but a touch of patience and hopefully it’s not that big a deal. The game itself makes up for slightly long loading times.

Conclusion

Bravely Default 2 is a great old school style RPG, if you long for old Final Fantasy style gaming, give the Bravely Default series a go. They’ve managed to incorporate new ideas with the old turn-based style and it works, I love the gimmick of Braving and Defaulting, it opens you to fun interesting fighting styles.

8/10

Outriders coming to Xbox Game Pass on launch day

April is starting off with a bang for Xbox Game Pass! With the recent acquisition of Bethesda and today, Skyrim, Fallout 4 & 76, Prey and Dishonored Definitive Edition is receiving a FPS boost.

Xbox Game Pass UK official twitter account even dropped Outriders, new IP from Square Enix will be coming to the service when the game launches, April 1st.

Source: Xbox Game Pass UK

Square Enix Releasing Final Fantasy VII Advent Children Watches

This September Square Enix will be releasing analog watches based on Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The watches will cost ¥33.000 and will come in a 39 mm model and a 34 mm model. The design features Cloud’s Cloudy Wolf pattern and Sephiroth’s black feathers. The back features the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children logo. And the 7 on the watch range has been replaced with VII.


There will also be a limited edition for ¥38.280. This version will be engraved with a serial number and has a subdial with mother of pearl. (Also 39 mm and 34 mm models.)

Source: Siliconera

Seek Out The Mystical Mana Tree in Legend of Mana

In last night’s Nintendo Direct we got the announcement of another Square Enix title. The Legend of Mana will be heading to the Nintendo Switch on the 24th of June this year.

Set off on a journey to find the mystical Mana Tree seen in a dream, before discovering… the world map is empty! During your travels, you’ll acquire special artifacts; place these wherever you’d like on the map to bring towns and dungeons to life and advance the story.

Meet a colorful cast of characters, square off against fearsome monsters, and complete quests in the vast world of Fa’Diel. Not only has the music has been rearranged for this remaster, you can also alternate between the new and original soundtrack. Other features have also been added, including the ability to turn off enemy encounters, and the never-before released mini-game “Ring Ring Land”.

Legend of Mana was originally released in 1999 for the PlayStation and is the fourth installment in the Mana series, following Trials of Mana.

Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY Coming to the Switch

Square Enix have announced a brand new tactical RPG heading for the Nintendo Switch in 2022: Project TRIANGLE STRATEGY (working title).

As three nations battle for control of the dwindling resources of salt and iron; command a group of warriors as Serenoa, heir to the Kingdom of Glenbrook, in a tangled plot where your decisions make all the difference. Key choices you make will bolster one of three convictions – Utility, Morality, Liberty – which together make up Serenoa’s world view and influence how the story will unfold. When faced with truly momentous decisions, multiple characters will weigh in by casting their votes on the Scales of Conviction. In these moments, the allies and decisions you make can determine the fate of whole nations and the continent of Norzelia itself.

Following the art style of Octopath Traveler, with gameplay full of choices and consequences, and using some elements from the Fire Emblem series in the turn based battles, this game is going to be lit!

You can download a free demo to try out right here.

New Details Bravely Default II

Square Enix has released some new information for Bravely Default II concerning the country of Holograd, new jobs, Counters and Jammers, and consecutive battles.


Holograd, The Militant Nation

300 years ago, a hero brought together numerous clans that were living in barren wastelands. That is how Holograd began. It has since annexed neighboring countries, and now other countries are strengthening their guard.


Characters: Holograd

Adamas Holograd (voiced by Rikiya Koyama)

  • Hellblade Asterisk Holder.

A descendant of the hero that brought Holograd together. An advocate of military arts, he believes that the world will attain peace under the rule of the strong. He is the “Militant King,” which is what the ruler is called in Holograd.

Maddock Lonsdale (voiced by Shigeru Ushiyama)

  • Bastion Asterisk Holder.

Shogun of Holograd. As Sloan’s former mercenary companion, his skills in the military arts compare favorably. He is a righteous military man who is both self-sacrificing and loyal to the supremacy advocated by Adamas.

Mora (voiced by Ruriko Aoki)

  • Phantom Asterisk Holder.

One of Adamas’ subordinates. A woman who has mastered the art of shapeshifting to disguise her gender and age. She is fond of Adamas and is prepared to throw everything away to serve him.

Vishnu Isaac (voiced by Taisuke Nishimura)

  • Arcanist Aserisk Holder.

One of Adamas’ subordinates. A mage who claims to have mastered the art of death magic. He once lost a battle against Elvis’ teacher Emma and has has held a grudge ever since.


Jobs

Bastion

A tank job balanced in offense and defense. They can generate a barrier for all party members and nullify damage just once.

Phantom

A job that specializes in quick attacks using a short sword. With their high evasion rate and overwhelming number of hits, they can use their two blades to defeat the opponent without giving them time to attack.

Arcanist

A job that specializes in powerful magic that hits all enemies. This includes super powerful magic that can even involve party members.

Hellblade

A job that wields a cursed blade that risks taking their life. Attributes can be freely assigned to the blade to slaughter every enemy.


Systems

In battle, it is necessary to look out for the “Counters” and “Jammers” that many strong enemies possess. And if you feel like you are not strong enough, you can level up your jobs through “consecutive battles.”

Counters and Jammers

Certain monsters and many strong enemies may have a skill to counter your actions. These are “Counters,” which counter against attacks, and “Jammers,” which counter against actions other than attacks, such as a counter to using an item. In battles against strong enemies, plan your strategy to avoid severe counterattacks from these skills.

Counters and Jammers have a fixed chance of being triggered by your actions.
The Hunter’s support ability, “Retaliation Evasion,” can evade physical attack Counters and Jammers.

Consecutive Battles

When you touch a monster on the field and break into battle, any nearby monsters will get dragged in, triggering “consecutive battles.” While there are risks involved since you will have to battle as many monsters as you drag in, you can earn a significant payout of Job Points depending on the number of consecutive battles. If you want to earn Job Points, round up enemies and aim for a consecutive battles bonus.

Your BP will remain the same from the first battle to the second. Consider pacing yourself so you do not run out of breath in the first match.

Bravely Default II launches worldwide on the 26th of February for the Nintendo Switch.

Source: Gematsu