Masashi Takahashi, one of the producers of the Bravely Default II, was also involved in the development of its forebearer, Bravely Default. Takahashi told The Verge in a recent interview that modern RPGs “seem kind of impenetrable.”
Takashi’s goal when he was working in Bravely Default was to create an RPG reminiscent of those classic Final Fantasy games of the 16-Bit era. “I thought if I could make a game that was able to make [older players] recall things they liked about games when they were younger, and create a game for that type of audience, that was one thing that spurred me forward.” The producer told the website.
Certainly, 2014’s Bravely Default appealed to a wide audience thirsting for a 3-D RPG that played like the old classics did. The 3DS J-RPG holds an 85 Metacritc rating which in this day and age is a great score for a smaller budgeted J-RPG. By contrast, the PS4 version of Final Fantasy XV holds an 81 Metacritic rating. A sign, perhaps, of how that particular series has fallen somewhat out of favor with critics, and maybe even its large fan base.
So yes, unlike recent Square Enix’s efforts in the FF Series, Bravely Default earned a place in J-RPG gamers and critics’ hearts everywhere.
Bravely Default II will be out in 3 days
The much-anticipated sequel, running on the Unreal 4 engine on the Nintendo Switch will be released on February 26. While many have been concerned about the fact that many developers of the team that developed the first game (Silicon Studio) are now gone. Clay-Tech, the new development studio, is composed of members who worked on the previous title.
Judging by early impressions, while Bravely Default II takes place in a new setting, with new characters, and a new adventure. The game remains true its predecessor, from its job class system, to its tried-and-true method of classic J-RPG storytelling, this is a game geared to please fans of the original. More importantly, Bravely Default II is a game made with the 16-bit/32-bit era Japanese Role-Playing Game fan in mind.
This is both, the game’s biggest strength, and its weakness, as Bravely Default II is not likely to break any new ground. Sometimes, however, in a sea of newer J-RPGs that have abandoned turn-based combat in their fervor to please the western gamer, a game that sticks religiously to traditional gameplay can be refreshing.
This is likely to be Bravely Default II’s case when it finally arrives to our shores in a few days. It will be interesting to see if the sequel can surpass the original’s critical acclaim. The Nintendo Switch has an 80 million unit installed user base. Hopefully, with strong sales, we will get more J-RPGs that ‘brave’ into Bravely Default II’s style of gameplay, and storytelling in the near future.
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