Square-Enix is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to RPGs. They’re the studio behind both Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, two monolithic franchises in gaming. If you’re even slightly interested in the world of role-playing games, there’s no doubt you’ve come in contact with one of these series throughout the years.
While Square-Enix continues to create new installments for those iconic brands, they’re also more than willing to experiment with other RPG ideas. Case in point, the Bravely series. While it’s not anywhere near as popular as Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, it’s been quietly growing a fanbase of millions the world over. The franchise took its first steps in the early days of the 3DS through Bravely Default, and then expanded its reach with the direct sequel, Bravely Second: End Layer. It’s been 5 long years since that title launched, but Square-Enix is finally returning to the series for a third installment, and it’s a Switch-exclusive.
While Bravely Default and Bravely Second: End Layer were directly connected through characters and setting, Bravely Default II takes things in a fresh direction. This adventure features an all-new cast of characters to fill out your party, and a completely original story to go along with them. You’ll journey through the continent of Excillant with the mercenary Adelle, the sailor Seth, princess Gloria, and traveling scholar Elvis. As you might expect, your travels will be fraught with danger, thanks to fearsome enemies waiting around every corner.
Recommended: STEALTH 600 & 700 GEN 2
The best-selling wireless headsets just got even better; the Stealth™ 600 & 700 Gen 2 feature massive upgrades to ensure that Turtle Beach gamers always have the definitive audio advantage.
As you make your way through Bravely Default II, you’ll be able to build out a team aligned with your own interests. The main cast of four is yours to mold, as you can give them different jobs and sub-jobs that work in tandem. Different jobs offer varied abilities, giving you multiple ways to approach battles. Of course, not only do jobs and sub-jobs complement one another but dividing those professions among your party can help you craft an unstoppable team. There are a variety of options to pick from, such as the jack-of-all-trades Freelancer, healing-focused White Mage, hand-to-hand combat specialist Monk, and much more.
Battles themselves are mostly classic-style, turn-based affairs, but with a twist. The Bravely franchise gets its name from the Brave and Default battle system. During combat, you’ll use the Brave command to spend Brave Points. These Points let you activate up to four different actions during a single turn. When you use the Default command, you’ll hold back from the action in order to store up Brave Points. This creates a highly strategic element to fighting, as you’ll have to organically figure out when it’s the right time to hold back and build up Brave Points, and when you should unleash your stock on the opposition. Throw in the fact that turns are also impacted by speed, buffs, and debuffs, and you can clearly see how Bravely Default II has carved out its own niche in the crowded RPG genre.
With a mix of tried-and-true JRPG mechanics and some new wrinkles to how battles play out, Bravely Default II should go a long way to wooing newcomers while keeping traditionalists happy. If you’re still on the fence about this game, you’ll be happy to know a demo is available right now. The demo gives you control over a full party, which allows you to get a real taste of how the Brave and Default battles work. That said, save data from this demo doesn’t carry over into the full game, so you’ll have to start fresh if you decide to take the plunge. Bravely Default II is available both physically and digitally on the Switch right now.
Read More: How To Survive In Little Nightmares II
Need a little help trying to survive the challenges thrown at you? Danger awaits around every corner, so take a (quiet) breath and be ready to run for your life!
Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.