I did it, LusiTurnips. I fanangled myself my first early copy of a game in ages. It is not exactly the same as the golden days when I did not have to pay for the games, but I suppose in the name of journalistic integrity it makes no difference. However, it does make a difference on my wallet. The difference was some money. It was a mathematical difference. The difference was some money.
Anyway, let me talk about the game now.
Bravely Default Check-In
Still not released in North America.
However, there is a copy in my 3DS. And it is awesome. While I miss the complete trust in the player that 4 Heroes of light provided, and while the periphery elements to help out newer players feel occasionally too intrusive, it is ultimately an excellent RPG. It exudes the sense of adventure that I loved about my first RPGs, Pokémon Blue, Skies of Arcadia and Final Fantasy VII and IX. Its world feels like a whole, and its battle and job systems have the sort of depth and variety that is still keeping me interested after 25 hours of gameplay.
But, blah blah blah, good game design and a return to form for the JRPG, what I really want to talk about is my surprise at the excellent use of 3D. Do not get me wrong, I still never play with the feature on for much more than a minute at a time. It is disorienting and a strain on the eyes, but with most games the feature is a waste in addition to that fact. With Bravely Default, however, the effect is used not only stylistically, but occasionally masterfully. Cutscenes, dungeons, and the overworld is nothing particularly special to behold, but in special rooms and towns, it is a marvel. The areas simply look better in 3D. While the 3D was the least disorienting and most smoothly implemented in Link Between Worlds, it is Bravely Default that uses it most convincingly as an artistic choice. When the game is available for wide release, I strongly recommend turning on the effect at major locations for a few moments to admire the development team’s skill with manipulating depth perception to artistic effect.
Oh, before I forget…
Did I Kill Phillip Seymour Hoffman?
I am going to keep a keen eye on Paul Giamatti, Sigourney Weaver, and Jack Skellington. Perhaps being the Editorial Miscellany mascot is the kiss of death. I only wish I had had the foresight to stop sooner.
Back To Bravely Default
I raved about the demo in an earlier edition of this storied column, and I stand by that praise. Even after sinking ten hours into the demo, my fatigue was minimal when I came across the demo area in the game proper. The dungeons, it turns out, had been cut down to a smaller size, and absolutely none of the quests remained the same. Only the matter of fighting familiar monsters was something of a bore to me, but the fact that this was my actual save file made it easier.
Somewhat surprisingly, I am being less creative with my job combinations than I was the first time, and my conservative choices are frustrating me. I suppose it has something to do with the fact that the job level cap is higher in comparison to the demo, but I really feel that it comes down to me being less daring. Especially because the jobs are really quite creative and all seem to be worth investing into, moreso than the Hat Party hats were, anyway.
As much as I am enjoying the game, I feel a little pressure, however. Lightning Returns is due out shortly and Infamous: Second Son follows shortly after that. In addition to my many projects and my full-time job, I want to be focused and complete games that I feel are important to complete this year, and in a timely fashion. I have gotten better at focus when it comes to the games that I play, and not feeling guilty about leaving lots of games unfinished, but I do not want that to translate to laziness with the bigger games of the year. So let us see if I can complete Bravely Default before the official release date.
On that note, I think that demo StreetPasses work, so I have not been hurting for the rebuild Norende “mini-game”. Although, to be honest, it is more like one of those “help out newer player” mechanics I was talking about. Anyway, are you guys excited for Bravely Default? What have you been playing?