Note: my original plan was for the header above to read something along the lines of, "A few thoughts on the surprisingly polished, gorgeous and fun Bravely Default demo," but in the end I deemed it a smidge too wordy.
Which I guess kind of gives away how I generally feel about this just-released 3DS demo, although I'll let you in on a little secret right now--as much as I love the North American Bravely Default demo, I do, in fact, have at least one issue with it.
Before I get to that "problem area," though, let's focus on what I consider to be the demo's more positive aspects:
It looks stunning--Of course, I could've written that before the demo came out (and before I spent more than six hours with it), couldn't I? Still, seeing this game's graphics on an actual 3DS system has been quite the breathtaking experience for me. I'm especially impressed with some of the enemy designs, like the cheetah-esque baddie who bounces back and forth before bounding forward in attack. I'm also smitten with some of the clothing worn by party members while testing out various jobs--with the ninja, red mage and valkyrie wardrobes being my favorites at the moment.
The soundtrack's pretty ace, too--I've pretty much always loved the soundtracks to Square-Enix games, so I went into the Bravely Default demo expecting to be blown away by its music, too. And guess what? It's knocked my socks off so far. I particularly enjoy the demo's pan-flute-heavy overworld theme.
How ever did we survive previous RPGs that lacked the Bravely and Default battle system?--Seriously, this game's battle system is the proverbial feather in its cap, if you ask me. Which is funny, because when I first saw video of it in action I assumed it would make Bravely Default's battle scenes interminably long. Thankfully, that's not the case--or at least it isn't in the demo. Sure, some battles--boss ones, especially--can drag on a bit, but most non-boss fights can be finished in a satisfactory snap if you spam "Bravely" at the outset and wipe out the enemy before they know what's hit them.
A bit more character would've been nice--Specifically, it would be nice if the demo provided players with a more in-depth look at Bravely Default's four party members. As it is, though, they're basically hollow palette swaps--which is a shame, as it seems they're given pretty distinct personalities in the full release. Now, I realize it likely would've been tough for the folks who produced this demo to inject it with the additional story elements my request would require, but I also think some people currently unsure about the full game could've been swayed in favor of picking it up if the demo had a bit more, er, character.
So, those are my thoughts thus far on the Bravely Default demo. What do all of you think of it?