Monday, January 06, 2014

A few thoughts on the Bravely Default demo

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?


Zaphod65 said...

I haven't had enough time to make much progress in the demo, but the few minutes I've played were enough to sell me on buying the full game next month. I'll work my way through it and unlock the goodies that transfer over before release, though. said...

Well, I'm glad to hear you've at least put enough time into it to know that you want to buy the full game, Terry, as a bunch of folks who've played the full game have told me that it is miles better than the demo--which is saying something, in my opinion!

ImportGamer said...

I've also played the demo, and if it weren't for my excessively large backlog, I would be wishing it were already February, so I could play it right now.

But somewhat thankfully, it's still January, a dead month in terms of releases, so I have a little time to clear out some backlogged titles in the meantime, so I can devote pretty much all of February to Bravely Default.

The Girly Gamer said...

I've downloaded the demo, but I haven't had the chance to play it yet. I'd like to beat Zelda: A Link Between Worlds before I play the demo, but I'm stuck at the last part of that game. So who knows when I'll actually get to it. Agh. And you make it sound so good too!

Monster_Hunter2882 said...

I pretty much have the same opinions about the demo as you seem to have. I'm also intrigued by the job system and how it let's you customize your strategy set up.for characters and I'm glad that characters have their job levels separate from their overall level. I liked being able to turn off or crank up the random encounter rate One thing I didn't like is how you to wait until night to activate/finish and/or do some quests. I also didn't like how you to wait hours to reclaim territory and build shops in Nondre Village or get a bunch of street-passes to speed up the process so that you could get the equipment that I'm amusing you need to beat the Demo's later bosses on hard without grinding for hours but that only appears to be problem in the demo since in the full game you'll be able to get villagers through the internet.

Regrading the censorship controversy I find it silly that they changed some skimpy outfits if they also aged up the characters. I think they should of done one or the other but at the same I don't find that the art style isn't going to be a benefit to said outfits. said...

Yeah, as much as I want to play the full game, I'm glad the lull in releases has allowed me to play Attack of the Friday Monsters, for instance. Next, Hometown Story and a few others :) said...

Ah! You just reminded me that I have to get back to A Link Between Worlds, Girly Gamer. Hmmmm, maybe after I'm done with the demo (which should be tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday). Also, I'm glad to hear you liked my impressions! said...

You know what's sad, Sam? I *just* discovered that you could add support abilities to each character in this game. Doh!

Also, I didn't know you could change the difficulty level at will or even the enemy-encounter rate in the demo. I knew you could do so in the full game, but I thought it wasn't available in the demo--until just a few minutes ago, of course. Sigh.

I understand being annoyed by being forced to wait for the shops and such in the bonus village to be built, but I personally don't think it takes too much away from the demo, as you really don't need those weapons and such to beat the demo.

As for the censorship controversy: it doesn't bother me at all, really. If the characters in this game were properly proportioned and didn't look like dolls, that would be one thing, but who really cares if these chibi-characters have bikini bottoms or square-cut ones?