This is a look at the demo for the upcoming Bravely Second on the 3DS.
Bravely Second: The Ballad of the Three Cavaliers introduces us to three new playable characters and one brand new character. From the start you feel that Yew, Janne and Nikolai have a pretty rich history together and that they have a pretty tight bond. The chemistry between these three characters immediately managed to drag me back into the game world. A few minutes into the game we get introduced to our shady, but charming female protagonist, Magnolia, that impersonates the individual that the rest of the party is supposed to meet up with. While not fully trusting her, they let her accompany them as the party sets out to investigate mysterious events surrounding the town of Al-Khampis. You set out to do various tasks to help out citizens in need to learn more about what is going on.
Bravely Second is one those games that makes you feel like it understands exactly what you want. At least in my case. Being a sequel to one of the best JRPG’s that came out in recent years it had a whole lot of promise to live up to and it delivered.
Bravely Second: The Ballad of the Three Cavaliers brings over all the things that made Bravely Default such a phenomenal piece of art. From the set pieces to the fantastic soundtrack and rich characters. The battle system is greatly improved as well. Instead of the special bonus experience, money or job points, you now are able to keep fighting if you manage to beat the enemy in one turn. Each time you fight a new group of enemies you get the chance to increase this bonus to insane amounts of extra’s. Making levelling jobs, levels and farming money far more enjoyable than the previous instalment. It is up to the player to decide whether or not they keep fighting for a greater bonus or just take satisfaction with knowing that you live to fight another day. Strategizing your turns by using the Brave and Default system is now a much more vital inclusion in the battle system. Not only do a lot of skills now cost turns to use, you also need to keep an eye on how many turns you have left in order to keep a bonus going. This makes it all the more fun to level different jobs and try different strategies. I found myself using one of my characters as a Performer to give one of the spellcasters on my team extra turns to keep the battles going. Because this system works the way it does, the game is very inviting for people new to the genre. If a player is skilled and invested enough to learn the basics of the game you can destroy any enemy in your path with a very fast pace for a JRPG. The variety of the jobs that are available give a fine taste of what kind of diverse gameplay elements you can expect in Bravely Second. Each class utilizes its skills, turns and resources very differently and it is so much fun to explore all of them.
What stood out to me the most was the fantastic soundtrack. I’m absolutely in love with the soundtrack of Bravely Default and I listen to it on a daily basis. Bravely Second is a lot more daring in how they use the music. From jazz to orchestrated bombastic battle themes and threatening boss themes. I felt more absorbed in the battles and the world, because they were accompanied by such well crafted scores.
I easily sunk over 10 hours into the demo alone, by exploring the areas, grinding out jobs to see what was possible, unlocking rewards for the full game and just enjoying the music. For a demo to offer this much gives me a lot of hope for the full release of this game. Bravely Second promises a lot of improvement over the first one and I can only hope that it is as incredible as Bravely Default.
Until then, Bravely Second: The Ballad of the Three Cavaliers will have to keep our mouths watering.