Bravely Default 2, the preview of the Nintendo Direct Mini

Bravely Default 2, the preview of the Nintendo Direct Mini
The recent Nintendo Direct Mini opened with Bravely Default 2, the sequel / reboot - can you tell? - from the series of the same name that we played on Nintendo 3DS a few years ago. The short trailer served more than anything else to reveal the release date, finally set for February 26, 2021: by then, the developer Silicon Studio will have implemented a whole series of improvements, then discussed in a separate video, which arise from the feedback. that players left after trying the demo several months ago. Do you remember? We also talked about it, in our tried, in which we raised some perplexities that seem to have also encountered many players: thanks to their opinions, the Japanese team is refining the experience in the hope that it will repeat, and maybe even exceed, the excellent performances of Bravely Default and Bravely Second.

The new Asterisks

The trailer opens with a duel between a warrior wearing creepy armor and speaking like a super villain destined to become the boss final and a mild-looking old man who, in reality, is strong, agile and fast but is not the Warrior of Light his challenger believes he is. Then the themes of Bravely Default return, in turn borrowed from the original Final Fantasy: the magical crystals that feed the world choose one or more extraordinary individuals, usually four, who will have to travel far and wide to save the world from a threat not better defined. Not even this trailer outlines the incipit of the story, which still seems to be set in a fantasy world that is very reminiscent of the previous Bravely Default, although it is not: Bravely Default II, in fact, should be a completely new story, centered on unpublished characters and that takes place in a different world ... even if the tricks already seen in the two previous titles could easily reserve us some meta-surprises on the long run.

The trailer, if anything, offered us a roundup of characters and cinematics that confirm a much more dynamic and cinematic direction, especially in the intermission sequences that represent the salient moments of the story. For the rest, the Nintendo Direct Mini focused above all on four new Asterisks which, for the uninitiated, would be the Jobs or classes that the four heroes Seth, Adelle, Elvis and Gloria can undertake. Usually we must first defeat the boss who holds a certain Asterisk, then we can change the class of our characters by choosing a primary class and a secondary class: the first is the one that gains experience points and, as you level up, learns new skills and spells; the second, on the other hand, acts as a support, and guarantees a great variety of synergies and strategies together with the many role-playing elements such as equipment, accessories and permanent bonuses.

In the demo we learned about the Handyman, the Armored Infantryman, the White Magician, the Black Magician and the Monk. The short trailer of the Nintendo Direct Mini also showed three Jobs in action between one scene and another: we recognized the Dragoon, while the other two remain without definition but they look like a kind of painter who fights with palette and brush and the alchemist, judging by the vials in his belt and the grinder on his shoulder.

The trailer, in fact, mainly focused on the Asterisks of four new villains, presented with name and surname. Dag Rampage holds the Vanguard Asterisk and fights with a one-handed weapon and shield: this class, of course, is the tank that absorbs the hits of enemies and attacks or stuns them by hitting them with the shield itself. The vain Orpheus Tragoidia instead possesses the Asterisk of the Bard, a Job that Final Fantasy fans should know well enough: the Bard is a support class that can enhance its companions or weaken enemies, for example by making them more vulnerable to certain elements.

We then have Anihal, a child raised in nature who possesses the power of the Beastmaster, another historical Job that will allow us to capture enemies and deploy them in combat together with our heroes to take advantage of their special abilities. And finally there is Shirley Clarence, who will give us the Gambler's Asterisk, a Job based basically on randomness: her skills are extremely powerful, but they depend on a Russian roulette that can also damage, if not directly kill, the character that uses it. According to the trailer, these are the first villains we will face on our wandering journey through the world of Excillant, and in the coming weeks Nintendo will also reveal the other characters and their related Jobs.

Towards the release

Producer Masashi Takahashi then illustrated, in another video, all the most important adjustments that the team made to the game after the release of the demo, which was downloaded and tested by over 1 million players. Square Enix therefore received, in the space of a couple of months, more than twenty-two thousand responses to the questionnaire it had prepared on the demo: players would generally have appreciated above all the music and the Job System, a little less the characterization of the characters which, in fact, we too had considered it quite stereotyped. If there is something that has not really gone down to the players, however, it is the balance of the difficulty, actually too punishing for a simple demo that should have shown even to novices the potential of the game and its peculiar combat system called Default. Takahashi admitted that he specifically tuned the demo that way, and that he has now implemented three interchangeable difficulty levels at any time that should make the first few hours of gameplay much more accessible even to those who don't chew JRPGs.

Another aspect of the game the team is working hard on is the interface, which many users have found unintuitive, especially now that the combat system has embraced a different turn rotation than previous Bravely Default. For this reason, Silicon Studio has simply implemented indicators that trace the Active Time Battle System of the old Final Fantasy: placed under the parameters of the characters, these indicators fill up slowly and suggest the order in which it will be possible to give orders to the four protagonists. . The enemies, however, do not have specific indicators, as they could have guaranteed an excessive advantage to the players: Takahashi has thus shown a compromise in the form of an icon in the form of an exclamation point that will appear on enemies about to attack. This way, players will know which enemies are about to act, while not knowing exactly the order in which they will attack. The interface has undergone a general overhaul, with the addition of details that make some information clearer and more intuitive, especially in combat and in some screens, such as the inventory one.

The team has also made some exploration filings, especially as regards the interaction with the enemies, which now appear on the screen: if stronger than the team, they will be surrounded by a menacing red aura, but it is true that by defeating them you will earn an important bonus to the experience points as a reward for our efforts. The animation of the sword stroke has also been changed with which it is possible to cut the grass and break objects that hide treasures and collectibles, but also to hit enemies before a fight to get an initial advantage: the attack is now faster and has greater reach. Since the enemies' movements have been slowed down, it will now be easier to get around them and escape, or intercept them with the sword to start the fight on our terms. Along with a number of minor tweaks - for example, it will be possible to change the control system and set auto-running - these major changes should satisfy all players who have tried the demo but encountered some problems.

The Bravely Default II's new trailer didn't tell us anything new about the game itself, but only officially unveiled four new Jobs. Much more interesting, however, the in-depth analysis of Square Enix on all the improvements that the developer has made inspired by the feedback of the players who have downloaded the demo. In this sense, the new JRPG due out in February promises to meet the favor of the players, in the hope that this also applies to the story and the cast which, to date, remain its less convincing aspects.

CERTAINTIES

The improvements made are clever and bode well for the release The Job System has enormous potential DOUBTS Story and characters still to be evaluated It continues to look a bit too similar to previous Bravelys

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