Bravely Default 2, the history of the Job System from its origins to today

Bravely Default 2, the history of the Job System from its origins to today
Released at the end of February, Bravely Default 2 represents the return of a series that has already become a cult despite being composed of only the two episodes we played between 2012 and 2016. In this sense, Silicon Studio's new JRPG shouldn't be a direct sequel to Bravely Default and Bravely Second, but a new starting point for players approaching not only the series, but also the Japanese RPG genre for the first time. The demo already available on the eShop should give you a fairly precise idea of ​​the game and the combat system that revolves around what we commonly call Job System: it is an iconic feature in some of the most famous titles produced by Square Enix, which has ancient origins and has profoundly influenced the genre over the years. And Bravely Default, after all, is only a spiritual spin-off of Final Fantasy. In the next few lines we will retrace the history of the Job System by examining some of the titles that have best represented it over the years.

The origins of the Jobs

Although there is no real Job System, the signs of it can be seen already in the very first Final Fantasy of 1987: Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director and creator of the series, he wanted players to be able to choose the class of the four Warriors of Light at the start of the game. After all, Final Fantasy was supposed to be Japan's answer to Western RPGs, all about strategy and customization. The idea was that each class excelled at a particular aspect of the combat system - Black Mages and White Mages, for example, could learn the best attack and heal spells respectively - and that it was possible to transform each class into its most powerful version. powerful by solving a side mission. On this basis, the first Job System prototype was built starting from Final Fantasy III, skipping the second episode on a par.

In the third Final Fantasy, the four protagonists began as Knights Onion and were unlocking more and more classes or Jobs, but the progression system had not yet been perfectly filed: the individual characters gained new statistics that depended on the Job hired at the time of level up, which required a certain planning but greatly limited the freedom of experimentation. We will have to wait for Final Fantasy V, in 1992, to finally see one of the best incarnations of the Job System, as well as the one that would become the reference point for Final Fantasy - but not only - to follow. In the new Final Fantasy, the protagonists can choose from a plethora of Jobs, which include new roles such as the Blue Wizard and the Samurai, and grow them independently, accumulating the necessary Skill Points to unlock new spells, some of which can also be used by hiring others. Job.

Intermezzo: Tactics

Before revising the Job System in a main Final Fantasy it would take many years, but Yasumi Matsuno would have worked further on it on two occasions, first as director of Tactics Ogre and then as director of Final Fantasy Tactics, released in '95 and '97 respectively. While they look very similar - they are both turn-based strategic JRPGs, with isometric combat and a multi-faceted and extremely adult story that harks back to the most famous conflicts in European history - the two titles have different approaches to the Job System: in a sense, Final Fantasy Tactics can be considered the evolution of Tactics Ogre and, perhaps, the highest point reached by the Job mechanism among all Final Fantasy. Mechanism then resumed and perfected in the two Final Fantasy Tactics Advance for Game Boy Advance many years later.

Basically, Tactics are inspired by the Job System of Final Fantasy V, but guarantee greater freedom of choice and a much more interesting strategic depth. Each character can change Jobs between battles, spending the Job Points earned in battle to learn new skills and setting up a secondary Job at will. This meant looking for the best synergies to dominate the battlefield, fulfilling certain requirements that ended up unlocking new Jobs in a chain. In the two Game Boy Advance titles, later directed by Yuichi Murasawa, the learning method of skills, infused into weapons and accessories, changed: by accumulating the usual Skill Points, the skills in question became permanent even after replacing the equipment. br>

The transformation of the Job System

The Job System would be back in the limelight only with Final Fantasy XI, around 2003. The first title of the series to be played online, Square Enix's MMORPG centered all the combat system and player progression on the Job System. Each player chose his own initial Job when creating the character, but he was not bound by it: he could change Job if necessary, choosing a primary and a secondary one. Skills and spells were learned by leveling up or consuming specific scrolls, and each Job grew independently of the others: for this reason, the "farm" of experience points in a group was the predominant activity, as players looked for the best combinations of Primary and secondary jobs to be more effective in battle. Most Jobs were then unlocked by completing lengthy side missions, including those that gave players the iconic equipment of the Jobs in the series.

Taking one step forward and one step back at the same time, the Job System reappears with another name in Final Fantasy X-2, the controversial sequel of 2003. Here it is called Looksfera but it is precisely the Job System: the three heroines Yuna, Pain and Rikku can change clothes - even in the middle of the fight - and access different skills which follow those already seen in the previous Final Fantasy. To the traditional Jobs, such as the Warrior, the Alchemist and the Black Knight, there are other more eccentric ones such as the Soubrette (sic!) And the Magipistolera. From that moment on, Square Enix began experimenting more and more often, putting the Job System under different names. In Final Fantasy XII, 2006, it took the form of a chessboard where you unlock the individual Licenses that represented the skills of the Jobs. In the re-edition subtitled The Zodiac Age, each Job had its own chessboard and allowed individual characters to be customized more incisively.

In Final Fantasy XIII, 2010, the Job System takes on the appearance of a combat mechanic called Optimum that allows you to change the roles of the characters involved in battle on the fly. Although they are called completely differently, these roles are none other than Jobs and give characters different abilities, spells, and offensive or defensive abilities. The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy draws heavily on the past of the series: if Final Fantasy XIII-2 brings back the revised and corrected Optimum system, Lightning Returns harks back to the Looksphere of Final Fantasy XII-2 with a costume system that allows the protagonist to change outfits and fighting style, adopting some such as the Valkyrie, the Paladin or the Black Magician who need no introduction.

The miraculous Final Fantasy XIV, resurrected after the disaster of the initial version, offers a reinterpretation modern, intuitive and mainstream of the Job System adopted in Final Fantasy XI. Initially called Disciplines, the Jobs summarize their iconic identities with the change of director and become the beating heart of one of the most versatile combat systems in the history of the MMORPG genre. Although Naoki Yoshida was heavily inspired by World of Warcraft in the reconstruction of the game between 2010 and 2013, Final Fantasy XIV bypasses the concept of "secondary character" and "specialization" with the possibility of growing different Jobs with the same character and changing them. in a moment between a fight and another. In this sense, the individual storylines of each Job pay homage to the story of the franchise and of the Job System itself, which becomes the absolute protagonist of the gameplay and progression.

Towards Bravely

As we said, there are several Square Enix titles to make use of the Job System, but if it is true that the aforementioned ones are probably the most important to understand its evolution, we must necessarily go from Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light to get to Bravely Default. Developed by Matrix Software and published in 2009, Seiken Densetsu ~ Final Fantasy Gaiden ~ is a spin-off that is deliberately inspired by the very first Final Fantasy: it returns to the four heroes chosen by the Crystals and to a lighter adventure from the narrative point of view but definitely more difficult in terms of gameplay. What stands out is the Job System based on Crowns, real headdresses that give the characters the skills and characteristics of traditional Jobs. With gems found by defeating enemies, you can upgrade Crowns and learn new skills. When the characters wear a Crown, they completely change their look to reflect the Job hired: in addition to the historical ones, unpublished Jobs like the Scribe or the Shaman peep out.

The moderate success of Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light takes us directly to Bravely Default. Producer Tomoya Asano, who wanted to give The 4 Heroes of Light an action-like sequel, decided instead to command new developer Silicon Studio to build on the previous title, keeping player feedback in mind. Bravely Default, in a certain sense, is a revised, corrected but above all modernized version of The 4 Heroes of Light: there are four chosen protagonists, a world called Luxendarc in which everyone is fighting for Crystals and 24 classes with which to customize the system of combat. The Jobs are called Asterisks and our heroes must first defeat their owners to get their hands on their abilities: at that point, each party character can change Asterisk, and therefore Job, along with his appearance in battle. By earning Battle Points you learn new skills; once you get the ability to set a secondary Asterisk the system explodes in its versatility.

The fascination of Bravely Default's combat system doesn't just revolve around the variety of Asterisks. It is a turn-based system, in which the player chooses the actions of the party before the individual characters perform them in succession. The synergies between the Jobs and their abilities allow for an impressive selection of tactics and tricks with which to overwhelm enemies. The other feature that gives the title to the game is precisely the system focused on Default, practically the defense position that makes individual characters accumulate turns, who can then consume them later, even in the same turn, going to perform multiple actions. Bravely Second: End Layer, the sequel released in 2015, essentially kept the same structure, expanding the range of Asterisks from 24 to 30 for a total of over 300 skills to learn.

Bravely Default II

Released on February 26, Bravely Default II will be the next step in the evolution of Square Enix's Job System. Completely unrelated to previous episodes in the series, the new Silicon Studio title will follow the adventures of Seth, Gloria, Elvis and Adelle in the world of Excilliant. Also this time the four Warriors of the Light will be able to count on the power of the Asterisks and change Jobs if necessary, learning skills of all kinds. While remaining faithful to the proven formula of the first two Bravelys, Bravely Default II will bring some changes that may surprise fans of the series: the turn-based combat system will employ the Active Time Battle of some of the most famous Final Fantasy, with the order action of the characters punctuated according to the individual parameters of speed; in addition, the random battles have been replaced by the presence of monsters on the screen that we can decide whether to attack or not. We can't wait to discover all the possible Job combinations and the new skills that Silicon Studio has invented for this sequel: the demo has given us just a taste of what will be the final version and to find out more you will have to wait for ours. review. Stay tuned.

Powered by Blogger.