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Author Topic: [3DS] Bravely Second: End Layer  (Read 648 times)
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Gratch
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« on: April 18, 2016, 01:37:21 PM »

Picked this up on Friday and spent a few hours with it over the weekend.  I was hesitant to take the plunge, but heard that they didn't replicate their ridiculous "play the same game twice" padding misstep that they did the first time around.  A few quick early thoughts (4 hours, just finished the prologue):

-  Feels almost exactly the same as the first game.  This is a very good thing when it comes to artwork, music, and combat, as all three are very solid.
-  Not sold on the story yet.  Seems very cliche and starts really slowly.  The saving grace is that the characters, while incredibly cheesy, all have a certain charm to them.  They spout silly lines that you can't help but chuckle at.
-  "Yew" might be the stupidest name for a main character ever.
-  It takes forever to start opening up different jobs and other game systems.  Don't be surprised when there are multiple options greyed out in your menu for the first few hours.
-  The combat automation is great.  You can set it to auto battle based on previous inputs, which makes grinding a breeze.
-  Every RPG needs to take a UI lesson from Bravely Second.  The way everything functions is damn near perfect.
-  I like the risk/reward system of both the Brave/Default mechanic, and the option to bring in additional enemies if you kill everyone in the first turn.  Again, makes grinding much easier.
-  The main character is voiced by the same actor who does Dean Venture in The Venture Bros.  He does a good job, but it's incredibly distracting.

Overall, I'm quite enjoying it so far.  I have a little concern about the job system becoming somewhat overwhelming in terms of building an effective party, but we'll see how that goes. 

If anyone is playing, please friend me (Skinypupy).  I could use some minions to help build my moon base.  smile
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 11:50:25 AM »

Bravely Default was one of the top two games I played that year. I went the full distance, too: maxed out all the job levels, defeated the optional bosses, and got the True Ending with one of the most disconcerting fourth wall-breaking things I've seen in any game. What a fantastic finish!

I just finished the Bravely Second demo to get the play bonuses and extra story content, so I should be starting the real game between now and Saturday. I'll need to check if Skinypupy is on my friends list, and also pressure Destructor-kun to play. His game was one of the ones I got to visit in Bravely Default and I want to see how things are going for him in the sequel.

-Autistic Angel
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Gratch
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 10:38:11 PM »

I'm at about the 10 hour mark, and I wish I could say Bravely Second was grabbing me more than it is.  It's not a bad game by any means, but it's just...boring.  The characters have a ton of charm, but the story itself is really dull.  The dungeons are bland, and I find myself navigating simply by the map rather than watching the actual dungeon.  I'm unlocking a veritable shit-ton of skills, spells, and abilities...none of which I have to use outside of boss fights.

So far (through level 20), dungeons involve setting my auto-battle to do 4 braves (i.e. extra turns) and 4 physical attacks with each character.  That typically takes care of the mobs, with the occasional spell or two thrown in.  Rinse and repeat a few dozen times while I find all the treasure chests on each map, then go tackle the boss.  I suppose I could up the difficulty (playing on Normal), but making the same rather boring combat simply take longer due to more HP doesn't seem like it would be any more compelling.  There's a huge variety of skills, ability links, special attacks, combos, etc., that I haven't even really bothered to do anything with.  I'm guessing they'll become more important later on...at least I hope so.

I did do a side quest that required some interesting choices, but outside of that, the game so far has just been meh.  I think all of the job, equipment, and skill options would be interesting if there was more to the game than a very basic grindgrindgrindgrindBOSSgrindgrindgrind.  Every time I sit down to play, I find myself either dozing off or my mind drifts to other games (what should I do next in FF XIV?  Should I try Black Desert again?).  That's usually not a good indicator of a compelling game.

Oh, and a game with this many choices and options with a single save slot?   finger
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 11:02:21 PM by Gratch » Logged

"Sans, stop plaguing my life with incidental music!" - The Great Papyrus, Undertale
Gratch
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2016, 05:56:57 PM »

I've kept plugging away at Bravely Second, and it's finally starting to click a little bit.  The story is still a pile of hot garbage, but the combat is starting to become more fun as I unlock different skills, spells, and abilities.  Some of the jobs seem rather worthless (Catmancer?), but creating a spell slinging support healer is certainly fun.  I love the fact there's only 4 characters, so you can focus on building a small party instead of trying to level up a ton of extra tools.  So far, I'm going with:

-  Yew:  Damage dealing Mage (Wizard, Black Mage) and Support (Astrologian)
-  Edea:  Heavy melee (swordmaster, charioteer, etc.)
-  Magnolia:  Mostly Heals (Bishop)
-  Tiz:  Sneaky sneak (thief)

One thing I struggle to figure out is how damage is calculated for each of the jobs.  Tiz has a far lower physical attack rating than Edea, but does about twice the damage with an equivalent weapon (Tiz has a Mythril Bow, Edea has a Mythril Sword).  I'm not really sure why, which drives me a bit nuts.  

I'd give it a lukewarm (but getting warmer) thumbs up at this point.  I'll keep hoping the positive momentum continues.

P.S. Here's a pro tip that I just figured out today (after playing for nearly 16 hours):  The pig in each town serves as a teleport to every other major city.  Just talk to him and he'll pop up a list of cities you can jump to.

P.P.S.  Hey AA, are you "Ally"?  I have a couple folks who have popped up in my friends list, but I'm not sure who is who.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2016, 07:23:23 PM by Gratch » Logged

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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 09:30:09 PM »

Yes, that's me.  I've been leveling up my characters semi-evenly with the different jobs, so if you want early access to any of their abilities, you can probably AbiliLink to my team and get at least their Level 4-5 skills.

I also finished rebuilding the moon and have been trying to build up my space pod as frequently as possible.  It's usually white, but I also have a secondary 3DS which can repaint it purple if you need that color.

-Autistic Angel
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Gratch
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2016, 03:36:46 PM »

My lukewarm thumbs-up is becoming warmer as I've started unlocking more and more classes.  Just got access to the Ninja class last night, which is pretty awesome.  Each of the four characters (level 43) now has a variety of skills they can use to handle nearly any situation.  While the main story still sucks, the side mission stories are fantastic.  Not sure how crazy I am about having to choose between two classes though.  For example, the side story I did last night required me to choose to unlock either the Knight or Ninja class, and whichever one I didn't choose became unavailable (for the rest of the game, I assume).  Frustrating to have to make those sort of decisions blindly, since you don't really have any intel on whether or not the class you choose will be effective or not.  Still, I don't feel like I've made any horrible decisions, yet.  smile

It does feel like a few of the classes are a bit redundant.  White Mage and Bishop are nearly identical, as are Black Mage and Wizard.  There's a few nuances, but they both basically do the same thing.

I have finished my moon base and upgraded my ship to the point that wearing down the level 60 Ba'al monsters doesn't take forever.  I usually set everyone to start firing when I leave for work, and they're down to a decent target level by the time I get home.
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EddieA
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2016, 09:23:08 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on May 17, 2016, 03:36:46 PM

Not sure how crazy I am about having to choose between two classes though.  For example, the side story I did last night required me to choose to unlock either the Knight or Ninja class, and whichever one I didn't choose became unavailable (for the rest of the game, I assume).  Frustrating to have to make those sort of decisions blindly, since you don't really have any intel on whether or not the class you choose will be effective or not.

I think the side mission classes are all from the first game, so their usefulness in the first game should be a good indicator of their usefulness in Second.
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Gratch
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 05:10:19 PM »

So I'm about 30'ish hours in, I think I'm getting to the end, I get the "this is it, you can't turn back, better save" message...then the big bad runs off.  I'm then left with an incredibly vague set of directions on what to do next, which literally involve starting the game over (in new game +) and doing a very specific combat action during the first battle.  An action that I hadn't even used a single time during my previous 32 hours and I frankly didn't even remember was available as an option.  If you don't do this specific action, you simply...start the game over.  I came *this* close to unwittingly restarting from the beginning (and overwriting my previous save) but thankfully glanced at an FAQ that told me what to do. 

After avoiding that near-disaster, the game is now requiring me to backtrack over every area I've previously gone through and get the other half of the classes that I missed out on the first time.  Blech.  As with the first game, that might be the straw that broke the non-compelling-story camel's back.  It was only mildly engaging the first time through, I can't imagine keeping interest a second time.
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Dante Rising
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 09:08:18 PM »

I'm confused. You are nearing the end of the game, but it forces you into beginning a new game+ ?   I know you are probably trying to avoid spoilers, but is this some weird Metal Gear-esque strangeness where the game is trying to outsmart the player?

I own the game but haven't yet played it. From your periodic updates it seems like Bravely Second won't end up in your "Recommend" list.
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Gratch
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 09:53:44 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 31, 2016, 09:08:18 PM

I'm confused. You are nearing the end of the game, but it forces you into beginning a new game+ ?   I know you are probably trying to avoid spoilers, but is this some weird Metal Gear-esque strangeness where the game is trying to outsmart the player?

Yep, you think you're at the end, then you (sort of) end up starting again.  Some minor spoilers:
Spoiler for Hiden:
It kicks you back to the battle which originally started the game, but doing a certain action during combat
Spoiler for Hiden:
Bravely Second
changes the outcome.  You then proceed from there and finish up the game in a alternate universe of sorts.

If you don't do that action (and the game doesn't make it particularly clear that's what you're supposed to do), you end up just starting the game over again with carryover skills and items...like a usual New Game+ would do.

Quote
I own the game but haven't yet played it. From your periodic updates it seems like Bravely Second won't end up in your "Recommend" list.

It's a strange game.  If I look at it overall, the game is decidedly mediocre.  The story is lame, the artwork is nice but looks mostly recycled from the first game, the combat is pretty basic turn-based, the humor falls embarrassingly flat most of the time, etc. However, the job system has been compelling enough for me to spend 30+ hours with it. Probably the combination of nothing else that was screaming at me to play right now and lots of cross-country flights, tbh.  I doubt I would have stuck with it otherwise.
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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2016, 11:47:49 AM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 31, 2016, 09:08:18 PM

I'm confused. You are nearing the end of the game, but it forces you into beginning a new game+ ?   I know you are probably trying to avoid spoilers, but is this some weird Metal Gear-esque strangeness where the game is trying to outsmart the player?


There's a point in the main adventure where the characters realize they can no longer progress and the NPCs start heavily hinting that you should save and quit to the title screen.  Once there, the screen itself gives you instructions on how to advance.

I thought about it, but ultimately decided to take Gratch's advice to replay the entire game first.  I'm glad I did: since New Game+ imports all your equipment, jobs, and experience levels but doesn't scale the enemies at all, you can effectively one-shot every boss in the game.  It's basically a chance to run through and collect all the jobs you didn't take the first time around.  Turn off random encounters and skip the dialogue sequences, and you can finish half an Act during a TV commercial break.  The only small disappointment is that there's no new dialogue where the characters comment on how enemies that *should* present a challenge are falling over dead at the first attack.  That's the sort of meta-commentary the first game did really well.

I'm already 75% finished with New Game+ and should be back to advancing the story proper within the next few days.

-Autistic Angel
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Gratch
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2016, 08:40:54 PM »

Quote from: Autistic Angel on June 11, 2016, 11:47:49 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on May 31, 2016, 09:08:18 PM

I'm confused. You are nearing the end of the game, but it forces you into beginning a new game+ ?   I know you are probably trying to avoid spoilers, but is this some weird Metal Gear-esque strangeness where the game is trying to outsmart the player?


There's a point in the main adventure where the characters realize they can no longer progress and the NPCs start heavily hinting that you should save and quit to the title screen.  Once there, the screen itself gives you instructions on how to advance.

I must have missed those instructions entirely then.  Mine just gave me the "New Game +" option, then dumped me back to the opening cutscene.

Quote
I thought about it, but ultimately decided to take Gratch's advice to replay the entire game first.  I'm glad I did: since New Game+ imports all your equipment, jobs, and experience levels but doesn't scale the enemies at all, you can effectively one-shot every boss in the game.  It's basically a chance to run through and collect all the jobs you didn't take the first time around.  Turn off random encounters and skip the dialogue sequences, and you can finish half an Act during a TV commercial break.  The only small disappointment is that there's no new dialogue where the characters comment on how enemies that *should* present a challenge are falling over dead at the first attack.  That's the sort of meta-commentary the first game did really well.

If you use the Bravely Second ability in the very first fight after starting New Game+, it continues the story from where it left off, bringing in all your companions (see the 2:38 mark here) and picking up right where you ended prior to New Game+.  It also allows you to pick up all the additional jobs without going through and replaying the entire game again.  I'm guessing you didn't do that, and just started replaying the entire game instead?

And for the record, replaying the entire game was absolutely not my advice.  Quite the opposite, actually.  It bugs the hell out of me that the game is unclear to the point where you could inadvertently start the game over and be forced to play through it all again unless you happen to use the Bravely Second ability in the very first battle of New Game+.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 08:43:29 PM by Gratch » Logged

"Sans, stop plaguing my life with incidental music!" - The Great Papyrus, Undertale
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