Parents' Guide to

Bravely Default II

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Tale with mild fantasy violence also has positive messages.

Game Nintendo Switch 2021
Bravely Default II Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (2):

This very traditional feeling Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) tries hard to address many of the trickiest and most pervasive problems of the genre while weirdly ignoring others. Bravely Default II tells a fairly simple good-versus-evil story set in a conventional fantasy world with turn-based battles. The heroes are charismatic and memorable, and the non-player characters they meet and attempt to assist suffer problems worth fixing -- such as a lonely girl who still feels beholden to an emotionally abusive man who helped her when she was down. Players are bound to care about the game's various personalities and will likely feel invested in their stories, even if it all feels a bit familiar. New and returning fans who enjoy strategic turn-based combat will find plenty to like about the battle system as they tinker with borrowing future turns, trying to match up character jobs with the types of enemies they're encountering in each dungeon, and choosing passive abilities that fit well with their play style. It's a sophisticated and well-balanced system that rewards careful analysis, experimentation, and measured risk.

The developers have done a fine job of providing ways players can tweak the game to overcome many of the complaints frequently leveled at JRPGs. Battles taking too long? Just crank up combat speed. Tired of mashing the attack command? Just press Y to order your hero to repeat their last actions. Bored with surfing menus to use items and magic to heal everyone after each battle? Just tap X to revive, heal, and cure the entire party in the most efficient means available. At the same time, though, there are moments of frustration that could have been easily solved. The labyrinthine dungeons, for example, have no maps, needlessly forcing players to try to memorize mazes as they deal with branching paths and dead ends. And while scores of side quests exist to try to give purpose to the inevitable level grinding required to grow your heroes' strength and abilities, many boil down to simply revisiting explored locations to find something or battle a specific type of enemy. Bravely Default II is a fun and polished traditional role-playing game that works to gently nudge the genre into the present, but there's still room for growth.

Game Details

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