A Brave Adventure!
Developed by Square Enix and published by Nintendo, Bravely Second: End Layer is a massive JRPG for the 3DS and has had quite a bit of controversy regarding the censorship of the game in the west, but have these changes ruined the experience of the game? We don't think so and here's why:
Bravely Second: End Layer and its predecessor before it were a return to the roots of what made early Final Fantasy titles so great and are easily some of Square Enix's best efforts since the PSX era! The game picks up sometime after the ending of the original Bravely Default title in a world that is in the middle of huge changes. Most of the new job classes are given to you as you progress through the game's lengthy story, while the many returning job classes are earned through side-quests which is a great way to handle the job system in our opinions!
The battle system has also been revamped from the first Bravely Default title with several new additions, such as Bravely Second which freezes time during battle, but can only be used once every 24 hours unless you purchase an SP potion using irl money. We aren't fond of that, however the game is easy enough if you're sufficiently leveled even without resorting to using Bravely Second, so we give the feature a free pass.
You can also summon friends' characters in battle to aid you in a pinch, these summons can, at times be extremely useful as you can summon friends who are at a much higher level than yourself early in the game which can allow you an optional free pass if you get stuck in a boss battle that you cannot win at your current level. The game itself isn't all that difficult as long as you aren't terribly under-leveled or facing a unique breed of monsters known as Ba'al's "more about that later" but it's incredibly lengthy and engaging with over 50 hours worth of gameplay and 30 unique job classes!
There's a ton of optional features as well including toy making which can net you a ton of in-game currency later in the game, rebuilding the Lunar Base which unlocks new items and skills, and Ba'al busting which allows you to face unique bosses with a crazy amount of health in a lengthy survival battle. These Ba'al's can be weakened by attacking them with ships on the Lunar Base which takes quite a longtime, however the payoff is worth it in-terms of the monster's reduced health!
The game has been heavily censored in its Western release, however the core of the game is still intact and the main story is still mostly intact in its original form so despite our dislike of major changes occurring during localization, we feel that the game has NOT been changed to the point that it's harmful to the game itself.
The controls in Bravely Second: End Layer are flawless and easy as pie to learn which is always a positive for any game. Visually the game pushes the 3DS to its absolute limits with a gorgeous fully 3D world filled with incredibly detailed and intricate dungeons, and unique characters and enemies! The soundtrack is also among the best we've heard from a Square Enix title in years! What's even more impressive is the fact that the game is almost fully voiced so you'll feel like you're watching an anime series during all of the main story's cut-scenes which is quite a rare feature for a 3DS RPG!
With excellent gameplay and a fantastic story, Bravely Second: End Layer is a force to be reckoned with on the 3DS! That along with the flawless controls and top-notch audio-visual presentation make the game one of the best JRPG's currently available on the 3DS! The major censorship, while unnecessary and annoying in our opinions, has done very little to hurt the overall enjoyability of the game. Bravely Second: End Layer is a game that any JRPG fan who owns a 3DS, should purchase! As for us this game receives a nearly perfect level of recommendation!
Score: ★★★★★★★★★½ 9.5/10
#Review #BravelySecond #Nintendo #SquareEnix #JRPG #3DS #Retail
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