Bravely Second: End Layer (BS) is direct sequel from Bravely Default (BD) and like its predecessor, it still for the Nintendo 3DS. I love BD because it was a throwback to the classic JRPG, where rich turn-based combat with a job systems. This game still retains most of the systems BD had with some new features.
Because BS is direct sequel, it has many returning characters from BD. But you don’t have to worry if you didn’t play it before. The game gave the player full summary for what happened in BD and nice introduction about old characters. The new protagonist, Yew Geneolgia, is Knight of the Crystalguard and captain of The Three Cavaliers. During his adventure, he met Magnolia Arch, a mysterious girl who came from the moon. She came to Luxendarc to defeat fearsome creature called Ba’al. Yew also met Edea Lee and Tiz Arrior who saved the world from darkness. They set on journey to save Agnes Oblige who kidnapped by Kaiser Oblivion.
The story is very decent for me but it’s quite enjoyable. It’s not too serious nor too difficult to understand. BS answered some mysteries in its prequel but add more mysteries and cliffhangers too. It gave us hint that mostly linked to Third for sure. I think the developer didn’t want to end this series just yet.
As new protagonist, Yew is very keen about his duty as knight. He would doing something impossible to save Agnes quickly (and of course Tiz or Edea would stop him). But he could be nervous and shy sometimes. Now the Bestiary wrote by Yew even he drew all the art. In story sometime Yew wrote about their journey but unfortunately the Bestiary we could see just only about monsters, bosses, and items. Not so informative like D’s Journal that contained info about main characters, NPC, or places. The bright side about Yew’s diary is the other main characters also wrote about their opinion about monsters or bosses we already fought. It become fun to read all their comment to each other.
As for Magnolia, she is a cheerful-type unlike Agnes who always so stubborn. She always speaking French, because French is language of moon in this game. But in Japanese version, Moon language is English. To understand what Magnolia said I would rewatch the scene with Japanese voice and subtitle. This is the first time I found changing text and voice to Japanese very useful.
The gameplay had same systems as before. It still had unique mechanic with Brave and Default. Stocked points called BP which characters use to gain extra turns. Every character has a personal set of BP. The Default command skips a turn to stock a BP, and the Brave command uses that BP to move up to four times. But if the BP become minus the enemy will attack you.
Bravely second make a return too, well it so obvious because it’s on the title. It’ll freeze time for your enemies so you can make a move and get the advantage. Bravely Second takes SP to use. Your SP gauge fills as you play, even if you leave the game running in Sleep Mode. This actions are able to surpass the typical 9999 point limit for damage or healing.
Several jobs from BD return, but not all. Some great job like spiritmaster or Conjurer didn’t appear in BS. It doesn’t matter though, because the new Jobs had similiar ability with old ones. Like Hawkeye’s ability similiar with Spell Fencer’s or Catmancer has Blue magic like Vampire. You could got the old Asterisk on sidequest. One sidequest had 2 Asterisks but you could only chose one and you had to fight that Asterisk holder. Sometimes it hard for me to choose because I want to get that Asterisk but I like the characters and I don’t want to fight them.
Honestly, I just use the new jobs as secondary job commands so I could access other abilities I’ve learned. Just like ability spellcraft from Wizard could be used with Black Mage’s magic. It could be powerful but it took much BP so it must be used carefully. There are more possibility to combine other Jobs maybe I will try it on my second playtrough.
The new additions to the gameplay is Victory Streak. If you could finish the battle in one turn, you could choose to continue the battle and got bonuses. But sometimes you will forced to continue the battle. The chain battle would stop if you got attacked by enemy. This is the great way to get more money, EXP and JP (Job Point).
The fun mini game about rebuliding village make a comeback in BS. Now, we have to rebuild Fort-Lune, Magnolia’s home in the moon. And there’s a new mini game, it’s called Chompcraft. Yew and the others created Chomp doll and then sells it to make profit. In this mini game you can collect song from entire game and you could choose your favorite song while making the dolls. Like rebuilding village gave item regularly, you will earned PG (money) in this mini game.
There are still Sub-scene like Party Chat in BS. But there’s a new one called Tent Event that we could watched if you found a Fox at someplace, usually before or after an event. Unlike Party Chat, this scene had full voice over. Most topic in Tent Chat are about food and how each of them to cook. I like this kind of event, we could see interaction between characters and understand more about them.
Other thing I loved in BD is its music. This time the music handled by ryo(Supercell). I am not familiar with his/her work but I thought the music in BS is fine. I love a certain character’s theme that always played in the end of chapter. Fortunately, old music like city’s theme and Asterisk’s battle theme still there.
Played two games Bravely series was enough for me want to play the next series. It had enjoyable and lighthearted story, The characters are loveable too. Nostalgic gameplay from FF and beautiful music. Even with cencorship here and there for western release, it didn’t lessen the enjoyment for playing the games. I didn’t mind about it as long as they didn’t cut the story or characters. I definitely can’t wait for next series.